In detail

The Przewalski horse - Wanted poster


Characteristics

Surname: Przewalski horse
Other names: Asian wild horse, Mongolian wild horse
Latin name: Equus ferus przewalskii
class: Mammals
size: 2 - 2.8 m (head-hull length)
mass: 200 - 350 kg
Older: 20 - 30 years
Appearance: red-brown to ocher-colored fur
Sexual dimorphism: Yes
Nutrition type: Herbivore (herbivor)
food: Grasses, plant material
distribution: Mongolia
original origin: Eurasia
Sleep-wake rhythm: diurnal
habitat: Steppe
natural enemies: ?
sexual maturity: between the age of two and four
mating season: ?
gestation: about 335 days
litter size: 1 cub
social behavior: Herd animal
Threatened with extinction: Yes (status: endangered)
Further profiles of animals can be found in the Encyclopaedia.

Interesting facts about the Przewalski horse

  • The Przewalski horse or Equus ferus przewalskii, also called Mongolian or Asian wild horse, is the world's only wild horse that still exists today in its original form.
  • It owes its name to the Russian naturalist Nikolai Mikhailovich Przewalski, who discovered and named it in the 19th century.
  • The Przewalski wild horse was originally widespread in all the barren steppe and plateaus of Eurasia. Through the development of the landscapes, the horses were continuously pushed back and became extremely rare.
  • Free-ranging specimens were spotted for the last time in the late 1960s. Nevertheless, the Przewalski wild horse is not extinct until today, as intensive breeding efforts and successful release could ensure the preservation of the breed.
  • Crossings with the Mongolian domestic horse are consistently avoided in order to preserve the wild form of the horse for the future.
  • Today an estimated two hundred re-released specimens live in the steppes of Mongolia.
  • Przewalski's horses are extremely adaptable and robust due to their original habitat and the extreme temperature fluctuations that prevail there. You can live without food and water for several days.
  • The Przewalski horse can easily be distinguished from the domestic horse due to its characteristic physique. It is comparatively small and reaches a maximum height at the withers of only 145 centimeters.
  • The strikingly thick and strong neck and massive skull make the Przewalski horse look very sturdy.
  • The short coat is yellowish gray to reddish brown, the mane and tail hair is much darker.
  • Due to the stony soil of the steppes Przewalski horses have remarkably robust and strong hooves.
  • Przewalski horses live like all horses that can be made up of families or young stallions.
  • Each herd has a lead mare leading the other herd members to feed and water points.
  • Like any wild horse, the Przewalski horse is of a fundamentally more aggressive nature than domestic horses, but can easily be tamed.
  • In the wild, most foals are born in the nutritious time between April and July, which significantly increases their chances of survival in the barren landscape.
  • The gestation period is fifty weeks on average, with male foals being held longer than females.
  • The life expectancy of the Przewalski horse is about twenty years.