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Gaur, ruined city, India


(gour), ruined city, West Bengal state, India. Known also as Lakhnauti, the city was an ancient Hindu capital of Bengal. It was captured (c.1200) by the Islamic rulers of Delhi and remained a center of their culture until its abandonment in the late 16th cent. In 1537–38 Gaur was besieged and burnt by the Afghan ruler Sher Khan. The Kadam Rasul Mosque (1530), erected over relics supposedly belonging to Muhammad, is still a place of worship. The best-preserved structures are the Bara Sona Masjid and the finely carved Golden Mosque.

gaur, in zoology


large wild ox of Southeast Asia, having a humplike ridge on the back. The gaur, Bos gaurus, is thought to be the largest of the wild cattle; the bulls may measure more than 6 ft (1.8 m) at the shoulder and weigh more than a ton. The coat in both sexes is generally dark brown, but the lower legs are white. The strongly curved horns sweep backward and inward. The gaur is native to hilly, forested districts of India, Myanmar, and the Malay Peninsula. It roams about in hilly country in small herds during the day, descending to the lowlands for fresh grass in the morning and evening. Another closely related animal, the semidomesticated gayal of Myanmar, is slightly smaller than the gaur. Some authorities believe that it is merely a domesticated version of the same animal. A third related animal, the kouprey, was not discovered until 1936 in central Cambodia. Some biologists have proposed that the kouprey, which now is probably extinct in the wild, is not a separate species but a hybrid between a zebuzebu
, domestic animal of the cattle family, Bos indicus, found in parts of E Asia, India, and Africa. The zebu characteristically has a large fatty hump (sometimes two humps) over the withers. It is usually fawn, gray, black, or bay.
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 and a banteng, another wild ox. See also cattlecattle,
name for the ruminant mammals of the genus Bos, and particularly those of the domesticated species, Bos taurus and B. indica. The term oxen, broadly used, refers also to closely related animals, such as the buffalo and the bison.
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. The gaur is classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Artiodactyla, family Bovidae.



an artiodactyl of the Bovidae family. Length of an adult bull, approximately 3 m. Height at withers, up to 2.2 m. The cow is somewhat smaller. The back and sides are brownish black, the belly is yellowish brown, and the legs are off-white. The horns are massive (their length in a straight line reaches 83 cm). The gaur is found in India, Burma, and on the Malacca Peninsula. A gregarious and polygamous animal, it lives in small herds (five-12, occasionally 30-40 head) in large mountain woods, primarily at 600-1,700 m above sea level. It is a nocturnal animal. It feeds on grass, leaves, and shoots of trees and bushes. The gestation period lasts 8-9 months. In July through October the cows give birth to single chestnut-colored calves. The gaur’s number has been sharply reduced by man. Gaurs are hunted for their hides and their meat, which is of a high gustatory quality. Gaurs have been domesticated; the domesticated type is the gayal.


Mammals of the World, vol. 2. Baltimore, 1964.