In addition to its long limbs, it is characterized by its Roman nose, large (but not drooping) ears, and the presence of a dewlap on the throat and chest.
The typical forms belonging to this family are distinguished by the large dewlap or pouch situated beneath the head and neck, and by the crest, composed of slender elongated scales, which extends in gradually diminishing height from the nape of the neck to the extremity of the tail.
The hair on the lower jaw, throat and chest is long and straight, and hangs down like a beard or dewlap, though there is no loose fold of skin in this situation.
Like the iguanas, they (at least the males) are provided with a large, expansible dewlap at the throat, which is brilliantly coloured, and which they display on the slightest provocation.
Humped cattle are widely spread over Africa, Madagascar and India, and form a distinct species, Bos indicus, characterized by the presence of a fleshy hump on the shoulders, the convexity (instead of concavity) of the first part of the curve of the horns, the very large size of the dewlap, and the general presence of white rings round the fetlocks, and light circles surrounding the eyes.
The majority of these are large and heavilybuilt ruminants, with horns present in both sexes, the muzzle broad, moist and naked, the nostrils lateral, no face-glands, and a large dewlap often developed in the males; while the tail is long and generally tufted, although in one instance longhaired throughout.
Dewlap. Pendulous skin under the throat.