Fun Takin Facts For Kids

Christian Mba
Jan 10, 2023 By Christian Mba
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Fact-checked by Deeti Gupta
Takin facts about the wild animals, unlike goat, sheep, and other hoofed animals.

Takins are mammals living in the rugged terrains in the snowy mountains of the Himalayas. Though not much was known about these animals, a widespread study to understand them by wildlife conservationists to conserve this vulnerable species has brought out interesting facts about this animal.

With this information, takins are bred in the wild in Ohio. They are also found in the zoos of the United States, Canada, and North America.

They have adapted to their habitat very well. The takin's skin secretes oil. The oil coats their fur and acts as a natural raincoat in the rains and fog.

Takins also use this oily substance to mark trees. Takins grow a secondary coat in the mountains' harsh winters, which they shed in the summer. The takin has a prominent nose with large sinus cavities.

The snout is essential as the air gets warmer while passing through it before reaching their lungs. During summer, takins gather in large numbers on the mountain slopes for good feeding sites, salt licks, and hot springs. Read on for more facts about this interesting mammal.

You should also visit musk ox and fennec fox facts if you like this article.

Takin Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a takin?

A takin is also called a goat antelope. It is closely related to sheep with short legs but has large two-toed hooves. Takins have a long shaggy furry oily coat.

They have a large muscular body and a face with a large arched nose like a moose. The takin has stout, rigid, and pointed horns that can grow between 12-25 in (30-64 cm) over its head. Takins have many similarities with the muskox.

What class of animal does a takin belong to?

Takins belong to the Mammalia class and Bovidae family. Takins are a part of the Caprinae subfamily and consist of four subspecies.

Takins are one of the four subspecies of the Caprinae subfamily. These include are Mishmi Takin (Budorcas taxicolor taxicolor), Golden Takin (Budorcas taxicolor bedfordi), Tibetan or Sichuan Takin (Budorcas taxicolor tibetana), and Bhutan Takin (Budorcas taxicolor whitei).

All of them are so similar that unless closely observed, you cannot distinguish them from each other except for their fur and the habitat where they are found.

How many takins are there in the world?

The exact count of the population is not known. However, the takin population is declining. There are estimated to be about 7,000-12,000 takin. According to IUCN Red List, the population is Vulnerable. All the subspecies of these hoofed animals are protected in their areas by the law.

Where does a takin live?

Takins are found in grass-covered, thick bamboo and alpine zones, rocky and forested valleys at very high altitudes in frigidity. They are native to the Himalayan Mountains and are found in China, India, Tibet, Nepal, Myanmar and Bhutan. Based on their regions, takins have been categorized into their subspecies.

What is a takin's habitat?

The takin habitat is mainly temperate conifer forests, mountainous grasslands, and shrublands, and bamboo thickets in the frigid conditions of the Himalayan Mountains. They live 3,000 ft (914 m) above sea level and can travel up to areas 14,000 ft (4,267 m) above sea level during summer.

Who do takins live with?

Takins, like other hoofed animals, live in a herd. There are about 20 takins in a herd in the winter, and 300 in the summer during their annual migration. The adult males prefer to live a solitary life while the younger ones stick to their family.

How long does a takin live?

The lifespan of takins is between 12-18 years in their habitat. At birth, the takin weighs around 11-15 lb (5-7 kg).

The offspring are weaned off at two months of age, but the calf sticks to its mother until the next calf is born. The horns of a takin start growing at six months of age. They live in small to large herds.

How do they reproduce?

Takins reach sexual maturity at two and a half years of age. The males in the herd participate in dramatic courtship battles with each other by sparring head to head in combat.

Both the males and the females use the scent and the pheromones in a takin's urine to indicate sexual status and identity. Their mating season is around August, and the calf is given birth to around the month of March, in spring, before the summer season, so the gestation period is about eight months.

What is their conservation status?

According to IUCN Red List, the conservation status of takins is Vulnerable. Though there are zoos that are keeping and breeding these animals in other parts of the world, the species are wildly found in large herds in the Himalayan mountain ranges of China, India, Bhutan, Tibet, Nepal and Myanmar.

You can see the takin in Denver Zoo and San Diego Zoo in North America.

Takin Fun Facts

What do takins look like?

The takin is also known as the goat antelope. It is very similar to the muskox in appearance.

Takins have long, thick, oily, and hairy fur with dark stripes along its length. With a large nose, like a moose, a takin has a stocky build with two short, hoofed legs. The shaggy hair can vary from gray-brown to golden yellow colors.

Takins rest and chew their cud like cows while sitting down.

How cute are they?

The takin is an enormous mammal that lives in challenging terrains. In line with their habitat, they have large gray-brown, yellow, or golden hairy fur with a black stripe along the back.

The nose looks a bit larger, like that of a moose. These giant animals with stocky bodies are worth a site, especially when they stand tall on their hind legs to eat the leaves of their choice, which are over 10 ft high.

How do they communicate?

Takins make different noises to communicate with each other. They also communicate with their body postures. Takins caution their herd with a loud cough, signaling danger and taking cover. They have different sounds for different situations, like asserting dominance or indicating a need.

The mother takin has a different sound to call out for the baby takin. Along with body postures, takins communicate with their urine smell, which gives out different scents.

How big is a takin?

Takins are big and stocky animals. They weigh between 500-770 lb (250-350 kg).

They grow to a height between 3.3-4.5 ft (1-1.4 m), and the head-to-tail length may vary between 5-7.3 ft (1.5-2.2 m). These giant mammals are found in the Himalayan Mountains and are similar in features to the muskox, but are not as big as a yak. They are almost half the size of a yak.

How fast can a takin run?

These animals run when threatened and to run for cover. Otherwise, these are slow-moving animals who walk in the mountainous terrain (takin habitat) with ease. They also leap from rock to rock. The takins move along the same path in the mountains. This movement creates worn-out paths that lead to the natural salt links and grazing areas.

How much does a takin weigh?

Takins weigh between 500-770 lb (250-350 kg). The males are larger than the female takins with stocky bodies.

Though at the time of birth a kid weighs 11-15 lb (5-7 kg), adult males sometimes grow above 770 lb (350 kg) to almost 1000 lb (453 kg). Hence the takin size is great. The animal has thick, oily, hairy fur, making it appear even more stocky.

What are their male and female names of the species?

The male takin is called a bull takin, and the female takin is called a cow takin. The older males prefer to live in solitary but not very far away from the herds, whereas the females live with the younger ones in close-knit herds of about 20 individuals.

What would you call a baby takin?

A baby takin is called a kid. The kid is born after a gestation period of eight months. It starts walking along with its mother from the third day of its birth.

The lactation period is only for two months, after which they eat solid food. The kid stays by the side of their mother until she gives birth to another kid. Kids are darker when young, and as they grow older, their fur gets lighter and shaggier.

What do they eat?

Takins are herbivorous, and as a matter of fact, they eat any leaves that they can find. Their food includes almost everything from bamboo to unpalatable leaves such as rhododendron.

It is said that they eat leaves of up to 130 species of plants as a part of their food.

Salt licks are an essential part of their diet to meet mineral needs and sometimes neutralize toxins from their food. Like cows and sheep, takins are also ruminants which means they have compartments in their stomach and cud their food into mouths to chew later for better digestion.

Are they dangerous?

Takins are dangerous when provoked. Otherwise, these herbivorous animals take cover in the underbrush and avoid being seen when they encounter some danger. They give out an intimidating roar, and even takin calves make a panicked noise when they gets lost from their mother, similar to a roar of a lion cub.

Would they make a good pet?

Takins have not been domesticated and kept as pets by humans though now they are being bred in captivity and protected under wildlife acts in their respective countries. The takins resemble goats and sheep but are wild animals and do not make a good pet. They are also aggressive and dangerous when they feel threatened.

Did you know...

Takins are considered one of China's national treasures, and there these animals share their habitat with the Giant Pandas.

The Bhutan Takin is the national animal of the country.

Male takins wet their forelegs, chest, face with urine, and females soak their tail to communicate sexual status and identity.

Takin horns have appeared in the illegal trade in Myanmar.

Is a takin a goat?

Takins are not exactly goats though they resemble sheep and goats. They all belong to the Bovidae family and are referred to as a goat-antelope. Takins are also called cattle chamois or gnu goats. Unlike a goat, a takin is a wild animal.

Are takins endangered?

Takins are a Vulnerable species, and their population is declining. The species are protected under the wildlife conservation laws in their respective countries. China has takins as their national treasure. However, in Myanmar, these animals' horns were found in illegal trading. To protect these species, they are being bred and raised in the wildlife sanctuaries and zoos.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including anteater, or plains zebra.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Takin coloring pages.

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Written by Christian Mba

Bachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

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Christian MbaBachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

Christian Mba is an experienced blogger and content writer with over a decade of experience. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Nigeria and has a keen interest in Python programming. Along with his writing and blogging expertise, he is also an SEO specialist with more than six years of experience. Chris, as he is commonly known, has a passion for music and enjoys playing the piano.

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Fact-checked by Deeti Gupta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

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Deeti GuptaBachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

A detail-oriented fact-checker with a research-oriented approach. Devika has a passion for creative writing, she has been published on multiple digital publishing platforms and editorials before joining the Kidadl team. Currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from St.Xavier's College, Deeti has won several accolades and writing competitions throughout her academic career.

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