The Gaur (Bos frontalis) is a big relative of the cow, being a bovine itself, and is the largest known wild cattle on the planet – in fact they are bigger than bison, water buffalo, and the Cape buffalo. They have a body length between 2.5 and 3.3 m (8.25 - 11 ft), a tail length between 70 and 100 cms (28 - 39 inches) and they weigh between 650 and 1,000 kgs (1,430 - 2,210 lbs). Males are approximately 25% larger than females.
They have a huge head and a deep body that is reddish/brown to black in colour. They have solid, sturdy limbs that are pale in colour and they have a dewlap under their chin that extends between their front legs. Their heads from the eyes to the neck is an ashen gray and sometimes lighter, while their muzzle is a pale color. Their legs, from the knees down, are white. Gaurs have a shoulder hump which is particularly pronounced in adult males.
As they are the heaviest, and most powerful of all wild cattle, they hold a special place as the apex bovine, and their ecological role provides an important food source for only one large apex predator which is known to have killed a healthy adult – that being a tiger. They live in herds of around 30-50 members, and they gestate for around 280 days. 1 calf is born weighing approximately 23 Kgs (50 lbs). They are weaned by the time they reach 9 months old.
Gaurs become sexually mature at 2 - 3 years of age and females tend to have a 12 - 15 month interval between births.
Both males and females have horns which can be up to 1.1m (3.5 ft) in length. They grow from the side of their head and curve upwards, and they are yellow at the base and black at the tip.
Gaurs have an alarm call which is a high pitched snort followed by a growling "moo". Bulls also have other calls which include one that brings the herd together and a roaring call that they use during the breeding season.
Gaurs are found on the forested hills and grassy areas of south to south East Asia. They form herds of 8 - 11 individuals but they can be larger. Each herd consists of a dominant male and several females, and they have a home range of approximately 78 sq. kms (30 sq. miles). Other males may form bachelor herds or in some cases older bulls may become solitary.
Gaur mainly feed on grasses and leaves.