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.
What does a donkey look like?
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. Donkeys are adapted to marginal desert lands, and have many traits that are unique to the species as a result. Wild donkeys live separated from each other, unlike tight wild horse and feral horse herds. Donkeys have developed very loud vocalizations, which help keep in contact with other donkeys over the wide spaces of the desert.
Where do donkeys live?
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.
What does a Donkey eat?
Donkeys are grazing animals, just like horses. In the wild, they mainly graze on grass. However, they also eat straw, tree leaves, bark, some flowers and brambles.
What is special about the Donkey?
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.
How many variations of donkeys are there?
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.
Did you know these donkey facts?
Donkeys were domesticated around the same time as horses (3,000 BC).
Only 1.7% of donkey pregnancies result in twins being born. Both twins only survive in 14% of those cases.
China has the larges population of donkeys- over 11 million.
A few donkeys are raised for their milk.
Zebras and donkeys can mate together. Their offspring is called a zonkey, zebroid or zebret.
The term ‘donkey’ is sometimes used to describe bad poker players! The term is also used in England to describe horses that never win horse races!
The Greek word (the language the New Testament was written in) for ‘donkey’ appears in the Bible over 100 times.
Download free Donkey wallpapers, click on the image to open the large version.
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Donkey coloring pages
Download free Donkey coloring pages, click on the image to open the large version.