AskDefine | Define serow

Dictionary Definition

serow n : short-horned dark-coated goat antelope of mountain areas of southern and southeastern Asia

User Contributed Dictionary





  1. Any of several species of Asian ungulates of the genus Nemorhaedus.

Extensive Definition

The serows are six species of small goat-like or antilope-like mammals of the genus Capricornis.
All six species of serow were until recently also classified under Naemorhedus, which now only contains the gorals. They live in central or eastern Asia.
Like their smaller relatives the gorals, serows are often found grazing on rocky hills, though typically at a lower elevation when the two types of animal share territory. Serows are the slower and less agile than members of the genus Nemorhaedus, but they are nevertheless able to climb slopes to escape predation or to take shelter during cold winters or hot summers. Serows, unlike gorals, make use of their pre-orbital glands in scent marking.
Coloration varies by species, region, and individual. Both sexes have beards and small horns which are often shorter than their ears.
Fossils of serow-like animals date as far back as the late Pliocene, two to seven million years ago. The other members of the Caprinae family may have evolved from these creatures.


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