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john hawks weblog

paleoanthropology, genetics and evolution

Photo Credit: Takin in Bhutan. Ktatpong.

Link: The underrated takin

This is a fun article on an underappreciated mammal: “Meet the Takin: The Largest Mammal You’ve Never Heard Of”.

The takin is adapted to its mountainous environment in Asia. While its range includes many countries – including parts of India, Bhutan and Myanmar – most naturalists and hard-core mammal watchers encounter the species in China. Strangely enough, there it shares its range with one of the most beloved and well-known of large mammals, the giant panda. In fact, one of the first documented instances of a giant panda eating meat is trail camera footage of one of the fuzzy critters noshing on a takin carcass.

The fossil record of takin in China goes back to the Pliocene, with a number of fossil representatives in the Pleistocene of central China.