Over 1000 breeds of cattle are recognized worldwide, some of which adapted to the local climate, others which were bred by humans for specialized uses. Cattle breeds fall into two main types, which are regarded as either two closely related species, or two subspecies of one species.
Bos indicus (or Bos taurus indicus) cattle, commonly called zebu, are adapted to hot climates and originated in the tropical parts of the world such as sub-Saharan Africa, India, China, and Southeast Asia. Bos taurus (or Bos taurus Taurus), typically referred to as "taurine" cattle, are generally adapted to cooler climates and include almost all cattle breeds originating from Europe, the Mediterranean region, and northern Asia.
Both species were likely present since ancient times in northern Africa and the Middle East, where both natural and human-caused hybridization likely occurred. Today, Taurus/indicus hybrids are widely bred in many warmer regions, combining characteristics of both the ancestral types (such as the Sanga cattle of Africa, or Brangus [a portmanteau of Brahma and Angus] in warmer regions of the United States).