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The animal on the cover of LPI Linux Certification in a Nutshell is a bull, an adult male animal of the species Bos primigenius.

Cattle were domesticated early in human history, perhaps more than 8,000 years ago. They are used as work animals, as well as to produce meat, milk, leather, manure, and fuel. Their longstanding economic importance is evident in the etymological relationship of the word “cattle” to “chattel” and “capital.” The world cattle population is approximately 1.3 billion.

Cattle are ruminants, meaning that they regurgitate and rechew their food as cud. They spend six hours a day eating and another eight chewing. They may drink 25 to 50 gallons of water a day and produce 15 to 20 gallons of saliva.

The animals are significant in many cultural traditions. The Minotaur, half bull and half man, guards the labyrinth in Greek myth. The constellation Taurus represents a bull, and an ox (the term for cattle used as draft animals) appears in the Chinese zodiac. Cattle are considered sacred in Hinduism, and in Masai myth, all the cattle on earth are believed to be a gift to the Masai people from their god. Bullfighting and the running of the bulls continue to be strongly identified with Spanish culture, as is bull riding in American rodeos.

Though cattle ranching and cowboys are strongly associated with the history of the western United States, domesticated cattle are not native to the Americas. Spanish strains of cattle brought by Columbus and the conquistadores interbred ...

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