Its nearest relatives appear to be the serows of the outer Himalaya and the Malay countries, which are in many respects intermediate between goats and antelopes, but it is not improbably also related to the musk-ox.
In height a bull musk-ox stands about 5 ft.
The epoch was characterized by cold wet climate, by the supposed existence of Man of the Olom type, that is, nearly as dolichocephalous as the Neanderthal type, but with superciliary ridges flat, and frontal bones high, and by the occurrence of the musk-ox, the horse, the cave-bear, Rhinoceros tichorhinus and the mammoth.
As already stated, there is a possibility of this latter ruminant being allied both to the takin and the musk-ox.
In common with an allied ruminant from the same district, previously described as Euceratherium, it seems probable that Preptoceras is related on the one hand to the musk-ox, and on the other to the Asiatic takin, while it is also supposed to have affinities with the sheep. If these extinct forms really serve to connect the takin with the musk-ox, their systematic importance will be very great.
The skull, which is probably that of a female, differs from the ordinary musk-ox by the much smaller and shorter horn-cores, which are widely separated in the middle line of the skull, where there is a groove-like depression running the whole length of the forehead.