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Page:Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal Vol 19.djvu/84

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66 0n the Tciicin. of tile Eastern Hima’laya. [J AN.

system its place would probably be assigned between those two types. But before making further allusion to its affinities, I shall give a careful description of its appearance and structure, premising the account of them by a statement of what is known of its habitat and manners.

The Takin tenants the Easternmost part of the Himalaya, or that which is adjacent to Yunan, Sechuen and Kham. In the Himalaya it is stated to belong more especially to the Upper or Alpine region, but to be found also in the central region, though never in the lower re- gion ;* and it probably extends its range from the Himalaya proper, to the proximate mountains of China and Tibet. The Takin derives its high interest for the naturalist, not merely from its compound structure, made up, as it were, of the Ox, the Antelope, the Sheep and Goat, but also from its habitat, so remote and dissimilar from those of its allies. The Takin is described as being an animal of high courage and great ferocity ; so that it cannot be taken alive, and is kill- ed by the natives with much trouble and some risk. It is said to be very gregarious, though old males are sometimes found solitary ; but, for the most part, the species herd together in considerable numbers. Strength and ferocity are inscribed in very legible characters on the form and aspect of the T akin, which is a much larger as well as bulkier animal than the lusty Caprine Antelope (Thar) of the Himalaya. The Takin however reminds one in several respects of the Tharj' which it much resembles in colour as well as by its short Caprine tail, harsh ad- pressed hair, and vigorous make, suited to climbing these stupendous mountains. But the Thar is in structure as much more Antelopine as the Takin is more Bovine. The latter is not much, if at all, inferior in size or bulk to the female Yak; and, as seen from the front especially, with its lunate horns displayed and its short tail concealed, it would be at once pronounced 'to belong to the OX kind, close examination alone being likely to suggest any doubts on that head. The T akin, as I have said, is nearly as large, both in dimensions of extent and in bulk, as a female Yak; and its massive form and peculiar proportions are quite Bovine. It is in length, from snout to vent, six and a half feet ; and in

  • See J. A. S. No. 206. Phys. Geog. of Himalaya.

1‘ Schinz in his Genera Mammalium has actually ranged this animal with the Gnoos. This is a mistake, but one indicative of remote affinity. The Thér isa typical Nemorhedus.—See J. A. S. No. 181, for July 184 7.