According to official figures, the Przhevalsky horse is named after the Russian researcher who described it in the mid19th century. Subsequently, it turned out that it was actually discovered and described earlier, back in the 15th century by the German writer Johann Schiltberger, who discovered and outlined this horse in his diary, traveling along the Mongolia, as a prisoner of the Mongol khan named Egei. In all likelihood, already at that time, the Mongols were well acquainted with this animal, since they called him “Tahki”. However, this name did not take root, and called it by the name of Colonel Nikolai Przhevalsky.
Since the end of the 19th century, these horses have no longer met in the wild steppes of Mongolia and China, but were tamed and kept in captivity. Recently, biologists have been trying to return them to their native habitats again.
Dimensions and appearance
The horses of Przhevalsky have a small body compared to their domesticated relatives. However, it is muscular and stocky. They have a big head, a thick neck and short legs. Growth in the withers about 130 cm. Body length 230 cm. Average weight about 250 kg.
Horses have a very beautiful playful color. Nature painted their stomach into yellowish-white colors, and the color of the croup changes from beige to brown. The mane is straight and dark, located on the head and neck. The tail is painted black, the face is bright. There are strips on the knees, which gives them a kind of resemblance to zebras.
As mentioned earlier, the horses of Przhevalsky were discovered in the Mongol steppes of the Gobi desert. This desert differs from sugar in that only its insignificant part is a sand desert. It is extremely dry, but in the region there are springs, steppes, forests and high mountains, as well as many animals. The steppes of Mongolia represent the largest space for pastures in the world. Mongolia a country the size of Alaska. These are extremes, since summer temperatures can fly up to +40 ° C, and winter temperatures can drop to28 ° C.
Gradually, people destroyed or domesticated animals, which led to their disappearance in the wild. Today, “wild” are called those horses in the vastness of Australia or North America, who managed to escape from people and return to their native Wednesday.
Nutrition and social system
In the wild nature, the horse of Przhevalsky grazed on the grass and leave the shrubs. Just like zebram and donla, these animals need to consume a large amount of water and rough food.
In zoos, they eat hay, vegetables and grass. Also, if possible, they try to graze in the pasture for several hours a day.
Outside of zoos, animals go into herds. They are not aggressive. A herd consists of several females, foals and a dominant male. It is interesting that young stallions live in separate, bachelor groups.
Females bear offspring for 11-12 months. Cases of infertility are often noticed in captivity, the cause of which is not fully investigated by science. Therefore, their number remains at a low level, and the increase is not significant.
Interesting facts from history
The horse of Przhevalsky became known to Western science only in 1881, when Przhevalsky described it. By 1900, a German merchant named Karl Hagenberg, who was a supplier of exotic animals for zoos throughout Europe, managed to catch most of them. At the time of the death of Hagenberg, and this happened in 1913, most horses were in captivity. But not all of the wine fell on his shoulders. At that time, the number of animals suffered from the hands of hunters, loss of habitat and several particularly harsh winters in the mid-1900s. One of the herds that lived in Ukraine in Askania Nova was exterminated by German soldiers during the occupation of World War II. In 1945, there were only 31 individuals in two zoos Munich and Prague. By the end of the 1950s, only 12 horses were left.
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