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Przewalski horse

The Przewalski horse, described in 1879 by Colonel Przewalski in his return voyage from Mongolia, belongs to the Equidae family that also includes zebras and wild donkeys.  Contrary to other horses like the Mustangs (born from domesticated animals and returned to their wild state), these have never been domesticated.  This fact makes them known as the only species of wild horse in the world.

Millions of years ago, this species of horse ran freely in the areas of Central Asia and Europe, as depicted in the famous cave paintings in the South of France and the North of Spain.  Years ago, this horse ceased to exist in freedom in any part of Europe.  The last individual horses were observed in the 70s in Dzungaria (Mongolia).  The international organizations for nature conservation consider the Przewalski horse one of the most threatened species in the world.  

Thanks to these associations, the species could have been saved from extinction.  However, now, unfortunately, the only animals left are in captivity.  This way of life (without natural selection) puts the future of this species in serious danger.  Therefore, they are developing plans to reintegrate this species into freedom, particularly in Mongolia and China, thought those projects are seen as difficult and their execution may be far down the road.

Przewalski Horse Przewalski Horse photos

The Przewalski horse differs genetically from the domestic horse because it has sixty-six chromosomes instead of sixty-four.  Its appearance reveals "primitive" traits: A large head (not proportionate with the rest of its body), its eyes are placed high and not at the sides, its ears are long and it has a slender neck and a compact body, in which its legs stand out as proportionally shorter with stripes on them.

No one has been able to ride them or break them.  The Przewalski horse is capable of surviving with small rations and can withstand extreme heat and cold.



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