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Donkey

A donkey in Dana Biosphere Reserve, JordanDonkeyDonkeyDonkey at Jimmys FarmAfrican Donkey, Equus asinus, picture taken in TanzaniaDonkey
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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: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

Donkey Location

Map of Donkey Locations

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 Translations

български език
Магаре
Català
Ase
Cesky
Osel africký
English
Donkey
Esperanto
Azeno
Español
Burro
Suomi
Aasi
Français
Âne
Hrvatski
Magarac
Italiano
Asino / Somaro / Ciuco
日本語
ロバ
Nederlands
Ezel
Polski
Osioł domowy
Português
Asno,Burro
Româna
Măgar
Türkçe
Eşek
中文

Donkey Comments

lillian
"I love donkeys"
ava
"donkeys are so cute"
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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First Published: 10th November 2008, Last Updated: 9th January 2017 [View Sources]

Sources:
1. David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2008) Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 10 Nov 2008]
2. David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2011]
3. David W. Macdonald, Oxford University Press (2010) The Encyclopedia Of Mammals [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2010]
4. Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 10 Nov 2008]
5. Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2009]
6. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 10 Nov 2008]

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