Skip to main content

Przewalski's Horse

The Przewalski's Horse was extinct in the wild for over 30 years. Also known as the Asian Wild Horse and Mongolian Wild Horse, it is a true wild horse, the only one left after the complete extinction of the Tarpan over 100 years ago. Other seemingly "wild" horses, like the North American mustangs and Australian brumby, are feral populations. This means they descend from domesticated individuals. The Przewalski's horse is completely untouched by human domestication, and even posess two more chromosomes in their genetic makeup than domesticated horses.

Przewalski horses have short, stocky bodies and large heads. They stand about 13 hands (hand = 4 inches) at the shoulder and weigh between 550 and 750lbs. They are characterized by their brownish dun bodies and white underbellies, with dark muzzles and tails and a short, upright mane with no forlock (forehead hair). Visually they appear similar to the horses depicted on the walls of the Lascaux Caves which are around 17,000 years old.

Images from the Smithsonian
The horses went extinct in the wild due to interbreeding, hunting, and loss of habitat. There are now roughly 1,500 captive Przewalski Horses in the world, with cooperative breeding programs that work to manage the most genetic diversity possible, as all of the current living horses actually descend from about 15-20 individuals.They are one of 115 species that have ongoing Species Survival Plans under the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Reintroduction efforts have been ongoing for the past 20 years, with successful herds now appearing in Mongolia and China. Captive herds are also thriving, with one of the largest interestingly being kept in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, where wildlife reintroduction has been doing exceptionally well. Another captive herd, kept at the Calgary Zoo's Devonian Wildlife Conservation Center, recently welcomed three new foals to the group. (And they are currently running a contest to name them)


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Bornean Orangutan

The Bornean Orangutan is one of two extant Orangutan species in the world. It is the third largest primate (after Gorillas) and is the largest primarily tree-dwelling animal in the world. Males are substantially larger than females, and average at around 165lbs. Bornean Orangutans are largely solitary. A handful might live within a small range but they will seldom interact with one another. Males and females only meet up to breed, which happens only once every several years. A young Orangutan will stay with it's mother for about five years, and the females tend to go about eight years between births. That is the longest interim period of any animal! Sadly, the Bornean Orangutans are in a lot of trouble. They need large forests in order to thrive, and deforestation and habitat degradation has left many homeless. They are also hunted for meat and for traditional medicines. Conservation areas are being established to help these guys in the wild, and it is believed that there are a


For anyone who was counting, yesterday was our birthday-- four years! Four years filled with animals from A to Z, more than 1,100 of them! I can't thank my readers enough, it's been wonderful! And in celebration of that milestone... I'm taking a break. Hopefully not forever, but for a little bit at least. In the mean time I plan on getting a new layout out, along with some updates to some of the older articles. I'll post updates here and on the Facebook page, I'm also brainstorming some new animal-related projects, so keep an eye out! Thanks again for four awesome years!


The Binturong ( Arctictis binturong ) also has an equally awesome alternate common name, the Bearcat! However, it really isn't much of a bear OR a cat. While it is true that it is part of the Feliforma suborder, it is not a member of family Felidae. Binturongs are a part of their own family, Viverridae, which is shared with Civets, Linsangs, and Genets. There are six subspecies of Binturong, all of which have slight differences based upon location and habitat. Binturongs range in body size from 60-100cm in length, (not including their tail which has roughly the same length) and weigh between 20 and 30lbs. Binturongs are nocturnal animals native to the rain forests of South East Asia. The species range spans through several countries including China, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. They are tree dwelling mammals, and have fully prehensile tails that basically double their body length and can be used to cling to the trees or to grasp food. Binturongs are phe