Budorcas taxicolor (left: adult; right: juvenile)
The Takin lives in the Eastern Himalayas, in bamboo forests at altitudes of 2,000 to 4,500 meters. It is the national animal of Bhutan.
This animal eats grass, buds and leaves. They can easily stand on their hind legs, with their front legs resting on a tree, to reach for higher vegetation if they need to.
Takins have several adaptations that help them survive the very cold winters in the Himalayan Mountains. For example, they grow a secondary coat and their skin secretes an oily substance that acts as raincoat. Also, their large, moose-like snout has big sinus cavities to warm up the air before it gets to the lungs.
Adult takins have very few natural predators, like the wild dog. Takins migrate seasonally, moving from Alpine areas in summer to forested valleys in winter. As many as 300 takin have been seen congregating to drink.
The picture of this takin was taken at the zoo of San Diego, California, in March 2004.
Life on Earth