Friday, April 29, 2016

Y is for Yak

The yak is in the same family as cattle, oxen, bison and buffalo. They are very large animals standing up to 7 ft. at the shoulder and can weigh over 2,000 pounds. Females are about one third the size of males. 

They have long, shaggy fur which helps to keep them warm. They also have thick, sharp horns that are useful for breaking through snow to get to the food below. Of course they are also used in self defence.

Yaks live at elevations up to 18,000 ft. where there are mountains and plateaus. They love the thick grassy areas and also eat flowers and herbs. They are herd animals with up to 100 in a group made up mostly of females and the young ones with only a few males.

They can be found in Tibet and in the southern part of central Asia in the Himalaya area. There may also be some living in Russia and Mongolia. There really are not many wild yaks today. 

Most yaks are domesticated and can be used for pulling heavy farm machinery. They also are kept for meat, milk, butter and fiber. Even their droppings are dried and used for fuel. They are also useful for carrying loads through the mountain passes as shown by the picture above.

Yaks can walk soon after they are born. They are weaned and become independent at the age of 1 year but are not full grown until they reach the age of 7 or 8. Their life span is about 20 years.

You can find more information at Wikipedia and a-z animals.

This is Day 25 in the A to Z Blogging Challenge. Only one more day to go!

I'm also linking up with #LiteracyMusingMondays.

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