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8 Fun Facts on the Yak

Updated on November 25, 2009
  1. There are two types of yaks – The wild yak and the domestic yak. The domestic Yak is smaller and its coat is less furry, but more diverse in color than the wild yak. The domestic yak is used for fur, meat and transportation. The wild yak is much larger and its fur is much longer and shaggier than the domestic yak. A large population of domestic yak remains, but wild yak are few due to loss of their habitat and extensive hunting.
  2. The yak lives in a highly elevated habitat – The yak lives in Tibet and parts of China. It can survive in the Himalayas at an altitude as high as 20,000 feet, which is the highest elevation of any mammal’s habitat. They are able to live at such high altitudes because they have a large lung capacity allowing them to inhale lots of oxygen.

A Yak
A Yak

3. The yak has an internal heater – The yak’s digestive system allows food to digest at a temperature of 104 degrees F, keeping it warm even in extremely cold conditions. This is just one of the many ways that yaks are able to survive in their very cold habitats, which is addressed in the next fact.

Yak in a bath
Yak in a bath

4. The yak likes a cold bath– Apart from the yak’s inner heater, it has developed many ways of braving the cold and is able to withstand temperatures of – 40 degrees F. At this temperature, the yak has even been seen bathing in lakes and rivers. The yak’s warm coat provides insulation through a thick outer coating of long hair and a dense inner coating of matted, shorter fur.

5. Don’t fight a yak – The yak has very large, thick horns that can reach a length of 40 inches in male yaks. These horns are primarily used to break through thick ice and dig beneath snow in order to obtain the foliage found underneath it. The horns can also be used as a fighting mechanism, in which the yak will move his head from side to side, wielding his horns at the enemy.

Yak Cheese
Yak Cheese

6. Yak Cheese is good for you – yak cheese contains high levels of healthy fats including conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and omega-3 fatty acids, but has a reduced total fat content when compared to cheese made from cow milk such as cheddar cheese. This is due to the yak’s food intake of grasses and shrubs, which are a better source of fatty-acids than industrial grain. Plus, yak cheese tastes really good!

7.Yak Dung is used as fuel – It is very hard to accumulate wood in the high mountains of the Himalayas and the government protects many of the wooded areas that do exist. Therefore, Sherpa villagers routinely gather yak dung from trails in order to fuel fires. The dung is dried into patties and then placed into customary small iron stoves. Surprisingly, the dung does not smell and is able to achieve very hot temperatures.

8. Yaks are huge creatures – The male wild yak can reach up to 6.5 feet high at the shoulder and can weigh as much as 2200 pounds. Wild female yaks are up to a third of the male’s size. Domestic male yaks are much smaller in size and weigh up to 1,300 pounds while domestic female yaks weigh up to 560 pounds.

A Short Educational Video on the Yak


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    • profile image

      KP AWESOME 15 months ago

      This was awesome you really explained yaks 2 me

    • profile image

      Gustavo 3 years ago

      Hi Dwaye,There's a lot of value with your videos. Great job of lynaig out the core concepts of keyword research. People that need to learn more about these concepts are sure to benefit from this high value lesson!All the best,Jim Jinright

    • profile image

      afreen 4 years ago

      its too bad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • profile image

      divya 5 years ago

      nice and simple

    • profile image

      it sukes 5 years ago

      it sukes

    • profile image

      kelly 5 years ago

      this is amasing

    • profile image

      kinjal 5 years ago

      i am learning about yak

    • profile image

      imani 5 years ago

      wow i was teaching some kids in kindergratering;they were learning about yak

    • profile image

      lisa 5 years ago

      When i read these facts about yaks i learned so much.

    • profile image

      jjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjj 6 years ago

      what is this i thought these facts were about when it was traveling along the silk road fuke

    • profile image

      batshala rijal 6 years ago

      as Iam in class 5.In rato bangala,nepals no.1 school,and as we grade 5 have to study about yaks,Itook Information from here,and it was so useful.Iwould really want to thank google. thanks

    • profile image

      theYakRanch 7 years ago

      Great Post! If you want to find out what people are saying about how yak meat tastes, go here:

    • mercon profile image

      mercon 8 years ago

      good article, probably I'll bookmark this hub

      thx :)

    • Eastern Rainbow profile image

      Eastern Rainbow 8 years ago


      You have some good articles! Thanks!

      I just became your fan.

      I just joined here 2 weeks ago. And I love it here!

      Be Blessed.

      hope you fan me too

    • profile image

      babbu 8 years ago

      good post

    • ainehannah profile image

      Aine O'Connor 8 years ago from Dublin

      indubitably awesome :0)

    • Peter Dickinson profile image

      Peter Dickinson 8 years ago from South East Asia

      Extra little fact for you. A hybrid between a Yak bull and a domestic cow is known as a Dzo. A very useful three letter word with a high score when playing scrabble. Nice Hub. Thank you. I only ever worked with one evil tempered beast.

    • hannahz profile image

      hannahz 8 years ago from Los Angeles

      Thank you for the comments. Wow ginnybass, thanks for sharing your experience with tasting a wild yak!

    • profile image

      ginnybass 8 years ago

      While living in Outer Monglia in 1998, a Mongolian friend stopped by with a leg of Yak! It was actually the hind quarter of awild yak they had hunted in the countryside. Tasted a lot like beef. We put it in stew.

    • Carl "Fitness" profile image

      Carl "Fitness" 8 years ago from Boston, MA

      I must admint I was skeptical about how interesting 8 fun yak facts could be, but I'm glad I read it -- Awesome Hub. AND very interesting!

    • hannahz profile image

      hannahz 8 years ago from Los Angeles

      I have never tasted yak cheese, but am very interested in trying it! I agree, I think that yaks need more attention as well...! I don't know if it's possible to make them more glamorous

    • bengriston profile image

      bengriston 8 years ago

      Yaks are pretty interesting but their lack of glamour keeps them from getting much attention.

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Hehe thanks for this hub. Do you know the only time I can say YAK is during the times we teach the kids the letter Y. LOL Y as in yak...Y as in yoyo. LOL

      Enjoyed your hub and congratulations for your Hubnugget Nomination. Do check it out by visiting this link: Let the world know about Yak and yak cheese and yak dung and all! Enjoy the Hubnugets!

    • emievil profile image

      emievil 8 years ago from Philippines

      Congratulations on your Hubnugget Wannabe. This is a great hub. Just wondering - have you ever tasted Yak cheese? :)

    • profile image

      scrabblemomma 8 years ago

      Have you ever eaten a yak burger. They are really yakky

    • profile image

      Duchess OBlunt 8 years ago

      Great information hannahz.

      Congratulations of your HubNugget Wannabe Nomination

    • hannahz profile image

      hannahz 8 years ago from Los Angeles

      That would be fabulous, thanks for the info magic eraser...also is that a Shiba Inu in your profile picture, that might be my next animal topic! They are so cute!

    • magic eraser profile image

      magic eraser 8 years ago

      Do you know about the Vermont Yak Company? Maybe you can get one as a pet! yak! yak!

    • hannahz profile image

      hannahz 8 years ago from Los Angeles

      my most loyal fans!

    • profile image

      PandaP 8 years ago

      Most awesome.

    • SamtotheSkillz profile image

      SamtotheSkillz 8 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Nice post!