Hybrid creatures are not just things of science-fiction novels and fantasy movies! Well, some creatures - centaurs, minotaurs, harpies, etc. - are purely fictional but there are a lot of hybrid species around since a very long time and some of these are quite well-known to us! Take, for instance, the mule. Most of us are aware of the existence of this jackass-mare cross species and some of us have even seen and ridden them (if any of you has ever vacationed in the mountainous terrains of northern India, you could not have missed out on mule rides as these animals are the only reliable means of transport along those treacherously steep and narrow mountain passes).
Coming back to zorse facts, the prior discussion must have let the cat out of the bag by now - the zorse is a hybrid animal! A zorse is a cross between a male zebra and a female horse. Zorses belong to the class of zebra hybrids known as zebroids which includes two other zebra hybrid types, besides zorse, such as zony and zonkey.
Facts About Zebroids
As discussed above, a zebroid is any hybrid animal whose existence is the result of a zebra mating with any other equine creature such as horse, mule, donkey, etc. While instances of zebra hybrids in the wild have been reported since way before the beginning of the 1800s (even Charles Darwin has mentioned zebroids in many of his works), deliberate breeding of zebra hybrids began around the last decade of the 19th century. Let's take a look at some interesting zebroid facts before moving on to zorse facts.
- One common feature shared by all zebroids is that the male parent is always a zebra.
- For breeding a zebroid, usually no distinction is made with respect to the species of the zebra sire involved. Any of the three zebra species - plains zebra, Grevy's zebra or mountain zebra - and the various resultant subspecies of zebra can be used by zebroid and zorse breeders to create an equine hybrid.
- Different equine species are usually bred in confinement and such mating is extremely rare in the wild.
- Such breeding of different equine species always result in sterile offspring.
Facts About Zorse
Let's take a look at some interesting zorse facts to know more about this amazing equine hybrid.
- The size of a zorse depends upon the breed of zebra that sires it. As such, its size can range from that of a pony to that of a horse.
- The average height of a zorse, as recorded till date, can be anywhere between thirteen hands to sixteen hands.
- On an average, zorses are stronger and sturdier than purebred horses as the former have a more robust musculature than the latter.
- The base color of a zorse is usually derived from its dame and the striping is lighter than the base coloring. The stripes usually cover only part of the back and legs of a zorse.
- Zorses usually don't have very long manes. Their manes may either fall along their necks like their equine mothers, or may stand erect along the neck like their zebra fathers.
- Zorses are more difficult to train and handle than horses as they share some wild instincts with their male zebra parent. Also, a zorse, like a zebra, prefers to be attached to a single trainer or rider and doesn't entertain multiple masters as easily as a horse does.
- The first recorded breeding of zorses took place in the early nineteenth century in South Africa in tandem with an equine breeding program that was sponsored by the government of South Africa.
- Zorses, like all zebroids, are infertile and two zorses cannot mate and produce a zorse offspring.
- Zorses tend to be livelier than horses and are extremely fond of running around in vast open spaces, just like their zebra parents.
- Zorses are also known as zebrula, zebrule, zebra mule and golden zebra.
There, that was a collection of some interesting facts about the zorse and other zebroids that are sure to incite anyone's interest in reading and finding out more about hybrid creatures! Nature holds testimony to many such hybrid creatures like liger and tiglon (the former is a cross between male lion and tigress while the latter is a cross between male tiger and lioness), prizzly/ grolar bear (grizzly bear - polar bear cross), etc.
Man is also constantly making attempts at lending a helping hand to Nature by making persistent discoveries and breakthroughs in the field of genetics. We can only imagine and stand in wait for more such wonders in terms of origin and discovery of newer species till we lay our eyes upon them.