In Austria this can be proved by the examination of the horses, to name as an example that clearly indicate different groups:
the relatively bigger animals of the Bronze Age and Hallstatt culture, the small pony-sized horses of the Celtic culture,
and the roman military horses, which are characterized by their comparatively big size and different proportions. This is
strongly supported by craniology. Consequently, the earliest form of domesticated horses exhibits relatively higher, more
slender and elongated crania, whereas the horses of the Celtic and Germanic tribes indicate a compacter and shorter form.
The roman military horses were much more robust, though medium-sized, when compared to modern riding horses. Animals belonging
to nomadic horsemen of Eastern origin, who penetrated during the middle Ages into the heart of Europe, demonstrated once more
different proportions and a wider skull.
The horses are just one example out of many, where such observations can be made. Similar is the case for all the domesticated
species. Characteristic are the size and shape differences observed between the Neolithic Danubian and Alpine cattle or between
the local and the roman cattle, which at specific time and space co-existed in the same faunal deposits. All these differences
have been interpreted as variations of one and the same population. New analyses and studies on skeletons from rich faunal
deposits conducted at the Archaeozoological Laboratory of the Museum prove the obvious existence of different morphological
traits even in single bones.
Detailed studies on the morphology of old local breeds give us the key to reconstruct the probable habitus of ancient breeds, because some of them remained relatively stable until the 19th century. This is supported by the study of written records and the discovery of organic material, like preserved hides from Austrian salt-mines. So it was possible to demonstrate the similarities between the Noric-Celtic cattle and the Red-and-White Pied Styrian breed that went extinct during the 20th century.