Gaurs are large bovines with a heavy, muscular build, a large dewlap and a prominent ridge along their back. The dorsal ridge and dewlap are smaller in females. The dewlap extends from the chin to the front of the legs. The top of the shoulders can be as much as 5 inches higher than the rump. Gaurs have a dark brown coat of short, dense fur. Their lower legs are tan or white in color.
The body shape of the gaur is such that their fore-quarters are much larger and bulkier than their hind-quarters. The front part of their body bears resemblence to a water buffalo while the back part of their body looks more cattle-like.
Gaurs have large ears, a short tail and sturdy horns that curve upwards and inwards over the top of their head. Both males and females grow horns. The horns are yellow at their base and black at the tips and measure about 32 inces tip-to-tip. There is a prominent ridge that runs across the forehead between the horns.
Gaurs are active during the day (diurnal) although in regions where they have been disturbed by people they are ofte nocturnal.
Gaurs breed year-round, although it often peaks between the months of December and June. In winter, gaurs form small herds as many as 10 individuals. When spring arrives, gaurs mate and then the males and females into separate herds. Females give birth to one calf after a gestation period of about nine months. Calves wean after about 7 to 12 months. Young gaurs reach sexual maturity at about 3 years of age.
Since gaurs are so large, they have few predators. Weaker individuals may be attacked by leopards or dhole packs but healthy individuals are too strong to fall prey to them. Only tigers and saltwater crocodiles are known to kill healthy adult gaurs.
Gaurs present a threat to other animals. They have dangerous horns and can kill other animals by goring or trampling them to death. Gaurs have been known to kill domestic cattle on occasion, when the two have crossed paths.
Gaurs are classified as vulnerable. They face trheats from poaching for trade, hunting for food and habitat destruction.