serow n : short-horned dark-coated goat antelope of mountain areas of southern and southeastern Asia
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.
- The Japanese Serow, Capricornis crispus, is found on the islands of Honshū, Kyūshū, and Shikoku.
- The Taiwan Serow, Capricornis swinhoei, is native to Taiwan.
- The Mainland Serow, Capricornis sumatraensis, the largest of the six species, inhabits areas from Nepal to the Gansu province of China to Sumatra and the Malay Peninsula.
- The Chinese Serow, Capricornis milneedwardsii
- The Red Serow, Capricornis rubidus
- The Himalayan Serow, Capricornis thar
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.