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THE DONKEY

GALLERY

 

The modern domestic donkey was bred from the wild African ass in northeastern Africa during the predynastic period of Egypt about 6,000 years ago. In the Eastern Desert of Egypt domesticated donkeys interbred with the wild Abyssinian donkey that still can be encountered in the southern parts of the Eastern Desert.

Compared to horses, all donkeys possess specialized teeth and long limbs. Donkeys are much more of an all terrain animal than horses. The adaptation of long limbs and narrow hooves allow these animals to move swiftly and easily through rocks. A donkey is also stronger than a horse of the same size.

In a desert environment a donkey is able to hear the call of another donkey more than 20 km away. They have far larger ears than horses and their large ears also help to keep them cool. Although the donkey's coat reflects heat and blends in with its surroundings, it is not waterproof and donkeys need to take shelter during the rain.

Donkeys have a reputation for stubbornness but this is due to their highly developed sense of self preservation. It is difficult to force or frighten a donkey into doing something it sees as contrary to its own best interest or safety. Donkeys are in fact highly intelligent animals despite popular misconception. They have an incredible memory and can recognise areas and other donkeys they were with up to 25 years ago.

They can reach an age of more than 50 years.

 

from Mike's Donkeys & About.com Archeology

 


 
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