The animal on the cover of LPI Linux Certification in a Nutshell is a Texas long-horn cow. Christopher Columbus originally brought cattle to the New World from Spain. Descendants of these animals mated with English cows, and the offspring gradually evolved into the breed we know today.
Unfortunately, this animal was once on the verge of extinction. In the 180's and the early 1900s, tallow was a valued resource, as it is a key ingredient in candles and soaps. Animal fat is a major component of tallow, and the naturally lean long horn didn't have enough of it to be considered useful in making a fat-based concoction. As a result, the longhorn was cross-bred with cattle who had more fat, so cattle ranchers would be assured of a larger financial profit in the tallow industry. Purebred Texas longhorns were being phased out. However, in 1927, the U.S. Congress decided to step in, and formed a government herd of this breed, to save them from disappearing altogether. Very few purebred Texas longhorns were found, but Congress did manage to round up 27 animals, which were placed in a reserve area in Oklahoma. Today, the Texas longhorn is enjoying a rebirth of sorts, with numbers in the U.S. of up to 100,000.