Takin - Encyclopedia

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TAKIN, the Mishmi name of a remarkable hollow-horned ruminant (Budorcas taxicolor), the typical representative of which inhabits the Mishmi Hills, in the south-east corner of Tibet, immediately north of the Assam Valley, while a second form is found further east, in the Moupin district. The takin, which may be compared in size to a Kerry cow, is a clumsily built brute with yellowish-brown hair and curiously curved horns, which recall those of the South African white-tailed gnu. Its nearest relatives appear to be the serows of the outer Himalaya and the Malay countries, which are in many respects intermediate between goats and antelopes, but it is not improbably also related to the musk-ox. As it lacks the thick woolly coat of the two Tibetan antelopes known as the chiru and the goa, there can be little doubt that it inhabits a country with a less severe climate than that of the Central Tibetan plateau, and it is probably a native of the more or less wooded districts of comparatively low elevation forming the outskirts of Tibet. It is remarkable for the shortness of the cannonbones of the legs, in which it resembles the Rocky Mountain goat.

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