Skeleton of a cow: photo with a description of the bones

Knowing and studying the design of the skeleton of cattle will help to understand and prevent a number of diseases, as well as to find out whether the calf was born with or without pathologies.


The skeleton of the head of a cow consists of:

  • cranial box;
  • eye;
  • teeth
  • ears
  • the nose

The head of cattle is massive. Having considered this body, you will become familiar with its components.


The cranial bones are classified as flat bones, they are joined by sutures. In calves, suture lines are most easily seen through. Bones grow with the help of sutures, and after ossification, bone development stops. Two parts of the skull are considered - facial (visceral) and cerebral. The structure of the head includes nineteen bones.

Seven bony areas of the brain area:

  • occipital and wedge-shaped area;
  • ethmoid and inter-dark;
  • parietal and frontal;
  • temporal.

Learn more about the structure of the skull in cows.

The remaining twelve bones are ranked on the front side:

  • upper and lower jaw;
  • palatine;
  • opener
  • nasal;
  • tearful;
  • zygomatic;
  • sublingual;
  • incisor;
  • pterygoid.

The location of the brain is responsible for the musculoskeletal system, orientation in space, as well as the movement of the animal.

The front part performs the following functions:

  • respiratory
  • chewing;
  • visual.


Cattle vision includes:

  • eyeball;
  • the iris;
  • choroid;
  • ciliary body.

This structure of the eye provides the female the ability to perceive the color and shape of objects, to see at night, protects the eye from the penetration of particles of dirt.

Familiarize yourself with the structure of the eyes of cows.

Functional elements of the eye organ of a cow:

  • back and front camera of an eye;
  • the lens;
  • cornea;
  • iris;
  • eyelid;
  • vitreous body;
  • retina;
  • central fossa;
  • optic nerve;
  • sclera;
  • choroid
  • pigment membrane.

The structure of the organ of vision in a bull is similar.


A component of the digestive system of cattle are teeth. They are located on the lower and upper jaw, in adult cattle there are 32 of them. Cows are classified as ruminant, the body of which tends to have a complex digestive system, as a result of which overload acts on the teeth.

The jaw is built of two arcades - the right and left (they are always symmetrical), premolars, molars, gums and incisors. The cow needs cutters for effective cutting of grass, and molars and premolars for chewing on it. Calcium phosphate is the main element in the structure of teeth.

Food containing these microelements strengthens not only enamel and dentin, but also the body frame of the animal. The veterinarian examines the oral cavity of a newborn calf to further prevent the development of jaw pathologies.

The ears

Cows have a good, ear for music.

The hearing aid consists of:

  • outdoor;
  • average;
  • outer ear.

The auricle refers to the outer ear. In addition, it has twenty developed muscles. The auricle is internally covered with short hair. The basis of the skin folds are elastic cartilage, which protects the hearing organ from damage.

The middle ear is connected to the larynx. It houses the eardrum. It has a number of acoustic bones that carry sound waves from the eardrum to the perilymph.

The chain structure consists of:

  • malleus;
  • anvils;
  • lenticular bone;
  • stepladder.

Muscles along with cartilage form the outer ear. In shape resembling a shell.

Did you know? In Israeli farms, cows are given classical music while feeding. It soothes the animal and increases milk yield.


The cattle frame is responsible for the musculoskeletal system. He holds the entire body weight of the animal, preserving the internal organs from damage. Therefore, it is important to know its structure, as well as to study its constituent components.

The skeleton consists of the vertebral part and limbs.


The shape and size of the vertebrae of cattle depend on the load that is performed by the animal. The main parts of the spine are the spinal column and spinal canals.

Agricultural cattle have 49-50 vertebrae:

  • in the chest of 13 vertebrae;
  • 7 in the neck;
  • 8 in the lumbar;
  • 5 sacral vertebrae;
  • 18–20 make up the tail.


The limbs of the cows are composed of the front (chest) part and the back (pelvic) region of the croup.

Bodies of the construction of the forelimbs:

  • scapula and its axis;
  • the head, block and tubercle of the humerus;
  • radius;
  • ulnar bone (as well as ulnar tubercle);
  • wrist bones;
  • the sternum and its xiphoid process;
  • ribs
  • thoracic vertebrae.

The back of the case has the following structure:

  • ilium;
  • macklock;
  • sciatic tubercle;
  • head and condyle of the femur;
  • knee cap;
  • the tibia and hip;
  • bones of the metatarsus and fingers;
  • caudal vertebrae.

Did you know? The thigh bone is the largest bone of the skeleton of cattle.

The structure of the udder

The udder of the female is a very complex mechanism. It is divided into four mammary glands. Each of them is divided into right and left sides, and they, in turn, are divided into shares. The mammary gland ends with a nipple. Four nipples are separated by a septum.


The movement of blood through the vascular system occurs from the base of the udder to the nipples, as well as in each lobe of the mammary gland.

Lymphatic system

Lymph glands are located on both sides of the udder. Their function is the movement of fluid along the udder and nipples.


The udder is formed with the help of connective, adipose and glandular tissues, thanks to which nerve signals from touch are easily transmitted to the brain.

Milk follicles

Milk follicles are a component of the glandular tissue and communicate with the milk ducts. A further chain leads to the milk tanks, and from them to the nipples. Formed, milk first accumulates in the milk follicles.


The length of the nipple is 8–10 centimeters, in volume it reaches 2–3 centimeters.

The nipple consists of four parts:

  • the top;
  • base;
  • body;
  • cylindrical part.

Nipples are an important organ in the process of getting milk. They make it possible to get milk from a cow and prevent pathogens from entering the udder of the female.

Important! Due to the fact that the nipples are separated by a septum during milking, each must be freed from milk.

Internal organs and systems

Agricultural cattle are used for various purposes. You can get milk and meat from a cow, as well as offspring. Bulls that do not participate in insemination are used to transport goods. Internal life systems allow cattle to perform various functions.


In cattle, the development of strong muscles plays an important role in life. The jaw muscles help to chew food during nutrition, the muscles of the body help the cow maintain its weight.

The muscles of the head are called facial and chewing.

The humeral region, chest and abdominal wall belong to the body of the cattle.


With the help of reflexes, the central nervous system controls the work of the motor system of cows. Anatomy of the nervous system includes the spinal cord and brain.

The brain is the main organ of the nervous system, which is located in the cranium. It controls the activity of all organs of the animal. The brain consists of two hemispheres, separated by a septum. It is filled with gray matter in the cortex, and white in their center.

With diseases of the brain, the effective functioning of other livestock organs is impossible.

The spinal cord is located in the vertebral region, representing a long channel of nerve endings. It originates from the brain, and its end - in the lumbar region.

The structure of the spinal cord includes three protective membranes:

  • solid;
  • spider web;
  • soft cloth.

Did you know? The livestock’s brain weight is 410–550 grams.


The respiratory system serves to supply oxygen to the body and remove carbon dioxide. During inspiration, oxygen is cleared of harmful impurities, and also passing through the olfactory system, gives the cow a signal about the smell of the surrounding space. With an exhalation, the animal gets rid of excess water and excess heat in the body.

The respiratory system includes:

  • nose;
  • larynx;
  • lungs;
  • trachea.

At rest, an adult takes from 18 to 22 breaths per minute.


The organs of the cardiovascular system supply the necessary elements with blood to the body through blood vessels. The circulating fluid is divided into lymphatic and circulatory. The heart is considered a vital organ of the circulatory system.

Blood vessels connected to each organ transport oxygen, vitamins, and minerals throughout the body of the cows. With diseases of the circulatory system, metabolism is disturbed.


Digestion of a cow is a complex multi-step process. Since the teeth do not chew food, but only cut, fermentation occurs in the stomach.

Find out how many stomachs a cow has.

The cattle stomach is formed of four parts:

  • scar;
  • grid;
  • book;
  • abomasum.


In the urinary system are:

  • kidneys (a cow weighs 1–1.5 kg);
  • ureters;
  • bladder;
  • urethra.

The organs of the genitourinary system remove elements of the breakdown of food from the body of the cattle, as well as transfer hormones produced by the kidneys into the bloodstream and the general functional system. The urinary system of the bull is also called the urogenital due to the fact that the male is responsible for the reproduction of the same organ.

The female reproductive and excretory organs are in close proximity. A healthy animal can excrete about 20 liters of urine in twenty-four hours.


The genitals of cows and bulls differ, highlighting their female and male.

The male reproductive system consists of several components:

  • adnexal glands;
  • vas deferens;
  • testis;
  • penis;
  • scrotum.

In one milliliter of bull sperm there are about two million sperm, given that the male produces six milliliters of sperm at a time.

The genitals of a cow require increased attention to themselves, because they are responsible for bearing future offspring.

The organs of the reproductive system of cows are:

  • ovaries;
  • the fallopian tubes;
  • the uterus;
  • vagina and vestibule;
  • external genitalia.

The love and care of the owner is an important component of the mental comfort of animals of both sexes, and this is no less important than their physical health. Paying due attention to the general condition of the female and male, you will later receive tasty healthy milk and meat, as well as healthy offspring.

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