Mule Facts

Mule Facts
Mule is domestic animal created via interbreeding of male donkey (also known as jack) and female horse (mare). It can be found all over the world today. Mules are used for pulling ploughs, riding and carrying of heavy loads. Starting from the second part of the 20th century (with modernization of agriculture), mules are replaced with tractors and trucks in most countries. However, people in China, Mexico and Central and South America still heavily rely on the mules. Even though mules are primarily kept as working animals, they also frequently used for racing and various exhibitions.
Interesting Mule Facts:
Mule can reach 47 to 59 inches in height and 820 to 1000 pounds of weight.
Mule has short coat in the same shades and colors that can be seen in horses. Most mules are grey, brown, reddish or black-colored. White and light-colored mules are rarely seen.
Mule possesses morphological features of both donkey and horse. It has short, thick head, long ears and short mane (just like donkey), and tall, stocky body, thin limbs and hairy tail (just like horse).
Mule is more intelligent and more patient than a donkey. It has very good sense of self-preservation, which means that it easily detects dangerous situations and tries to avoid them.
Mule has thicker skin than a horse and it tolerates heat and rain much better than its cousin. Mule also has stronger hooves (suitable for rough terrains) and it requires less food and water than a horse of the same size.
Mule tolerates various diseases and its hooves are less sensitive to insects compared with hooves of a horse.
Mule is sure-footed, agile, sturdy, powerful and able to carry 20% of its body weight.
US army used mules to carry ammunition and supplies over the rough terrain during the soviet wars in Afghanistan and during the war in Iraq. Mules are still used in military purposes today.
Mule is a herbivore. Its diet is based on grass, vegetables and weed.
Natural enemies of mules are wolves, foxes and lions.
Mule uses its hind legs to protect itself from the predators. It can deliver a kick from all directions.
Mules communicate via sound that represents combination of sounds that horse and donkey produce: it starts with a horse's whining and ends with donkey's hee-haw.
Donkeys have 62 chromosomes, horses 64, while mules have uneven number of chromosomes: 63, which is why they are sterile. In very rare cases (60 cases for the past 500 years) female, called molly, can produce offspring after mating with donkey or horse. Unlike females, males are always sterile.
First successful clone of mule (the first hybrid animal ever cloned) was produced in 2003.
Mule has an average lifespan of 30 to 50 years.

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