Linzey, Donald W. Wytheville Community College, Wytheville, Virginia.
Last reviewed:June 2021
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A member (Bos grunniens or Bos mutus) of the mammalian cattle family Bovidae in the order Artiodactyla. Yaks are artiodactyl mammals belonging to the cattle family Bovidae. The domesticated form is known as Bos grunniens (see illustration). It is considered by most taxonomists to be a separate species from the wild yak, known as Bos mutus. In general, yaks have been domesticated for at least several hundred years. They are powerful animals, yet docile. Above 2000 m (6560 ft), yaks are the most useful domestic mammal. They are used for meat and milk production, as a mount, and as a beast of burden. The hair is used for making cloth and tents, the dung is used as fuel, and the tail serves as a flybrush. See also: Artiodactyla; Domestication; Hair; Milk
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