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A-Z Animals - Animal Facts, Images and Resources A-Z Animals - Animal Facts, Images and Resources A-Z Animals - Animal Facts, Images and Resources

Animals >>

Donkey


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A donkey in Dana Biosphere Reserve, Jordan
Donkey
African Donkey, Equus asinus, picture taken in Tanzania
Donkey
Donkey
Donkeys were supposedly domesticated around 5000 years ago in the north east of Africa from the Somali wild ass. The domestication if donkeys soon spread across the globe, with people mainly using the donkeys to help carry heavy loads and transport goods long distances. They are anatomically normal and show normal breeding behavior, so hybrids should be gelded as early as possible to avoid studdy behavior.

The majority of donkeys today still do the same burdening tasks that the donkeys did thousands of years ago, in a similar way to the pack-mules in the Asian mountains that transport burdening goods through the mountain passes.

Despite the obvious similarities between a donkey and a horse, a donkey-horse offspring (mule) will always be infertile, due to a genetic malfunction that occurs when two different species mate. This is also the case when different species of asses interbreed, such as the onager and the Somali wild ass. Even though they are in the same genus taxonomically, the hybrid offspring of two species of ass will have sterile offspring.

Wild donkeys have adapted to living in near desert environments and because of this, donkeys have very hardy immune and digestive systems. This allows the donkey to be able to process and gain nutrition from vegetation that many other species of animal have great difficulty gaining any nutrition from.

There are thought to be more than 44 million donkeys found throughout the world, with around 11 million of these donkeys found in China. Scientists believe that the real number of donkeys could be much higher than this as many donkeys go unaccounted for.

Donkeys are said to have a relatively stubborn temperament but once the owner of the donkey has gained the donkeys trust, the donkey is extremely loyal and a good friend. Donkeys are not truly stubborn; they are very good at taking care of themselves. Their self preservation instincts are strong. They will refuse to proceed if they sense danger or if they are overburdened. They pass this valuable trait on to the mule. Donkeys are also thought to have a calming affect over distressed horses and donkeys are often put into fields with horses as they make great companions for them.


Donkey Comments (6)

Anonymous

"This helped me with a project that i had to do on donkeys,thanks!"

Chloe McCoy

"Donkeys aren't my only fav.animal I love all the A-Z animals"

spruce

"nice i got an a+ on my test now i loved the facts"

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Donkey Translations

Bulgarian български език
Магаре
 
Catalan Català
Ase
 
Czech Cesky
Osel africký
 
English English
Donkey
 
Esperanto Esperanto
Azeno
 
Spanish Español
Burro
 
Finnish Suomi
Aasi
 
French Français
Âne
 
Croatian Hrvatski
Magarac
 
Italian Italiano
Asino / Somaro / Ciuco
 
Japanese 日本語
ロバ
 
Dutch Nederlands
Ezel
 
Polish Polski
Osioł domowy
 
Portuguese Português
Asno,Burro
 
Romanian Româna
Măgar
 
Turkish Türkçe
Eşek
 
Chinese 中文

 

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Donkey Facts

Kingdom:
Five groups that classify all living things...
Animalia
Phylum:
A group of animals within the animal kingdom...
Chordata
Class:
A group of animals within a pylum...
Mammalia
Order:
A group of animals within a class...
Perissodactyla
Family:
A group of animals within an order...
Equidae
Genus:
A group of animals within a family...
Equus
Scientific Name:
Comprised of the genus followed by the species...
Equus Asinus
Type:
The animal group that the species belongs to...
Mammal
Diet:
What kind of foods the animal eats...
Herbivore
Size (H):
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is...
90cm - 130cm (35in - 51in)
Weight:
The measurement of how heavy the animal is...
200kg - 258kg (441lbs - 570lbs)
Top Speed:
The fastest recorded speed of the animal...
24km/h (15mph)
Life Span:
How long the animal lives for...
15 - 30 years
Lifestyle:
Whether the animal is solitary or sociable...
Herd
Conservation Status:
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct...
Threatened
Colour:
The colour of the animal's coat or markings...
Grey, Brown, Black
Skin Type:
The protective layer of the animal...
Fur
Favourite Food:Grass
Habitat:
The specific area where the animal lives...
Arid forests and deserts
Average Litter Size:
The average number of babies born at once...
1
Main Prey:
The food that the animal gains energy from...
Grass, Weeds, Vegetables
Predators:
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal...
Fox, Wolf, Lion
Distinctive Features:
Characteristics unique to the animal...
Stocky body and hee-haw sounds

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ZorseZorse
The offspring of a Zebra and Horse parents!