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This article is about the horse species. For the siege weapon, see Onager (siege weapon).
Image:Onager (animal).jpg
Conservation status


Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Perissodactyla
Family: Equidae
Genus: Equus
Subgenus: Asinus
Species: E. hemionus
Binomial name
Equus hemionus
Pallas, 1775

The onager (Equus hemionus) is a large mammal belonging to the horse family and native to the deserts of Syria, Iran, Pakistan, India, and Tibet. It is sometimes known as the half ass or the Asian Wild Ass.

Like many other large grazing animals, its range has contracted greatly under the pressures of hunting and habitat loss, and of the six subspecies, one is extinct and two endangered. The kiang (E. kiang), a Tibetan relative, was previously considered to be a subspecies of the onager as E. hemionus kiang, but recent molecular studies indicate that it is a distinct species.

Onagers are a little larger than donkeys at about 290 kg and 2.1 metres (head-body length), and are a little more horse-like. They are short-legged compared to horses, and their coloring varies depending on the season. They are generally reddish-brown in color during the summer, becoming yellowish-brown in the winter months. They have a black stripe bordered in white that extends down the middle of the back. Onagers were used in ancient Sumer to pull chariots, circa 2600 BC.


[edit] Subspecies

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

[edit] References

  • Moehlman & Feh (2002). Equus hemionus. 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. Retrieved on 11 May 2006. Database entry includes justification for why this species is vulnerable
  • Duncan, P. (ed.). 1992. Zebras, Asses, and Horses: an Action Plan for the Conservation of Wild Equids. IUCN/SSC Equid Specialist Group. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.
  • Moehlman, P. & Feh, C. 2002. Equus hemionus. In: IUCN 2004. 2004 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 21 January 2006.bg:Кулан

da:Onager de:Asiatischer Esel es:Equus hemionus eo:Sovaĝazeno fr:Hémione it:Equus hemionus he:פרא lt:Kulanas nl:Onager pl:Onager (zwierzę) pt:Asno ru:Кулан fi:Aasialainen villiaasi vi:Lừa rừng Trung Á


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