Domestic Yaks Wild Yaks

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Domestic Yaks Wild Yaks - Origin

 Domestic Yaks Wild Yaks - Pictures
Fryer Yak Farm in Kooskia
Yaks (Bos grunniens) are native to high mountains of Tibet and Asia. The first Yaks were domesticated about 900-1000 B.C. in Tibet and have always been the most useful domestic animals at high elevations, above 14,000 feet. There are five types of Yaks: black, trims (black with white trim), royal (black and white pied with a white face), golden, and wooly. Only a few hundred wild Yaks remain; domestic animals number about 12 million.

Domestic Yaks Wild Yaks - Habitat

Wild Yaks inhabit treeless uplands, including plains, hills, and mountains from as low as 3,200 m up to the limit of vegetation at 5,500 m. On alpine and desert steppe Yaks are scarce, reaching the greatest abundance on alpine meadows. Their density ranges from 13 sq km/yak to 100 sq km/yak.

Domestic Yaks Wild Yaks - Adaptations

 Domestic Yaks Wild Yaks - Pictures
Carolynn Creek Ranch
Yaks can climb as high as 20,000 feet and can be successfully raised at very low elevations. Yaks are very efficient food-converting animals and do well on a variety of pastures with no supplemental feed required. The Yak grazes on grasses, herbs, and lichens. In winter Yaks eat poor coarse grass, withered leaves and twigs, and quench the thirst with snow and ice. They are sure-footed climbers.

Yaks possess great lung capacity. Even their blood cells are designed for high elevations - they are half the size of those of cattle, and three times more numerous, increasing the blood capacity to carry oxygen. The dense coat enables Yaks to successfully survive temperatures as low as -40 deg C. Yaks' respiratory rate increases with heat and low altitudes and decreases at higher cooler climates.

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