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Takin
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Bovidae
Subfamily: Caprinae
Genus: Budorcas
Hodgson, 1850
Species: B. taxicolor
Binomial name
Budorcas taxicolor
Hodgson, 1850
Subspecies

B. t. bedfordi
B. t. taxicolor
B. t. tibetana
B. t. whitei

The Takin (IPA: /ˈtɑkɪn/) (Budorcas taxicolor) is a goat-antelope found in the Eastern Himalayas. There are four subspecies: B. taxicolor taxicolor, the Mishmi Takin; B. taxicolor bedfordi, the Shanxi or Golden Takin; B. taxicolor tibetana, the Tibetan or Sichuan Takin; and B. taxicolor whitei, the Bhutan Takin. Mitochondrial research[2] shows that takin are related to sheep, its similarity to the muskox being an example of convergent evolution. The takin is the national animal of Bhutan.

Contents

Statistics

A baby Takin in the Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago, Illinois

Takin stand 100 to 130 cm (39 to 51 in) at the shoulder and weigh up to 650 kg (1,400 lb).[3] They have been likened to a "bee-stung moose", because of the swollen appearance of the face. They are covered in a thick golden wool which turns black on the under-belly. Both sexes have small horns which run parallel to the skull and then turn upwards in a short point, these are around 30 cm (12 in) long.

Takin are found in bamboo forests at altitudes of 2,000 to 4,000 metres (6,600 to 13,000 ft), where they eat grass, buds and leaves. Takin are diurnal, active in the day, resting in the heat on particularly sunny days. Takin gather in small herds in winter and herds of up to a hundred individuals in the summer, old males are solitary.

In mythology

The Takin, specifically the Golden Takin may be the source and inspiration of the Golden Fleece in Greek mythology.

The reason for Bhutan selecting the Takin as the national animal is based on both its uniqueness and its strong association with the country's religious history and mythology. According to legend, when Lama Drukpa Kunley (called "the divine madman") visited Bhutan in the 15th century, a large congregation of devotees gathered around the country to witness his magical powers. The people urged the lama to perform a miracle. However, the saint, in his usual unorthodox and outrageous way, demanded that he first be served a whole cow and a goat for lunch. He devoured these with relish and left only bones. After letting out a large and satisfied burp, he took the goat's head and stuck it onto the bones of the cow. And then with a snap of his fingers, he commanded the strange beast to rise up and graze on the mountainside. To the astonishment of the people the animal arose and ran up to the meadows to graze. This animal came to be known as the dong gyem tsey (takin) and to this day, these animals can be seen grazing on the mountainsides of Bhutan.

Photos

Recommended photo: Takin in Bhutan http://www.flickr.com/photos/parahamsa/4097701051/

References

  1. ^ Yanling, S., Smith, A.T. & MacKinnon, J. (2008). Budorcas taxicolor. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 31 March 2009. Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is of vulnerable.
  2. ^ Pamela Groves and R.G. White, "The Takin And Muskox: Relationship musk not be takin for granted", Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska Fairbanks
  3. ^ WWF: Takin

Sources

  • Lonely Planet Bhutan, Tashi Wangchuk.

External links

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

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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Simple English

Takin
File:Budorcas
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Bovidae
Subfamily: Caprinae
Genus: Budorcas
Species: B. taxicolor
Binomial name
Budorcas taxicolor
Hodgson, 1850
Subspecies

B. t. bedfordi
B. t. taxicolor
B. t. tibetana
B. t. whitei

The Takin (Budorcas taxicolor) is a goat-antelope found in the Eastern Himalayas, Sikkim, northern Assam, northern Burma, and central and southern China. The takin is the national animal of Bhutan.


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