Donkey (Equus sp.)
Female Donkey with foal, Great Blasket Island, Co. Kerry, Ireland, July 2005 - click for larger image The Donkey is a domesticated version of the wild ass.

An article in Science (vol 304, p 1781) analysed donkey DNA and showed that there were 2 distinct populations of domestic donkey: one descended from the Nubian wild ass Equus asinus africanus and the other being similar to the Somalian wild ass Equus asinus somaliensis.

The donkey was domesticated about 5,000 years ago in Egypt, Iraq and Iran and were important, along with horses and camels in the development of trade and mobility. They were an important pack animal for the Roman legions who introduced the donkey to Britain.

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