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Page:Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal Vol 19.djvu/87

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1850.]
67
On the Tdkin of the Eastern Himdlaya.


height, three and half feet at the shoulder. Its head is 20 inches. Its ears 5 inches. Its tail 3 inches, or 8 with the hair. The head is large and heavy, the neck short and thick, the body somewhat elongated but deep in the barrel, and yet more so in the shoulder, which is said to be raised in the Bisontine manner. The limbs are short, stout and Bovine, and so are the broad hoofs. In Takin there is no approach to the Cer- vine limbs, or equine body and tail of the GnoosĀ ; and the horns of the Takin, which to a superficial view are round, smooth and lunate, would complete the impression of a Bovine animal, were not progressive atten- tion almost necessarily now turned to the short narrow pointed ears, very short depressed tail, and hairy attenuated muzzle of our animalĀ ; particulars in which, with others to be presently mentioned, the Takin deviates from the Bovine to approach the Ovine or Caprine type, and is sundered from the Gnoos in the same degree, that it is approximated to the Musk Oxen or Ovibos. But we must now describe the structure of our animal with more detail, and technical precision, from horn to hoof, and from nose to tail, how distasteful soever such descriptions may prove to the general reader.

The head of the Takin is large, heavy and inelegant, exhibiting a mixed character, compounded of the Bovine and Ovine types. Its vertical dimensions (or height) are great, owing to the lofty curve of the nose and forehead, the chaffron being more romanised than even that of the Barwal (Ovis Barual). But the length also of the head of the Takin is considerable, and surpasses that of any Caprine or Ovine head, though inferior to the full normal length of head, characterising the Ox tribe. The head, though large and upon the whole perhaps Bovine, yet lacks the characteristic squareness of the Ox's head, both jaws being attenuated towards their anteal extremities much more than in the Ox, though somewhat less, than in the Sheep and Goat. There is in the muzzle of the Takin neither the nudity nor the breadth of that of the Ox and Gnoo, but on the contrary the lips are both tapered and clad with hair, almost as much as in the Goats and Sheep, and the animal is consequently a browser not a grazer. Nevertheless the mere nostrils, which are wide and terminal, have a decidedly Bovine character both as to form and position; and, as it were to remind us of the true Bovine muzzle, there is a clear broad margin round the nostril which is quite nude and moist. Whether the nostrils of the Takin possess the Cato-