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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Perissodactyla
Family: Equidae
Genus: Equus
Subgenus: Asinus

Equus asinus
Equus africanus
Equus hemionus
Equus kiang

The subgenus Asinus encompasses four species and several subspecies of equidae characterized by long ears, a lean, straight-backed build, a scant tail, and a reputation for considerable toughness and endurance.

The common Donkey or "Ass" is the best-known representative of the Subgenus, with both domesticated and feral varieties, ranging in size from the small burro to the horse-sized "Mammoth Jack" and other breeds. There is not a formal cutoff between the terminology "donkey" and "ass," though smaller animals are usually called donkeys and larger animals are asses. Both can be used to create a mule, which is a hybrid animal produced by a cross of a male donkey and a female horse.

Wild asses include a number of truly wild (never domesticated) species of Equus (subgenus Asinus) that live in Asia and Africa.


        • Donkey, Equus africanus asinus
        • Turkmenian Kulan, Equus hemionus kulan
      • Kiang, Equus kiang
        • Western Kiang, Equus kiang kiang
        • Southern Kiang, Equus kiang polyodon
        • Northern Kiang, Equus kiang chu
      • Equus cumminsii Cummin’s Ass
      • Equus calobatus Stilt-legged Onager
      • Equus tau Pygmy Onager


  1. Don E. Wilson & DeeAnn M. Reeder, ed (2005). "Equus asinus". Mammal Species of the World. A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. http://www.bucknell.edu/msw3/browse.asp?s=y&id=14100004. 
  2. International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature (2003). "Usage of 17 specific names based on wild species which are pre-dated by or contemporary with those based on domestic animals (Lepidoptera, Osteichthyes, Mammalia): conserved. Opinion 2027 (Case 3010).". Bull.Zool.Nomencl. 60 (1): 81–84. http://www.iczn.org/BZNMar2003opinions.htm#opinion2027. 


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