Donkey
Kingdom
Phylum
Subphylum
Class
Family
Genus
SPECIES
Equus africanus asinus
Population size
41 Mlnlnn
Life Span
12-50 years
Top speed
24
15
km/hmph
km/h mph 
Weight
80-480
176-1056
kglbs
kg lbs 
Height
79-160
31.1-63
cminch
cm inch 

The Domestic donkey is a hoofed mammal in the family Equidae, the same family as the horse. It derives from the African wild ass, Equus africanus, and may be classified either as a subspecies thereof, Equus africanus asinus, or as a separate species, Equus asinus.  It was domesticated in Africa, probably about 5,000 or 6,000  years ago, and has been used mainly as a working animal since that time. There are more than 40 million donkeys in the world, mostly in underdeveloped countries, where they are used principally as draught or pack animals.

Di

Diurnal

He

Herbivore

Gr

Graminivore

Te

Terrestrial

Pr

Precocial

Gr

Grazing

Vi

Viviparous

Cu

Cursorial

Po

Polygyny

Hi

Highly social

Do

Dominance hierarchy

No

Not a migrant

D

starts with

Appearance

Donkeys vary considerably in size, depending on both breed and environmental conditions, and heights at the withers range from less than 90 cm (35 in) to approximately 150 cm (59 in). Most donkeys have dorsal and shoulder stripes, primitive markings which form a distinctive cross pattern on their backs

Video

Distribution

Geography

Domesticated individuals of this species occur around the globe. However, true wild donkeys can be found only in northern Africa and the Arabian peninsula. These animals are known to favor warm and dry climatic conditions, in which feral donkeys typically live.

Habits and Lifestyle

Donkeys are highly social creatures, eagerly associating with both conspecifics and other livestock animals, including horses, cows, goats, sheep, and llamas. Periods of increased activity occur in the morning and evening, while the midday hours are typically spent resting. Donkeys are extremely cautious by nature, due to which they will avoid doing anything that seems to be dangerous. For example, when alarmed, they usually freeze or run. When the danger has passed, donkeys try to find the source of the threat. As a result, they got a reputation as stubborn animals, although they are actually quite obedient, hard-working creatures. Normally quiet and peaceful, they fiercely defend their foals when needed. Moreover, donkeys are sometimes trained to protect other domestic livestock such as sheep and goats. When under threat, they show a remarkable degree of aggression, occasionally attacking and trampling large dogs and humans.

Seasonal behavior

Diet and Nutrition

Donkeys generally maintain an herbivorous (graminivorous) diet. These grazing mammals primarily rely on grass, occasionally using shrubs and desert plants.

Mating Habits

MATING BEHAVIOR
REPRODUCTION SEASON
year-round
PREGNANCY DURATION
11-14 months
BABY CARRYING
1 foal
INDEPENDENT AGE
5 months
FEMALE NAME
jenny, jennet
MALE NAME
jack, jackass
BABY NAME
foal, colt

Donkeys are polygynous, which means that one male mates with many females during a breeding season. Breeding occurs year-round. The gestation period usually lasts for 11-14 months, after which a single foal is born. Newborn babies are developed and are able to stand and feed during the first 30 minutes of their lives. Weaning occurs at 5 months old. Both males and females of this species are ready to mate at 2 years old, although males usually do so only after 3-4 years old when they become dominant.

Population

Population number

As stated by the Wikipedia resource, the global population of these animals was estimated at as much as 41 million individuals in 2006, 11 million of which lived in China (the largest population of this species by country). Other states with large numbers of donkey populations are Pakistan, Ethiopia, and Mexico.

Domestication

Over thousands of years, donkeys have been important working animals in various parts of the world. They are still very important livestock species in many countries. These animals originate from Wild asses. They first appeared during the predynastic period, as early as 6,000 years ago in ancient Egypt, north-eastern Africa. The overall population of donkeys is currently increasing, whereas the numbers of the African wild ass and the related onager are decreasing. These three species have long served humans as beasts of burden and companions.

Fun Facts for Kids

  • Donkeys are known to have an amazingly relaxing effect on other animals, due to which they are commonly used as companions for weaned foals. They also associate with alarmed, injured, or recovering animals, soothing them and helping reduce stress.
  • Moreover, they serve as companions for mentally and physically limited children, participating in various recreational riding programs. Their positive effect on both animals and humans is explained by their affectionate, calm, and patient nature.
  • Donkeys occasionally interbreed with other species such as horses or zebras, yielding sterile offspring. The hybrid of a male donkey (jack) and a female horse (mare) is known as "mule". Young from a female donkey (jenny) and a male horse (stallion) are called "hinnies", whereas offspring, produced by a zebra and a donkey, are called "zebrasses" or a "zonkeys".
  • The first individuals of this species, born in the U.S., belonged to George Washington.
  • Donkeys love spending their time rolling.
  • Donkeys are thought to be rather stubborn creatures, which is not exactly true. They are, in fact, very cautious by nature. However, if their owner has gained their trust, they prove to be highly loyal workers, companions, and even friends.

Coloring Pages

References

1. Donkey Wikipedia artcile - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donkey

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