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Zebroid

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{{unreferenced|date=December 2008}}
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{{Taxobox
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|name = Zebroid
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|image = Zorse.gif
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|image_caption = A zorse in an 1899 photograph from J.C. Ewart's The Penycuik Experiments. "Romulus: one year old."
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|scientific classification
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|regnum = [[Animal]]ia
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|phylum = [[Chordate|Chordata]]
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|classis = [[Mammalia]]
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|ordo = [[Perissodactyla]]
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|familia = [[Equidae]]
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|genus = ''[[Equus (genus)|Equus]]''
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|species =
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|binomial =
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}}
  
[[Image:Zeedonk 800.jpg|thumb|250px|rightt|A zebra/donkey hybrid]]
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{{Unreferenced|date=December 2008}}
A '''zebroid''' (also '''zebra mule''' and '''zebrule''') is the offspring of any cross between a [[zebra]] and any other [[equine]]: essentially, a zebra [[Hybrid (biology)|hybrid]].  In most cases, the sire is a zebra stallion. Offspring of a donkey sire and zebra mare, called a '''zebra hinny''', do exist but are rare. Zebroids have been bred since the 19th century. The extinct [[quagga]] was also crossed with horses and donkeys. [[Charles Darwin]] noted several zebra hybrids in his works.
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==Types of Zebroid==
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A '''zebroid''' (also '''zebra mule''' and '''zebrule''') is the offspring of any cross between a [[zebra]] and any other [[equine]]: essentially, a zebra [[Hybrid (biology)|hybrid]].  In most cases, the sire is a zebra stallion. Offspring of a donkey sire and zebra mare, called a '''zebra hinny''', or '''donkra''', do exist but are rare. Zebroids have been bred since the 19th century. The extinct [[quagga]] was also crossed with horses and donkeys. [[Charles Darwin]] noted several zebra hybrids in his works.
  
'''Zebroid''' is the generic name for all zebra hybrids. The different hybrids are generally named using the portmanteau convention of sire's name + dam's name. There is generally no distinction made as to which zebra species is used.  See individual entries for more information on the different types of zebroid. Many times when Zebras are cross-bred they develop some form of dwarfism.
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==Types==
  
*Zebra (stallion) + horse (mare): [[zorse]], zebra mule, zebrule or golden zebra
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Zebroid is the generic name for all zebra hybrids. The different hybrids are generally named using the [[portmanteau]] convention of [[sire]]'s name + [[dam]]'s name. There is generally no distinction made as to which zebra species is used. Many times when Zebras are cross-bred they develop some form of dwarfism. Breeding of different branches of the equine family, which does not occur in the wild, generally results in infertile offspring. The combination of sire and dam also affects the offspring.
*Zebra (stallion) + pony (mare): [[zony]]
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*Zebra (stallion) + Shetland pony (mare): zetland
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A zorse is the offspring of a male [[zebra]] and a female [[mare (horse)|horse]]. This cross is also called a zebrula, zebrule, zebra mule or golden zebra.  The rarer reverse pairing is sometimes called a horbra, hebra, zebrinny or zebret. Like most other animal [[hybrid (biology)|hybrids]], the zorse is sterile.<ref>{{cite web |url= http://www.equinepost.com/resources/breeds/showBreed.asp?ID=150|title= Zorse Breed Description|accessdate=2009-05-27 |work= Breeding References|publisher= EquinePost }}</ref>
*Zebra (stallion) + any ass species (jenny): zebrass
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*Zebra (stallion) + donkey (jenny): zedonk, zeedonk, [[zonkey]], zebronkey, zebadonk
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A zony is the offspring of a zebra stallion and a pony mare.  Medium size pony mares are preferred in order to produce riding zonies, but zebras have been crossed with smaller pony breeds such as the [[Shetland]] resulting in so-called "Zetlands".<ref>{{cite journal|title=Crisis-hit farm welcomes its gift forse|journal=Guardian Unlimited|date= June 27, 2001 |quote=it could be a zorse perhaps, a fony or maybe a shebra or a zetland. Whatever its name, the arrival of the strange beast has been hailed as a godsend|url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/silly/story/0,,530179,00.html | work=The Guardian | location=London | first=Helen | last=Carter | accessdate=April 20, 2010}}</ref>
*Zebra (mare) + donkey (jack): zebret, zebrinny
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*Zebra (mare) + horse (stallion): hebra, horbra
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[[Image:Zeedonk 800.jpg|thumb|right|A zebra/donkey hybrid]]
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A zonkey is a cross between a zebra and a donkey.  "Zonkey" is not the technically correct name for such a cross. The most commonly accepted terms are zebonkey (or zebronkey), zebrinny, zebrula, zebrass, and zedonk (or zeedonk).  Donkeys are closely related to zebras and both animals belong to the [[equidae|horse family]]. Zonkeys are very rare.<ref>{{Cite journal | title = A mysterious zebra-donkey hybrid (zedonk or zonkey) produced under natural mating: A case report from Borana, southern Ethiopia |author=Megersa, B.; Biffa, D.; Kumsa, B. |journal=Animal Production Research Advances |volume=2 |issue=3 |year=2006 |pages=148–154 }}</ref> Another name that is sometimes used is "zebadonk". In [[South Africa]] they occur where zebras and donkeys are found in proximity to each other. Like [[mule]]s, however, they are generally genetically unable to breed, due to an odd number of chromosomes disrupting [[meiosis]].
  
 
==Genetics==
 
==Genetics==
Zebras, donkeys and horses are [[equines]], and can be crossbred to produce hybrids despite having different numbers of [[chromosome]]s.  Horses have 64 chromosomes, zebra have between 32 and 44 (depending on species). Most zorses have 54 chromosomes (44 x 64).
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Donkeys and wild equids have different numbers of [[chromosome]]s.  A donkey has 62 chromosomes; the zebra has between 32 and 46 (depending on species). In spite of this difference, viable hybrids are possible provided the gene combination in the hybrid allows for embryonic development to birth. A hybrid has a number of chromosomes somewhere in between. The chromosome difference makes female hybrids poorly fertile and male hybrids generally sterile due to a phenomenon called [[Haldane's Rule]]. The difference in chromosome number is most likely due to horses having 2 longer chromosomes that contain similar gene content to 4 zebra chromosomes.<ref>{{Cite journal | title = Chromosome Studies of a Donkey-Grevy Zebra Hybrid | journal = Chromosoma | volume = 15 | issue = 1 | year = 1964 | author = K. Benirschke, et. alia }}</ref> Horses have 64 chromosomes, while most zebroids end up with 54 chromosomes.  
  
==Appearance==
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Common wisdom states that hybrids only occur when the zebra is the sire, but the Barbados hybrid demonstrates otherwise. Two other known zebra hinnies have been foaled but did not survive to adulthood. The rarity of zebra hinnies indicates that the smaller number of chromosomes must generally be on the male side if a viable hybrid is to be produced. Before this comes into account, a successful mating needs to be accomplished in the first place. As courtship in horses involves the mare kicking at the stallion's head for some time before allowing him to mount, and as this behavior is stronger in wild equids than in domestic horses, it is difficult enough to get a horse stallion to mate and not be put off by the rough behavior of the non-horse mare.
  
Zebroids physically resemble their non-zebra parent, but are striped like a zebra. The stripes generally do not cover the whole body, and might be confined to the legs or spread onto parts of the body or neck. If the non-zebra parent was patterned (such as a [[roan (color)|roan]], [[Appaloosa]], [[Pinto horse]], [[American Paint Horse|paint]], [[piebald]], or [[skewbald]]) this pattern might be passed down to the zebroid, in which case the stripes are usually confined to nonwhite areas. The alternative name '''golden zebra''' relates to the interaction of zebra striping and a horse's bay or chestnut colour to give a zebra-like black-on-bay or black-on-chestnut pattern that superficially resembles the [[quagga]]. In zebra-ass hybrids, there is usually a dorsal (back) stripe and a ventral (belly) stripe.
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Zonkeys are interspecific hybrids bred by mating together two species from within the same genus. The offspring have traits and characteristics of both parents. Zonkeys vary considerably depending on how the genes from each parent are expressed and how they interact.
  
Zebroids are preferred over zebra for practical uses such as riding, because the zebra has a different body shape from a [[horse]] or [[donkey]], and consequently it is difficult to find [[Horse tack|tack]] to fit a zebra. However, a zebroid is usually more inclined to be temperamental than a [[purebred]] horse and can be difficult to handle.
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==Physical characteristics==
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[[File:Zébrulecouché.jpg|thumb|left|A zorse]]
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Zebroids physically resemble their non-zebra parent, but are striped like a zebra. The stripes generally do not cover the whole body, and might be confined to the legs or spread onto parts of the body or neck. If the non-zebra parent was patterned (such as a [[roan (horse)|roan]], [[Appaloosa]], [[Pinto horse]], [[American Paint Horse|paint]], [[piebald]], or [[skewbald]]) this pattern might be passed down to the zebroid, in which case the stripes are usually confined to nonwhite areas. The alternative name golden zebra relates to the interaction of zebra striping and a horse's bay or chestnut colour to give a zebra-like black-on-bay or black-on-chestnut pattern that superficially resembles the [[quagga]]. In zebra-ass hybrids, there is usually a dorsal (back) stripe and a ventral (belly) stripe.
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Zorses combine the zebra striping overlaid on colored areas of the hybrid's coat. Zorses are most often bred using solid color horses. If the horse parent is [[piebald]] (black and white) or [[skewbald]] (other color and white) (these are known in the United States as [[Pinto horse|paint/pinto]]) the zorse may inherit the dominant de-pigmentation genes for white patches, it is understood that [[Tobiano]] (the most common white modifier found in the horse) directly interacts with the Zorse coat to give the white markings. Only the non-depigmented areas will have Zebra striping, resulting in a zorse with white patches and striped patches. This effect is seen in the zebroid Eclyse (a hebra rather than a zorse) born in Stukenbrock, Germany in 2007 to a zebra mare called ''Eclipse'' and a stallion called ''Ulysses''.
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Zebroids are preferred over zebra for practical uses such as riding, because the zebra has a different body shape from a [[horse]] or [[donkey]], and consequently it is difficult to find [[Horse tack|tack]] to fit a zebra. However, a zebroid is usually more inclined to be temperamental than a [[purebred]] horse and can be difficult to handle. Zebras, being wild animals, and not domesticated like horses and donkeys, pass on their wild animal traits to their offspring.  Zebras, while not usually very large, are extremely strong and aggressive.  Similarly, zorses have a strong temperament and can be aggressive.
  
 
==Historical and notable zebroids==
 
==Historical and notable zebroids==
 
[[Image:zebroidfoal.jpg|thumbnail|right|300px|Zebra-horse hybrid foal with quagga-like markings, [[Walter Rothschild Zoological Museum]], [[Tring]], [[England]].]]
 
[[Image:zebroidfoal.jpg|thumbnail|right|300px|Zebra-horse hybrid foal with quagga-like markings, [[Walter Rothschild Zoological Museum]], [[Tring]], [[England]].]]
Today, various zebroids are bred as riding and draft animals and as curiosities in circuses and smaller zoos.
 
  
* In 1815, Lord Morton mated a quagga stallion to a chestnut Arabian mare. The result was a female hybrid which resembled both parents.
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In 1815, Lord Morton mated a quagga stallion to a chestnut [[Arabian horse|Arabian]] mare. The result was a female hybrid which resembled both parents. This provoked the interest of Cossar Ewart, Professor of Natural History at Edinburgh (1882–1927) and a keen geneticist. Ewart crossed a zebra stallion with pony mares in order to investigate the theory of [[telegony]], or paternal impression. In ''[[Origin of Species]]'' (1859), [[Charles Darwin]] mentioned four coloured drawings of hybrids between the ass and zebra. He also wrote that "In Lord Morton's famous hybrid from a chestnut mare and male quagga, the hybrid, and even the pure offspring subsequently produced from the mare by a black Arabian sire, were much more plainly barred across the legs than is even the pure quagga." In his book ''[[The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication]]'', Darwin described a hybrid ass-zebra specimen in the British Museum as being dappled on its flanks. He also mentioned a "triple hybrid, from a bay mare, by a hybrid from a male ass and female zebra" displayed at [[London Zoo]]. This would have required the zebroid sire to be fertile.
* In ''[[Origin of Species]]'' (1859), [[Charles Darwin]] mentioned four coloured drawings of hybrids between the ass and zebra.
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* In his book ''The Variation Of Animals And Plants Under Domestication'', Darwin described a hybrid ass-zebra specimen in the British Museum as being dappled on its flanks. He also mentioned a "triple hybrid, from a bay mare, by a hybrid from a male ass and female zebra" displayed at [[London Zoo]]. This would have required the zebroid sire to be fertile.
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During the South African War, the [[Boer]]s crossed the Chapman's zebra with the pony, to produce an animal for transport work, chiefly for hauling guns. A specimen was captured by British forces and presented to [[King Edward VII]] by [[Herbert Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener|Lord Kitchener]], and was photographed by [[W S Berridge]].<ref>''Wonders of Animal Life'', edited by J A Hammerton (1930)</ref> Zebras are resistant to sleeping sickness, whereas pure-bred horses and ponies are not, and it was hoped that the zebra mules would inherit this resistance.
* During the South African War, the Boers crossed Chapman's zebras and ponies to use as transport animals. Zebras are resistant to sleeping sickness, whereas pure-bred horses and ponies are not, and it was hoped that the zebra mules would inherit this resistance.
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* Grevy's Zebra has been crossed with the Somali Ass in the early 20th century.
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Grevy's Zebra has been crossed with the Somali Ass in the early 20th century.
* [[Zorse]]s were bred by the US Government and reported in ''Genetics in Relation to Agriculture'' by E. B. Babcock and R. E. Clausen (early 20th century), in an attempt to investigate inheritance and [[Telegony (pregnancy)|telegony]].
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* A New York Times article from June 16, 1973, mentioned the birth of a cross between a zebra and a donkey at the Jerusalem Zoo. They called it a "hamzab."
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[[Zorse]]s were bred by the US Government and reported in ''Genetics in Relation to Agriculture'' by E. B. Babcock and R. E. Clausen (early 20th century), in an attempt to investigate inheritance and [[Telegony (pregnancy)|telegony]]. The experiments were also reported in ''The Science of Life'' by H G Wells, J Huxley and GP Wells (c. 1929).
*In the 1970s, the Colchester Zoo, England bred [[zedonk]]s, at first by accident and later to create a disease-resistant riding and draft animal. The experiment was discontinued when zoos became more conservation-minded.
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* In 2005, a Burchell's zebra mare named Allison produced a zebra hinny called Alex sired by a donkey at Highland plantation in St. Thomas Parish, Barbados. This is notable as the zebra is usually the sire.
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The 1970s continued the interest in zebra crosses. A New York Times article from June 16, 1973, mentioned the birth of a cross between a zebra and a donkey at the Jerusalem Zoo. They called it a "hamzab." In the 1970s, the [[Colchester Zoo]] in England bred zedonks, at first by accident and later to create a disease-resistant riding and draft animal. The experiment was discontinued when zoos became more conservation-minded. A number of hybrids were kept at the zoo after this; the last died in 2009.<ref>{{cite press release| title = Colchester Zoo mourns the loss of Shadow the Zeedonk| url = http://www.colchester-zoo.com/index.cfm?fa=news.press.detail&Press_Release_ID=244| date = 2009-04-03| publisher = Colchester Zoo}}</ref> One adult and a foal remain at the tourist attraction of [[Groombridge Place]] <ref>{{cite web |title=The Enchanted Forest |url=http://www.groombridge.co.uk/enchanted.htm |work=Groombridge Place Gardens }}</ref> near Tonbridge in Kent.
* In 2007, a stallion, Ulysses, and a zebra mare, Eclipse, produced a zebroid named Eclyse, displaying an unusually patchy color coating.<ref>Amanda Billner. [http://www.dn.se/DNet/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=148&a=665762 "Zebran är en häst"] (in Swedish). ''[[Dagens Nyheter]]''<nowiki>'</nowiki>s webpage, 28 June 2007. Retrieved 30 juni 2007.</ref><ref>BBC [http://news.bbc.co.uk/player/nol/newsid_6260000/newsid_6263900/6263928.stm?bw=bb&mp=rm "Half horse, half zebra - hebra] Retrieved 3 July 2007]</ref>
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===2000s===
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Today, various zebroids are bred as riding and draft animals and as curiosities in circuses and smaller zoos. A zorse (more accurately a [[zony]]) was born at Eden Ostrich World, [[Cumbria]], England in 2001 after a zebra was left in a field with a Shetland pony. It was referred to as a ''Zetland''.  This was the inspiration for the 2003 'Song For the Zorse' by London band The Coronets. According to local lore brown zorses have been spotted in the foot hills of the Appalachians in and around Charlottesville, Virginia.{{Citation needed|date=August 2010}} Usually a zebra stallion is paired with a horse mare or ass mare, but in 2005, a [[Burchell's Zebra]] named Allison produced a zonkey called Alex sired by a donkey at Highland plantation in the parish of [[Saint Thomas, Barbados|Saint Thomas]], [[Barbados]]. Alex, born April 21, 2005, is apparently the first zonkey in Barbados.<ref>{{Cite news |title=Call it zonkey or a deebra? Zebra has a foal sired by a donkey |agency=Associated Press |publisher=MSNBC |url=http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7677651/ |date=29 Apr 2005|accessdate=2008-10-13}}</ref> In 2007, a stallion, Ulysses, and a zebra mare, Eclipse, produced a zebroid named Eclyse, displaying an unusually patchy color coating.<ref>Amanda Billner. [http://www.dn.se/DNet/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=148&a=665762 "Zebran är en häst"] (in Swedish). ''[[Dagens Nyheter]]''<nowiki>'</nowiki>s webpage, 28 June 2007. Retrieved 30 juni 2007.</ref><ref>BBC [http://news.bbc.co.uk/player/nol/newsid_6260000/newsid_6263900/6263928.stm?bw=bb&mp=rm "Half horse, half zebra - hebra] Retrieved 3 July 2007]</ref> The Wild Animal Safari in Springfield, MO has several zedonks as of March 31, 2010.{{Citation needed|date=August 2010}} In July 2010, a zedonk was born at the Chestatee Wildlife Preserve in Dahlonega, Georgia.<ref>{{cite web | title=Zebra, donkey hybrid born in Dahlonega | url=http://www.gainesvilletimes.com/section/6/article/35810/ | date=2010-07-27 | publisher=Gainesville Times}}</ref> Zorses are bred in [[Africa]] and used for trekking on [[Mount Kenya]];<ref>{{cite web |url= http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-464723/Meet-Eclyse--amazing-zebra-crossing.html|title= Meet Eclyse - the amazing zebra crossing|accessdate=2008-07-10 |work= Mail Online|publisher= Associated Newspapers Ltd}}</ref> the zebra parent gives resistance to the [[nagana pest]] disease.
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Zorses have appeared in several TV shows and movies. In the [[Viva La Bam]] episode Groundhogs Day in the final race, [[Brandon Dicamillo]]'s sled is a Zorse. It was colored pink, blue, purple and red and on the 'uncommentary' on the DVD seasons of 'Viva La Bam' Tim Glomb says "If you send me a list of all the episodes where the Zorse is I'll give you a dollar". Also, the 2007 movie ''[[I'm Reed Fish]]'' features a zorse named Zabrina. In the movie ''[[Racing Stripes]]'', an animated zorse appears in the alternate ending. It is the son of Stripes (a zebra) and Sandy, a grey Arabian [[mare]]. Zorses have also appeared in books. They are briefly mentioned several times in [[George R.R. Martin]]'s [[A Song of Ice and Fire]] series of fantasy novels. Sutton Coleman wrote a sonnet about Zorses and published it in his 2007 book, "Ligers, Tigons, and Zorses, Oh My!" In [[Roald Dahl]]'s book [[Going Solo]], he and several other characters speculate on how nice it would be to own a zorse, although they admit it would be difficult to [[domestication of animals|train]].
  
 
== References ==
 
== References ==
{{reflist}}
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{{Commons category|Zorses}}
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{{Reflist}}
  
 
==External links==
 
==External links==
 
* [http://www.messybeast.com/genetics/hybrid-equines.htm Hybrid Equines] Information and images of different zebroids
 
* [http://www.messybeast.com/genetics/hybrid-equines.htm Hybrid Equines] Information and images of different zebroids
 
* [http://photos1.blogger.com/x/blogger2/6012/701/600/z/85488/gse_multipart23028.jpg Eclyse] - Photo of a zebroid named Eclyse
 
* [http://photos1.blogger.com/x/blogger2/6012/701/600/z/85488/gse_multipart23028.jpg Eclyse] - Photo of a zebroid named Eclyse
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* {{cite news |title=Zenkey foal a hybrid star |date=29 Aug 2003 |work=[[Sydney Morning Herald]] |agency=[[Agence France-Presse]] |url=http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/08/28/1062050609625.html }}
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*[http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/1408717.stm BBC News (26 June 2001): "Zebra Hybrid is Cute Surprise"]
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*[http://www.metro.co.uk/weird/article.html?in_article_id=54968 Metro (28 June 2007): "A single-zorsed story"]
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*[http://www.izzza.com The International Zebra Zorse Zonkey Association ]
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*[http://www.zorseman.com Zorseman.com]
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*[http://www.educatedearth.net/video.php?id=3559 Video of a Zorse]
  
{{Mammal hybrids}}
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{{Mammal hybrids|state=collapsed}}
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{{equine|state=collapsed}}
  
 
[[Category:Equid hybrids]]
 
[[Category:Equid hybrids]]
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[[de:Zebroide]]
 
[[de:Zebroide]]
 
[[et:Sebroid]]
 
[[et:Sebroid]]
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[[es:Zebroide]]
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[[it:Zony]]
 
[[ja:ゼブロイド]]
 
[[ja:ゼブロイド]]
 
[[pl:Zebroid]]
 
[[pl:Zebroid]]
[[pt:Zebróide]]
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[[pt:Zebroide]]
 
[[fi:Sebroidi]]
 
[[fi:Sebroidi]]
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[[tl:Sebrang bisiro]]
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[[ur:ہيبرا]]

Revision as of 19:13, 24 August 2010

Zebroid
A zorse in an 1899 photograph from J.C. Ewart's The Penycuik Experiments. "Romulus: one year old."
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Perissodactyla
Family: Equidae
Genus: Equus


A zebroid (also zebra mule and zebrule) is the offspring of any cross between a zebra and any other equine: essentially, a zebra hybrid. In most cases, the sire is a zebra stallion. Offspring of a donkey sire and zebra mare, called a zebra hinny, or donkra, do exist but are rare. Zebroids have been bred since the 19th century. The extinct quagga was also crossed with horses and donkeys. Charles Darwin noted several zebra hybrids in his works.

Contents

Types

Zebroid is the generic name for all zebra hybrids. The different hybrids are generally named using the portmanteau convention of sire's name + dam's name. There is generally no distinction made as to which zebra species is used. Many times when Zebras are cross-bred they develop some form of dwarfism. Breeding of different branches of the equine family, which does not occur in the wild, generally results in infertile offspring. The combination of sire and dam also affects the offspring.

A zorse is the offspring of a male zebra and a female horse. This cross is also called a zebrula, zebrule, zebra mule or golden zebra. The rarer reverse pairing is sometimes called a horbra, hebra, zebrinny or zebret. Like most other animal hybrids, the zorse is sterile.[1]

A zony is the offspring of a zebra stallion and a pony mare. Medium size pony mares are preferred in order to produce riding zonies, but zebras have been crossed with smaller pony breeds such as the Shetland resulting in so-called "Zetlands".[2]

A zebra/donkey hybrid

A zonkey is a cross between a zebra and a donkey. "Zonkey" is not the technically correct name for such a cross. The most commonly accepted terms are zebonkey (or zebronkey), zebrinny, zebrula, zebrass, and zedonk (or zeedonk). Donkeys are closely related to zebras and both animals belong to the horse family. Zonkeys are very rare.[3] Another name that is sometimes used is "zebadonk". In South Africa they occur where zebras and donkeys are found in proximity to each other. Like mules, however, they are generally genetically unable to breed, due to an odd number of chromosomes disrupting meiosis.

Genetics

Donkeys and wild equids have different numbers of chromosomes. A donkey has 62 chromosomes; the zebra has between 32 and 46 (depending on species). In spite of this difference, viable hybrids are possible provided the gene combination in the hybrid allows for embryonic development to birth. A hybrid has a number of chromosomes somewhere in between. The chromosome difference makes female hybrids poorly fertile and male hybrids generally sterile due to a phenomenon called Haldane's Rule. The difference in chromosome number is most likely due to horses having 2 longer chromosomes that contain similar gene content to 4 zebra chromosomes.[4] Horses have 64 chromosomes, while most zebroids end up with 54 chromosomes.

Common wisdom states that hybrids only occur when the zebra is the sire, but the Barbados hybrid demonstrates otherwise. Two other known zebra hinnies have been foaled but did not survive to adulthood. The rarity of zebra hinnies indicates that the smaller number of chromosomes must generally be on the male side if a viable hybrid is to be produced. Before this comes into account, a successful mating needs to be accomplished in the first place. As courtship in horses involves the mare kicking at the stallion's head for some time before allowing him to mount, and as this behavior is stronger in wild equids than in domestic horses, it is difficult enough to get a horse stallion to mate and not be put off by the rough behavior of the non-horse mare.

Zonkeys are interspecific hybrids bred by mating together two species from within the same genus. The offspring have traits and characteristics of both parents. Zonkeys vary considerably depending on how the genes from each parent are expressed and how they interact.

Physical characteristics

A zorse

Zebroids physically resemble their non-zebra parent, but are striped like a zebra. The stripes generally do not cover the whole body, and might be confined to the legs or spread onto parts of the body or neck. If the non-zebra parent was patterned (such as a roan, Appaloosa, Pinto horse, paint, piebald, or skewbald) this pattern might be passed down to the zebroid, in which case the stripes are usually confined to nonwhite areas. The alternative name golden zebra relates to the interaction of zebra striping and a horse's bay or chestnut colour to give a zebra-like black-on-bay or black-on-chestnut pattern that superficially resembles the quagga. In zebra-ass hybrids, there is usually a dorsal (back) stripe and a ventral (belly) stripe.

Zorses combine the zebra striping overlaid on colored areas of the hybrid's coat. Zorses are most often bred using solid color horses. If the horse parent is piebald (black and white) or skewbald (other color and white) (these are known in the United States as paint/pinto) the zorse may inherit the dominant de-pigmentation genes for white patches, it is understood that Tobiano (the most common white modifier found in the horse) directly interacts with the Zorse coat to give the white markings. Only the non-depigmented areas will have Zebra striping, resulting in a zorse with white patches and striped patches. This effect is seen in the zebroid Eclyse (a hebra rather than a zorse) born in Stukenbrock, Germany in 2007 to a zebra mare called Eclipse and a stallion called Ulysses.

Zebroids are preferred over zebra for practical uses such as riding, because the zebra has a different body shape from a horse or donkey, and consequently it is difficult to find tack to fit a zebra. However, a zebroid is usually more inclined to be temperamental than a purebred horse and can be difficult to handle. Zebras, being wild animals, and not domesticated like horses and donkeys, pass on their wild animal traits to their offspring. Zebras, while not usually very large, are extremely strong and aggressive. Similarly, zorses have a strong temperament and can be aggressive.

Historical and notable zebroids

Zebra-horse hybrid foal with quagga-like markings, Walter Rothschild Zoological Museum, Tring, England.

In 1815, Lord Morton mated a quagga stallion to a chestnut Arabian mare. The result was a female hybrid which resembled both parents. This provoked the interest of Cossar Ewart, Professor of Natural History at Edinburgh (1882–1927) and a keen geneticist. Ewart crossed a zebra stallion with pony mares in order to investigate the theory of telegony, or paternal impression. In Origin of Species (1859), Charles Darwin mentioned four coloured drawings of hybrids between the ass and zebra. He also wrote that "In Lord Morton's famous hybrid from a chestnut mare and male quagga, the hybrid, and even the pure offspring subsequently produced from the mare by a black Arabian sire, were much more plainly barred across the legs than is even the pure quagga." In his book The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication, Darwin described a hybrid ass-zebra specimen in the British Museum as being dappled on its flanks. He also mentioned a "triple hybrid, from a bay mare, by a hybrid from a male ass and female zebra" displayed at London Zoo. This would have required the zebroid sire to be fertile.

During the South African War, the Boers crossed the Chapman's zebra with the pony, to produce an animal for transport work, chiefly for hauling guns. A specimen was captured by British forces and presented to King Edward VII by Lord Kitchener, and was photographed by W S Berridge.[5] Zebras are resistant to sleeping sickness, whereas pure-bred horses and ponies are not, and it was hoped that the zebra mules would inherit this resistance.

Grevy's Zebra has been crossed with the Somali Ass in the early 20th century.

Zorses were bred by the US Government and reported in Genetics in Relation to Agriculture by E. B. Babcock and R. E. Clausen (early 20th century), in an attempt to investigate inheritance and telegony. The experiments were also reported in The Science of Life by H G Wells, J Huxley and GP Wells (c. 1929).

The 1970s continued the interest in zebra crosses. A New York Times article from June 16, 1973, mentioned the birth of a cross between a zebra and a donkey at the Jerusalem Zoo. They called it a "hamzab." In the 1970s, the Colchester Zoo in England bred zedonks, at first by accident and later to create a disease-resistant riding and draft animal. The experiment was discontinued when zoos became more conservation-minded. A number of hybrids were kept at the zoo after this; the last died in 2009.[6] One adult and a foal remain at the tourist attraction of Groombridge Place [7] near Tonbridge in Kent.

2000s

Today, various zebroids are bred as riding and draft animals and as curiosities in circuses and smaller zoos. A zorse (more accurately a zony) was born at Eden Ostrich World, Cumbria, England in 2001 after a zebra was left in a field with a Shetland pony. It was referred to as a Zetland. This was the inspiration for the 2003 'Song For the Zorse' by London band The Coronets. According to local lore brown zorses have been spotted in the foot hills of the Appalachians in and around Charlottesville, Virginia.[citation needed] Usually a zebra stallion is paired with a horse mare or ass mare, but in 2005, a Burchell's Zebra named Allison produced a zonkey called Alex sired by a donkey at Highland plantation in the parish of Saint Thomas, Barbados. Alex, born April 21, 2005, is apparently the first zonkey in Barbados.[8] In 2007, a stallion, Ulysses, and a zebra mare, Eclipse, produced a zebroid named Eclyse, displaying an unusually patchy color coating.[9][10] The Wild Animal Safari in Springfield, MO has several zedonks as of March 31, 2010.[citation needed] In July 2010, a zedonk was born at the Chestatee Wildlife Preserve in Dahlonega, Georgia.[11] Zorses are bred in Africa and used for trekking on Mount Kenya;[12] the zebra parent gives resistance to the nagana pest disease.

Zorses have appeared in several TV shows and movies. In the Viva La Bam episode Groundhogs Day in the final race, Brandon Dicamillo's sled is a Zorse. It was colored pink, blue, purple and red and on the 'uncommentary' on the DVD seasons of 'Viva La Bam' Tim Glomb says "If you send me a list of all the episodes where the Zorse is I'll give you a dollar". Also, the 2007 movie I'm Reed Fish features a zorse named Zabrina. In the movie Racing Stripes, an animated zorse appears in the alternate ending. It is the son of Stripes (a zebra) and Sandy, a grey Arabian mare. Zorses have also appeared in books. They are briefly mentioned several times in George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series of fantasy novels. Sutton Coleman wrote a sonnet about Zorses and published it in his 2007 book, "Ligers, Tigons, and Zorses, Oh My!" In Roald Dahl's book Going Solo, he and several other characters speculate on how nice it would be to own a zorse, although they admit it would be difficult to train.

References

  1. "Zorse Breed Description". Breeding References. EquinePost. http://www.equinepost.com/resources/breeds/showBreed.asp?ID=150. Retrieved 2009-05-27. 
  2. Carter, Helen (June 27, 2001). "Crisis-hit farm welcomes its gift forse". Guardian Unlimited (London). http://www.guardian.co.uk/silly/story/0,,530179,00.html. Retrieved April 20, 2010. "it could be a zorse perhaps, a fony or maybe a shebra or a zetland. Whatever its name, the arrival of the strange beast has been hailed as a godsend". 
  3. Megersa, B.; Biffa, D.; Kumsa, B. (2006). "A mysterious zebra-donkey hybrid (zedonk or zonkey) produced under natural mating: A case report from Borana, southern Ethiopia". Animal Production Research Advances 2 (3): 148–154. 
  4. K. Benirschke, et. alia (1964). "Chromosome Studies of a Donkey-Grevy Zebra Hybrid". Chromosoma 15 (1). 
  5. Wonders of Animal Life, edited by J A Hammerton (1930)
  6. Colchester Zoo (2009-04-03). "Colchester Zoo mourns the loss of Shadow the Zeedonk". Press release. http://www.colchester-zoo.com/index.cfm?fa=news.press.detail&Press_Release_ID=244. 
  7. "The Enchanted Forest". Groombridge Place Gardens. http://www.groombridge.co.uk/enchanted.htm. 
  8. "Call it zonkey or a deebra? Zebra has a foal sired by a donkey". Associated Press. MSNBC. 29 Apr 2005. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7677651/. Retrieved 2008-10-13. 
  9. Amanda Billner. "Zebran är en häst" (in Swedish). Dagens Nyheter's webpage, 28 June 2007. Retrieved 30 juni 2007.
  10. BBC "Half horse, half zebra - hebra Retrieved 3 July 2007]
  11. "Zebra, donkey hybrid born in Dahlonega". Gainesville Times. 2010-07-27. http://www.gainesvilletimes.com/section/6/article/35810/. 
  12. "Meet Eclyse - the amazing zebra crossing". Mail Online. Associated Newspapers Ltd. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-464723/Meet-Eclyse--amazing-zebra-crossing.html. Retrieved 2008-07-10. 


External links

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de:Zebroide et:Sebroid es:Zebroide it:Zony ja:ゼブロイド pl:Zebroid pt:Zebroide fi:Sebroidi tl:Sebrang bisiro ur:ہيبرا


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