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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Creature Feature: African Wild Ass.

Get your mind out of the gutter. This blog does not (usually) offer porn. Just in case you got here by looking for a hot African chick, however, here's a picture of Beyonce:

Disclaimer: No racial slur meant. That ass is fine, though.
 

OK, now let's talk donkeys. Part of what really sucks about domesticating animals is that, 75% of the time, the wild ancestor of the domestic animal gets left in the dust. This ranges from being hunted (wolves) to going extinct (aurochs). The wild type for the modern donkey is heading towards aurochs territory with no dignity whatsoever.

Also a nice ass.


The African Wild Ass (Equus africanus?) is the ancestor of the domestic donkey. It lives in Ethiopia, Somalia, and Eritria - a very small corner of northeastern Africa. Their most distinguishing feature from regular donkeys is, of course, those pretty stripes on their legs. Wild asses used to be all the way in Egypt and Libya; their range has diminished since ancient times. They are considered critically endangered with only 570 known pure individuals in the wild.

As one of the first animals domesticated, wild asses have a fine history with humanity. African Wild Asses can run as quickly as horses and were used for Sumerian chariot races. They are still used in the traditional medicines of Somalia and Ethopia. Wild asses are also particularly curious equines; what a fitting change for a too-curious individual like Lucius, even if he was just their cousin!



One of the issues of being the granddaddy of a domestic species is that outbreeding is (almost) inevitable. The species is endangered primarily due to space being cleared for livestock and breeding with donkeys and burros. Alas, it is far from the only endangered type of donkey. There are plenty of weird donkey breeds dying out, but we'll save those for Freak Week III.


Source: Dreamstime.com.

Hey, good ass is hard to find.

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