Other Free Encyclopedias » Animal Life Resource » Mammals » Zebras Horses and Asses: Equidae - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Grevy's Zebra (equus Grevyi): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, EQUIDS AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION STATUS

Zebras Horses and Asses: Equidae - Przewalski's Horse (equus Caballus Przewalskii): Species Accounts

accessed july wild short

Physical characteristics: This horse stands 4 to 4.8 feet (1.2 to 1.5 meters) tall and weighs around 772 pounds (350 kilograms). Its legs are rather short while the head is large. During summertime, the coat is short and reddish brown, a color also known as "dun." The hairs grow thicker and longer during the winter to provide insulation from the cold. The mane is short and stands straight up, and the top of the tail has short hairs. The muzzle is white with gray around the nostrils.


Geographic range: Przewalski's horse is considered Extinct in the Wild, but has been reintroduced in certain areas of Mongolia.


Habitat: Like the kiang, this horse lives in grassland and steppe regions. It was last seen in the steppes of the Gobi desert.


Diet: Przewalski's horse eats whatever grasses are available.


Behavior and reproduction: These horses form a stable family composed of one male, numerous females, and their offspring. Other males form what is called "bachelor" groups.

Przewalski's wild horse spends the majority of the day foraging for food. (© Tom McHugh/Photo Researchers, Inc. Reproduced by permission.)

After 340 days of pregnancy, females deliver a single foal, usually in April, May, or June. Foals are weaned (removed from mothers' milk) around six to eight months and are ready to breed around the age of two years. Wolves are the primary predators of Przewalski's horse, and it is believed they live to an average age of twenty years.


Przewalski's horse and people: This horse is of great significance to the people of Mongolia as it is their national symbol.


Conservation status: Listed as Extinct in the Wild, though reintroduction into Mongolia has begun. They became extinct due to overhunting, capture by zoos, and loss of habitat. Today, reintroduction is difficult because there are so few left that genetic diversity (variation of genes that create distinct differences within a species) is nearly gone. ∎

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Books:

Dines, Lisa. American Mustang Guidebook: History, Behavior, and State-by-State Directions on Where to Best View America's Wild Horses. Minocqua, WI: Willow Creek Press, Inc., 2001.

Draper, Judith. The Book of Horses and Horse Care. New York: Barnes & Noble, 2003.

Shah, Anup. The Circle of Life: Wildlife on the African Savannah. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 2003.

Periodicals:

Meadows, Robin. "An Equid Primer." Zoogoer (September/October 1997). Online at http://natzoo.si.edu/Publications/ZooGoer/1997/5/equidprimer.cfm (accessed July 9, 2004).

Moretti, Laura. "Mestengo. Mustang. Misfit." Animals' Voice Online at http://www.animalsvoice.com/PAGES/features/horses1.html (accessed July 9, 2004).

Web sites:

Ballenger, L., and P. Myers. "Family Equidae." Animal Diversity Web. http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Equidae.html (accessed July 9, 2004).

"Grevy's Zebra." Saint Louis Zoo. http://www.stlzoo.org/animals/abouttheanimals/mammals/hoofedmammals/grevyszebra.htm (accessed on July 9, 2004).

"How Do a Zebra's Stripes Act As Camouflage?" How Stuff Works. http://science.howstuffworks.com/question454.htm (accessed July 9, 2004).

"Nature: Horses." Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/horses/ (accessed on July 9, 2004).

"Nature: Wild Horses of Mongolia." Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/mongolia/ (accessed July 9, 2004).

"Przewalski Horse." International Museum of the Horse. http://www.imh.org/imh/bw/prz.html (accessed on July 9, 2004).

[back] Zebras Horses and Asses: Equidae - Kiang (equus Kiang): Species Accounts

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