Yaks (Bos grunniens) are woolly, shaggy large mammals with a pair of horns. They have cloven feet and they are members of the bovine family, making them related to cattle, bison, buffalo, and others.
Oddly enough, a Yak makes an appearance in the movie short, Book of Dragons, and is being shoed. In actuality, Yaks are not shoed like horses and have cloven feet, not a single, hooved toe like horses.
Yaks are not native to Scandinavia. They live in central Asia in the Himalayas and have been domesticated for thousands of years in this region.
Yaks are quiet, peaceful animals that were terribly afraid of dragons when they invaded Berk. These large mammals are often found slowly grazing grass on Berk. They do not have many talents or abilities, however, they are known to be able to run at fast speeds when escaping danger. When they fall down, they are unable to stand up again. This makes them an easy target for dragons to hunt.
Yaks appear as a substitute for cows and bulls in the How to Train Your Dragon Franchise. They are farmed for their milk, meat, and hides, as well as beasts of burden and pets.
The meat of the Yak may technically be called "Beef", as Beef is the meat of "cattle". Cattle most often refer to (Bos taurus), but can sometimes refer to other domesticated bovine species, such as yaks. However, the Vikings tend to refer to the beef as "Yak meat".
|“||Cattle, domesticated bovine farm animals that are raised for their meat, milk, or hides or for draft purposes. The animals most often included under the term are the Western or European domesticated cattle as well as the Indian and African domesticated cattle. However, certain other bovids such as the Asian water buffalo, the Tibetan yak, the gayal and banteng of Southeast Asia, and the plains bison of North America have also been domesticated or semi-domesticated and are sometimes considered to be cattle.||”|
|— "Encyclopædia Britannica"|
Yak and yak products are used as food and drink extensively, such as:
- Yak bacon
- Yak butter
- Yak butter parfait
- Yak chops with a light dusting of paprika-infused wheatgrass
- Yak jerky
- Yak milk
- Yak noodle soup
- Yak stew
- Yak dung tea
|“||Fishlegs has cooked up a popular stew for dragons. Time to restock!||”|
|— School of Dragons|
Milk can also be used in medicine, as seen in a School of Dragons Farm Job asking for yak milk, Toothache Plant, and Arctic Poppy to treat a dragon's toothache. Another Farm job mentions Ruffnut using yak milk as a hair treatment, which is done in real-life with cow's milk. In Dragons: Rise of Berk, milk is an antidote for the venom of a Tide Glider named Grim Slipsmolder.
It is mentioned within the franchise several times that dragons enjoy yak milk when it is concocted into a stew along with concentrated amounts of Dragon Nip.
Presumably, other parts are used such as their bones and horns, as well. Their whole heads might be mounted on the wall as decoration. The Jorgensons have a pet yak named Yakkity.
In actuality, in addition to the above, they are also used for riding and sport.
Yaks are seen very nominally in this movie short. One is seen being shoed by Bork the Bold, as he tried out Blacksmithing as a career.
Yaks are introduced in episode one, "How to Start a Dragon Academy", running away from dragons in the background.
In "Animal House" there was a terrible blizzard. Yaks and other animals were returning to Berk village with the Dragon Riders, but as they could not see well, the gang got lost. Terrified of dragons, the animals ran away. Hiccup and the gang then captured them all and the yaks overcame their fear.
While attempting to figure out what substance was causing Fishlegs' allergies in "Big Man on Berk", Ruffnut and Tuffnut placed itchy yak fur on his face. However, Fishlegs only claimed that the feeling of the fur reminded him of his aunt Gerta. Later on, in the same episode, Thor Bonecrusher saved a yak calf from falling off a cliff by jumping in front of it, pinching it, and causing it to sleep.
A stuffed yak is one of the many things seen in Snotlout and Tuffnut’s clubhouse cave in “Maces and Talons, Part 2”.
|“||Those are yak chops. The other, other white meat.||”|
Ruffnut's and Tuffnut's stuffed yak appears briefly in the episode "Follow the Leader" when the Twins use it as target practice with the Monstrous Nightmare gel reserves.
|“||Yes. Yak barf. Yak lice. Yak nose. Yak breath. Rocks. Water. Trees.||”|
In the episode, "A Gruff Separation", the Twins compete against each other for the Thorston Induction Trials. Each is doing it for the benefit of the other, but unbeknownst to them. Tuffnut does not want Ruffnut to become "some middle-aged cow", devoid of family connection. "Cow" usually refers to cattle (Bos Taurus), but is also a term for any female Bovine.
There is also the building "Yak Farm" a player places on Berk to increase their Viking population and advance in the Game.
Yak milk is mentioned as a cure for Slipsmolder's poison.
In the games, School of Dragons, the player has a farm with various crops and livestock to raise and harvest. Yak are one of the animals a player can purchase and harvest milk from. There are various Farm Jobs which require Yak milk for completion. There are also other Quests relating to Yaks - for example, the quest "Scrubbed Clean: Part 1" requires the player to obtain Yak tallow (rendered fat) for soap-making. Yak Noodle Soup is mentioned in the Quest "What a Mess!". Astrid asks the player to help make Yaknog in the Quest "Time for Togetherness". Two yaks pulling a cart of supplies appear in "The Simplest of Machines".
In 2018, School of Dragons released three painted Yak variations for Dreadfall. Each had a skeletal motif on their bodies in either orange, blue, or green.
In the "Hidden World" Expansion, Gobber uses a sayings involving yaks:
|“||Making a deadly weapon is just like riding a yak: you might get gored but you never forget.||”|
|“||Caution is advised around even these gentlest of dragons: Stocky Snafflefangs often forget that they're the size of a full-grown yak and that the average Viking can't support the weight of their hugs!||”|
|— Dragons: Titan Uprising|
Yaks are mentioned in this game in the Stocky Snafflefangs' description.
|“||Hard-headed as a yak with a helmet on, them. [src]||”|
Yaks are also mentioned in the Tricky Timberjacks' description.
|“||Mountain Nightmares prefer to nest high in the wintery peaks of the Frozen Tundra, where they hunt Yak along the steep cliffs.||”|
|— Dragons: Titan Uprising|
|“||The stubborn Dragon, however, has not learned from these chokings, and can be found swallowing whole yaks at a time without a single bite of chewing||”|
|— Dragons: Titan Uprising|
Yaks are also mentioned in Deathlout's description.
- There is a breed of cattle called the "Scottish Highland" that roughly resembles the yaks in the franchise. They are dual-purpose cattle with wide horns and long shaggy coats.
- The word yak is used in some common phrases such as when Fishlegs says "...let's not start slapping our yaks quite yet.." in Dragons: Race to the Edge.
- Domestic Yak on Wikipedia
- Highland cattle on Wikipedia
- Beef on Wikipedia
- Encyclopedia Brittanica - Cattle
|Yak uses Creative Commons Licensed content from the Rise of Berk Wiki page Journey. The list of authors can be found on the page revision history (view authors).|
|Yak uses Creative Commons Licensed content from the Rise of Berk Wiki page Yak Farm. The list of authors can be found on the page revision history (view authors).|
|Yak uses Creative Commons Licensed content from the Dreamworks School of Dragons Wiki page Farming. The list of authors can be found on the page revision history (view authors).|
|Yak uses Creative Commons Licensed content from the Dreamworks School of Dragons Wiki page Scrubbed Clean: Part 1. The list of authors can be found on the page revision history (view authors).|