The takin is one of the larger and stockier of the goat antelopes. Short legs are supported on large, two-toed hooves, which have a highly developed spur (4) (5). The large head is made more distinctive by the long, arched nose, and stout horns that are ridged at the base and can reach 64 centimetres in length (4). The long shaggy coat is light in colour, with a dark stripe along the back (4), and males (bulls) also have a dark face (5). Four subspecies of takin are currently recognised, and these tend to show a variation in coat colour. The legend of the 'golden fleece', searched for by Jason and the Argonauts (2), may have been inspired by the lustrous coat of the golden takin (B. t. bedfordi) (5). Rather than localised scent glands, the takin has an oily, strong-smelling substance secreted over the whole body (5).
- Length: 1.7 - 2.2 m (2)
- Shoulder height: 1 - 1.3 m (2)
- up to 350 kg (2)