The Perfect Cow - Fleming County Schools

The Perfect Cow
Honors Science - Learning Target 4: I can Explain and Predict how genes and
chromosomes express information in new generations.
Computer Lab Activities Organizer:
Today we will be taking a closer look at the traits of cattle and the environments
and human preferences that have made certain traits more desirable.
BREEDS OF LIVESTOCK link: Use the menu at the left of the screen to select the
shorthorn. Read the first two paragraphs.
1. Where does the Shorthorn come from and what makes it a valuable breed
of cow?
2. Would you consider the traits of the Shorthorn to be valuable traits in any
DIFFERENT BREEDS OF CATTLE video: Features cattle that have evolved through
a combination of artificial and natural selection. Watch the video and answer the
following question:
1. What other characteristics besides meat and milk might be desirable to
breed into cattle?
CLIMATE MAP link: Using the map, locate England.
Describe the climate of England and the US.
Now find India on the map. Describe the climate of India.
Do you think that cattle in India are any different from the Shorthorn?
Return to the LIVESTOCK BREEDS page and scroll down the menu to find
the Brahman. Read the two introductory paragraphs and “Physical
Characteristics” of the page. Write down the traits that the Brahman has
that have enabled them to survive and thrive India’s hot climate.
5. Do you think that Shorthorns would survive in India? Why or Why Not?
6. Are there any attributes that the Brahman breed has “given up” for their
“heat resistance”?
7. What does a cow’s growth mean for the producer?
8. Is less meat per cow necessarily a problem for the Indian cattle raisers?
9. There are many hot weather countries that produce cattle and eat beef.
Find the country that produces the most beef. Locate this country on the
CLIMATE MAP. Describe the climate there.
10.What would you do if you were raising cattle in a tropical climate and want
more meat on the cattle?
GENETIC ENGINEERING link: Go to the link and complete the following tasks.
1. Read the “Selective Breeding” section.
2. Define “hybridization”.
There are approximately 1.3 billion cattle in the world today, twice the number
that existed 40 years ago. What other species has doubled in population in that
time frame?
What do you think the link is in these population jumps?
Those 1.3 billion cows are increasingly dominated by relatively few breeds and
hybrids have been selected by humans for their superb milk and meat
production traits.
1. Do you think that selectively breeding hybrid cattle could produce the
“perfect cow”?
PUNNETT SQUARE INTERACTIVE link: You will now review the concept of the
Punnett Square, the tool used to understand the probability of traits being passed
on to new generations.
1. Complete the activities on the monohybrid, test-cross and dihybrid. Record
the punnett squares on your paper. Answer the questions that go along
with each one.
2. You will have to use your paper to work out the activities on the questions!!