Saturday, September 25, 2010

The real Wild Horses I

I think I've made it fairly clear that American Mustangs aren’t actually wild horses and are actually feral horses descended from domesticated animals that escaped and adapted to life in the wild. There is a few known surviving wild hoses species today one of which is Przewalski's Horse. Unlike the American Mustangs, Przewalski's Horse has never been successfully domesticated and remains a truly wild animal to this day. Other wild equines, include three species of zebra and various subspecies of the African wild ass, onager and kiang.

Przewalski's Horse occupied the eastern Eurasian steppes, perhaps from the Urals to Mongolia, although the ancient border between Tarpan and Przewalski distributions has not been clearly defined. Przewalski's Horse was limited to Dzungaria and western Mongolia in the same period, became extinct in the wild during the 1960s, but was re-introduced in the late 1980s to two preserves in Mongolia. Although researchers such as Marija Gimbutas theorized that the horses of the Chalcolithic period were Przewalski's, more recent genetic studies indicate that Przewalski's Horse is not an ancestor to modern domesticated horses.Przewalski's Horse is still found today, though it is an endangered species and for a time was considered extinct in the wild. Roughly 1500 Przewalski's Horses are protected in zoos around the world.

A small breeding population has been reintroduced in Mongolia.As of 2005, a cooperative venture between the Zoological Society of London and Mongolian Scientists has resulted in a free-ranging population of 248 animals in the wild.Przewalski's Horse has some biological differences from the domestic horse; unlike domesticated horses and the Tarpan, which both have 64 chromosomes, Przewalski's Horse has 66 chromosomes due to a Robertsonian translocation. However, the offspring of Przewalski and domestic horses are fertile, possessing 65 chromosomes.

Conservation Staus:

Critically Endangered (IUCN 3.1)

Przewalski's Horse is stockily built in comparison to domesticated horses, with shorter legs. Typical height is about 13 hands (52 inches, 132 cm), length is about 2.1 m (6 ft 11 in). They weigh around 300 kilograms (660 lb). The coat is generally dun in color with pangare features, varying from dark brown around the mane (which stands erect) to pale brown on the flanks and yellowish-white on the belly and around the muzzle. The legs of Przewalski's Horse are often faintly striped, also typical of primitive markings. The tail is about 90 cm (35.43 in) long, with a longer dock and shorter hair than seen in domesticated horses.

Where are they? The world population of these horses are all descended from 9 of the 31 horses in captivity in 1945.These nine horses were mostly descended from approximately 15 captured around 1900. A cooperative venture between the Zoological Society of London and Mongolian scientists has resulted in successful reintroduction of these horses from zoos into their natural habitat in Mongolia; and as of 2005 there is a free-ranging population of 248 animals in the wild. The total number of these horses according to a 2005 census was about 1,500.

Other names for Przewalski's Horse:

Equus ferus przewalskii
Mongolian: Тахь
simplified Chinese: 野马
traditional Chinese: 野馬
Dzungarian Horse

1 comment:

  1. I have seen them at the San Diego Zoo and been very impressed by their beauty and hardiness.