The Takin (rhymes with walkin’), a goat antelope, comes from Asia. There are 3 subspecies: Shensi or golden, Mishmi, and Sichuan. They look like a beast made up of mixed animal parts. The takin nose is long like a moose, horns look like a wildebeest’s, body is bison shaped, it has a bearlike tail, and mountain goat feet and agility. Takins are related to the North American and Greenland musk ox. Their fur colors range from golden to dark brown. Males have a darker face than females.
Takin live in temperate forests or taiga (boreal forests) that have rhododendrons and bamboo growing. Some areas have snow 6 months of the year. They live at altitudes up to 14,000 feet. In the winter takin migrate down the mountain where more food is available. Summers see them at the higher elevations.
Takin are slow moving animals and when threatened will hide in dense underbrush.
Takin feed on alpine and deciduous plants and evergreens. If takins can’t reach what they want, they will stand on their hind legs to reach tree tops or will push small trees down. Takins also travel to reach salt licks. Like cows, they ruminate (rechew) their food.
Takins weigh 550 to 880 pounds, are 5 to 7.3 feet long, and stand 3.3 to 5 feet at the shoulder. Baby takins (kids) only weigh 11 to 15 pounds.
Their main predators are wolves, bears, dhole packs and man.
Fun Takin Facts
- Takin warn others in the herd of danger with a “cough.”
- Their skin produces an oil that keeps them dry in the rain.
- Takin usually only bear one kid.
- Sizes of takin herds vary by season (10 to 15 in the winter to 100 in the summer).
- Females and males both have horns, which may reach up to 25 inches.
- Takin kids have a dark stripe down their back that disappears as they age.
Animal Diversity Web
San Diego Zoo
The Ultimate Ungulate