February 25, 2004

The Takin , with its dignified sidewhiskers and sometimes small, inadequate-looking horns, may have been the source of the Golden Fleece; contrary to the general belief, it is probably not related to the musk ox. They have no sweat glands but 'their entire body secretes an oily, strong smelling substance that is said to have a burning taste' ('said to have'? - isn't it part of a zoologist's job to taste the bodily secretions of ungulates??).

In the San Diego, and more recently, St Louis Zoos, it has produced cute woolly offspring, but in the wild it is considered vulnerable or endangered, depending on the sub-species. Luckily the Chinese regard it as a national treasure, and it is fully protected. But you can shoot it - ?

  • You fucked the first link up. But I forgive you.
  • I have failed most egregiously and my entire body secretes an oily, strong smelling substance.
  • for the record: i am a zoologist, but i do not regularly taste the secretions of every ungulate that crosses my path. given the choice, i'd turn down a large percentage of the possible secretions. (um, yeah. i pretty much draw the line at milk. anything other than that, i don't want to know about it, or about how it tastes. hey, didja know yak milk is pink? really!) but, if a takin is anything like a goat, i can probably tell you how we know it tastes bad. a male goat, with horns and scent glands, exudes an odor so strong that you can practically feel it as you come near. it hits you over the head like an oily, stinking, suffocating blanket. it gets in your nose and your mouth, and lingers. if the takin's scent is anything like that, all you have to do to taste it is to walk by one and accidentally inhale through the mouth.
  • Male goats also like to piss on themselves. Or at least, mine did. He was named Steve. If I had a Takin, I would name it Grand Moff.
  • Believe wot I admire most about the takin is its huge honking honkus or big bulgy bazoot. Does it do anything out of the ordinary with its oversized olfactory apparatus?
  • Whose horns you callin' inadequate, boy?? This is banana for many reasons. First, I'd never heard of the critter, even though the Seattle zoo apparently had one once upon a time. Second, I didn't know that musk oxen were goats (Caprinae), but now I do thanks to the Ultimate Ungulate page. Third, Ultimate Ungulate is a great name in itself. Finally, any link containing "musk ox" makes me happy. Musk ox, musk ox, not very dirty... According to my wife, my entire body secretes an oily, strong smelling substance. Especially after some workouts.
  • O offal takin, stand downwind! For a goaty odire's got to goad her.
  • great post, by the way.
  • [bannana]
  • Arkive (a nice site, incidentally) has pictures of the family life of good old Budorcas plus video (Quicktime, but I think other formats are available)
  • My heart is achin' to meet a takin. Or would I have to back in to see a takin? But however 'tis with this interesting critter, I hope the Chinese won't shoot him and serve him for dinner.
  • You'd go a walkin' Beside a Takin. When I first came across the creature I thought I might make a little joke along the lines of: "Hey, it's a Takin!" "It looks perfectly peaceable to me." When I discovered the correct pronunciation, I thought I could go for: "Hey, it's a Takin!" "Well I can't a-hear anything." On reflection, I decided we could do without feeble puns. D'oh!
  • Heh! Keep a-takin to me, pleggy lad! Ta.
  • The Takin is the national animal of Bhutan, where according to legend it was put together by Drukpa Kuenley, the 'Divine Madman' who propagated his Buddhist message through jokes, alcohol, and outrageous behaviour.
  • Thanks, darling.