Open main menu

Page:Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal Vol 19.djvu/88

This page needs to be proofread.


68 On the Td/cin of the Eastern Himdlaya. [J AN.

blepine valve cannot be determined with certainty from my specimens, but apparently that valve is proper to them. The lofty boomed chaff'ron exhibits no trace of the cartilaginous protuberance, or of the peculiar disposition of the hair, belonging to the Gnoos ; nor is there in any part of the face of the Takin any cuticular organ, gland or pore, whether suborbital, malar or intermaxillary. The high curvature of the chaffron is continued backwards between and beyond the horns, so that the Whole head presents in profile the same egregiously beaked character, which Swainson,* has assigned to the Gnoo, though other representa- tions of that species do not exhibit this peculiarity in the same promi- nent light. The eyes, which are of that medial size proper to Bos and Ovis, but distinctly smaller than in the typical Antelopes, are projected boldly from the sides of the head by the saliency of the orbits yet have a very lateral field of vision with little command of the prospect in front. Their position is high up in the head; that is, it is remote from the muzzle and close to the bases of the horns, as in the Ox and the Sheep (Ammon) ; and even more conspicuously so than in them. The horns also, as well as the eyes, have a backward position in the head, far from the muzzle but not equally proximate to the nape, owing to the characteristically Cervine or Antelopine development of the encephalon or brain-pan in the Takin ; a peculiarity diametrically opposed to the normal character of the Bovine head.

The horns of the Takin are inserted on the highest part of the fore- head, as in the Ox and Sheep, though not, as in them, at the posteal termination of the head; for the encephalon of our animal, as just no- ticed, spreads behind its horns in the manner of the Deer and Antelopes but more restrictedly. The Takin’s horns are attached, not to the lateral margins of the frontal crest, as in the Ox, but to its superior surface, as in the Antelopes, Goats and Sheep. Partly owing to the narrowness of the forehead in this its upper part—a narrowness con- trasting remarkably with the Bovine breadth of frontals—and partly owing to the thickness of their bases, the horns are nearly in con- tact on the top of the head, but without actually touching. Their direction is first vertically upwards, then horizontally outwards or to the sides, then almost as horizontally backwards. Their basal portion, which has the vertical direction, is short and the rest of the length of

  • Classification of Quadrupeds, l. 276. Plate.