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Page:Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal Vol 19.djvu/83

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1860.]
On the Td/cin of the Eastern Himalaya. 65


On the Tdkin of the Eastern Himalaya : Budorcas* Taxicolor mihi . N. G. (With three Plates.)— By B. H. Hodgson, Esq.

When characterising in the autumn of 1847, the genera of the Ru- minants of India,f I remarked on the nearly total ahsence of the Bovine Antelopes, a group abundantly diffused throughout central and Southern Africa, but of which we had then in India no recorded sam- ple, except the Nilgaii or Portax Bisia, and of that single species no instance on this — the moist and temperate side of the Ganges. The remarkable animal which will be the subject of the present paper, adds however, another and a highly characteristic species to that group ; and, when it is stated that this animal has its abode in the Mishmi moun- tains, or, in other words, in the Eastern Himalaya, all persons conver- sant with the features and climate J of that locality will readily acknow- ledge the interest attaching to the discovery in our moist umbrageous and precipitous mountains, of a large and striking quadruped all the allies of which, with one exception, are proper to the arid and fervid plains of central and Southern Africa. § My spoils consist of three skins in good condition belonging to males and females of mature age, of a nearly perfect male scull, and parts of other sculls of both sexes.

To Major Jenkins' kindness I am indebted for the whole, part of which reached me nearly two years ago, but too imperfect for descrip- tion. The spoils I now possess are however quite adequate, and will justify the announcement of a new genus and species, which I proceed to characterise and describe without further preface.

The large, massive and remarkable animal, denominated Takin by the Mishmis, and Kin by the Khamtis, is one of the group of Bovine Antelopes. Its nearest affinity is probably to the Gnoos ; but it has various points of stronger connexion with Musk Oxen, and in a natural

Bovs et AopKas.

t J. A. S. No. 181, for July 1847, with corrections in No. 197, for Nov. 1848.

t J- A. S. No. 185, for December 1847, and No. 206, for August 1849.

§ The recent discoveries of a great snowy chain and immense lake in this region, seem however to indicate that our heretofore notions of its climate and vegetation will soon receive material modification. As much might I think have been inferred from the size and numbers of its Herbivora, Darwin's reasoning of an opposite tenor seeming to me unsatisfactory.