Skip to main content
Select Source:

yak

yak, bovine mammal, Bos grunniens, of the Tibet region of China and adjacent areas. It is oxlike in build, with short, thick legs, humped shoulders, large upcurved horns, and a thick coat that hangs down to the ankles. Wild yaks were formerly found from Kashmir to W China, but were so extensively hunted for meat and hides that they now survive only in isolated highlands at elevations above 14,000 ft (4,300 m). They live in herds numbering from 10 to 100 animals, mostly females and young led by a few old bulls; males are mostly solitary. Yaks have been domesticated in Tibet for centuries, and the domestic form has been introduced into other parts of central Asia. The wild yak may attain a shoulder height of 65 in. (165 cm) and have horns 3 ft (90 cm) long; its coat is dark brown. The domesticated yak is smaller, with short horns; its coat, which may be long enough to reach the ground, may be black, brown, reddish, piebald, or albino. Yaks can live on vegetation so sparse that it cannot support other domesticated animals. The domestic yak is a source of milk, butter, meat, hair (for cloth), and leather and is also much used as a beast of burden. Yaks are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Artiodactyla, family Bovidae.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"yak." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"yak." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 18, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/yak

"yak." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved September 18, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/yak

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

yak

yak1 / yak/ • n. a large domesticated wild ox (genus Bos) with shaggy hair, humped shoulders, and large horns, used in Tibet as a pack animal and for its milk, meat, and hide. The domesticated B. grunniens is descended from the wild B. mutus, which rarely is still found at high altitude. yak2 (also yack or yack·et·y-yak) inf. • n. [in sing.] a trivial or unduly persistent conversation. • v. (yakked , yak·king ) [intr.] talk at length about trivial or boring subjects.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"yak." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"yak." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 18, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/yak-0

"yak." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved September 18, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/yak-0

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

yak

yak Large, powerful, long-haired ox, native to Tibet, with domesticated varieties throughout central Asia; it inhabits barren heights up to 6000m (20,000ft). Domesticated varieties are generally smaller and varied in colour; they breed freely with domestic cattle. Wild yaks have coarse, black hair, except on the tail and flanks, where it hangs as a long fringe. The horns curve upward and outward. Height: to 1.8m (6ft) at the shoulder. Family Bovidae; species Bos grunniens.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"yak." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"yak." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 18, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/yak

"yak." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved September 18, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/yak

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

yak

yak bovine animal of Tibet. XIX. — Tibetan γyag.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"yak." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"yak." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 18, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/yak-1

"yak." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved September 18, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/yak-1

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

yak

yak (Bos grunniens) See BOVIDAE.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"yak." A Dictionary of Zoology. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"yak." A Dictionary of Zoology. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 18, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/yak

"yak." A Dictionary of Zoology. . Retrieved September 18, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/yak

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

yak

yakaback, alack, attack, back, black, brack, clack, claque, crack, Dirac, drack, flack, flak, hack, jack, Kazakh, knack, lack, lakh, mac, mach, Nagorno-Karabakh, pack, pitchblack, plaque, quack, rack, sac, sack, shack, shellac, slack, smack, snack, stack, tach, tack, thwack, track, vac, wack, whack, wrack, yak, Zack •cardiac • zodiac •haemophiliac (US hemophiliac), necrophiliac, sacroiliac •umiak •bibliomaniac, dipsomaniac, egomaniac, kleptomaniac, maniac, megalomaniac, monomaniac, nymphomaniac, pyromaniac •insomniac • celeriac • Syriac •hypochondriac • Mauriac • theriac •amnesiac •aphrodisiac, Dionysiac •Dayak, kayak •Kerouac • bivouac

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"yak." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"yak." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 18, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/yak

"yak." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved September 18, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/yak

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Yak

Yak

The yaks are members of the family Bovidae (oxen), order Artiodactyla, which also includes the domestic cattle and existing wild cattle species such as the aurochs and the gaur or seladang. The generally accepted species name for yak is Bos grunniens, and it seems to have an affinity to bison, which belong to the same genus Bos. Like some other Bos species the yak is a large, massive animal with stout limbs and a long tail, usually tufted at the tip. Wild yak males measure 10.5 ft (3.25 m) in head and body. The shoulder height is over 6.5 ft (2 m), and they weigh 1,800-2,200 lb (820-1,000 kg). Females are smaller, and weigh about one third as much.

Both sexes bear horns which are black and positioned quite far apart on each extremity of the top of the skull. In the male, they are larger, curving up and then down. They are approximately oval in cross-section. There are no suborbital, inguinal, or interdigital glands in yaks. The body is covered with long hair, blackish brown in color; it hangs down almost to the ground like a fringe around the lower part of the shoulders, the sides, the flanks, and the thighs. Wild yaks live on the Tibetan plateau where temperatures in winter may drop to -40° F (-40° C). The long, thick coat protects the yak from these frigid temperatures.

Domesticated yaks are smaller, have weaker horns, and may vary greatly in color: red, mottled brown, or black.

Wild yaks inhabit desolate steppes at up to 20,000 ft (6,100 m) above sea level. They are expert climbers, sure-footed and sturdy. During the relatively warmer months of August and September, wild yaks remain in high areas with permanent snow, but spend the rest of the year at lower elevations. They feed chiefly on grass, herbs, and lichens.

The females with young congregate in herds typically of 6-20 animals, but occasionally more than 100 animals. The males live alone most of the year, or in groups of not more than 12. The bulls join the herd and fight for the females when mating season begins in September. Only during that time do wild yaks make a strange grunting sound, which domesticated yaks emit all year round. After a gestation period of nine months, a single calf is born, usually in June, with births occurring every other year. The newborn becomes independent after a year, and reaches full size at six to eight years of age. Maximum life span for the wild yak is estimated at 25 years. Domesticated yaks may give birth every year. Wild yaks are classified as vulnerable by the IUCN-The World Conservation Union. They are officially protected in China, but their numbers have declined due to uncontrolled hunting. In 1995, the total wild yak population was estimated to be 15,000.

Yaks were probably domesticated during the first millennium BC, and now they are found in association with people in the high plateaus and mountains of Central Asia. They are docile and powerful, and they are surely the most useful of domesticated animals at elevation above 6,500 ft (2,000 m). The serve as mounts, beasts of burden, for milk and meat, and are also sheared for their wool. There are about 12 million domesticated yaks.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Yak." The Gale Encyclopedia of Science. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Yak." The Gale Encyclopedia of Science. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 18, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/yak-0

"Yak." The Gale Encyclopedia of Science. . Retrieved September 18, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/yak-0

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Yak

Yak

The yaks are members of the family Bovidae (oxen), order Artiodactyla, which also includes the domestic cattle and existing wild cattle species such as the aurochs, the gaur or seladang, and the koupray. The generally accepted species name for yak is Bos grunniens, and it seems to have an affinity to bison , which belong to the same genus Bos. Like some other Bos species the yak is a large, massive animal with stout limbs and a long tail, usually tufted at the tip. Wild yak males measure 10.5 ft (3.25 m) in head and body. The shoulder height is over 6.5 ft (2 m), and they weigh 1,800-2,200 lb (820-1,000 kg). Females are smaller, and weigh about one third as much.

Both sexes bear horns which are black and positioned quite far apart on each extremity of the top of the skull. In the male, they are larger, curving up and then down. They are approximately oval in cross-section. There are no suborbital, inguinal, or interdigital glands in yaks. The body is covered with long hair, blackish brown in color ; it hangs down almost to the ground like a fringe around the lower part of the shoulders, the sides, the flanks, and the thighs. Wild yaks live on the Tibetan plateau where temperatures in winter may drop to -40°F (-40°C). The long, thick coat protects the yak from these frigid temperatures.

Domesticated yaks are smaller, have weaker horns, and may vary greatly in color: red, mottled brown, or black.

Wild yaks inhabit desolate steppes at up to 20,000 ft (6,100 m) above sea level . They are expert climbers, sure-footed and sturdy. During the relatively warmer months of August and September, wild yaks remain in high areas with permanent snow, but spend the rest of the year at lower elevations. They feed chiefly on grass, herbs, and lichens .

The females with young congregate in large herds up to 1,000 animals. The males live alone most of the year, or in groups of not more than 12. The bulls join the herd and fight for the females when mating season begins in September. Only during that time do wild yaks make a strange grunting sound, which domesticated yaks emit all year round. After a gestation period of nine months, a single calf is born, usually in June, with births occurring every other year. The newborn becomes independent after a year, and reaches full size at six to eight years of age. Maximum life span for the wild yak is estimated at 25 years. Domesticated yaks may give birth every year. Wild yaks are classified as endangered by IUCN-The World Conservation Union. They are officially protected in China, but their numbers have declined due to uncontrolled hunting.

Yaks were probably domesticated during the first millennium b.c., and now they are found in association with people in the high plateaus and mountains of Central Asia . They are docile and powerful, and they are surely the most useful of domesticated animals at elevation above 6,500 ft (2,000 m). The serve as mounts, beasts of burden, for milk and meat, and are also sheared for their wool. There are about 12 million domesticated yaks, but perhaps no more than a few hundred wild ones.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Yak." The Gale Encyclopedia of Science. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Yak." The Gale Encyclopedia of Science. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 18, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/yak

"Yak." The Gale Encyclopedia of Science. . Retrieved September 18, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/yak

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.