Comments:A Turk.-Tung. isogloss. Palatalized *-ń- in TM is a secondary assimilation result. The root must have denoted some wild predator. It is tempting to compare similar forms in Mong. and Jpn., denoting some (mythical?) aquatic predator: PJ *bàni 'crocodile', WMong. (БАМРС) banuqai 'a rare aquatic creature, dwelling in water during daytime and on the shore during nighttime' - but the semantic change seems too far-fetched.