AppearancePrzewalski's horse is stockily built in comparison to domesticated horses, with shorter legs. Typical height is about 13 hands , length is about 2.1 m . They weigh around 300 kilograms . The coat is generally dun in color with pangaré features, varying from dark brown around the mane to pale brown on the flanks and yellowish-white on the belly and around the muzzle. The legs of Przewalski's horse are often faintly striped, also typical of primitive markings. The tail is about 90 cm long, with a longer dock and shorter hair than seen in domesticated horses.
The Przewalski's horse has 66 chromosomes, compared to 64 in all other horse species.
NamingThe taxonomic position is still debated, and some taxonomists treat Przewalski's horse as a species, ''Equus przewalskii''.
Common names for this equine include ''Asian wild horse'', ''Przewalski's wild horse'', ''Mongolian wild horse'', and ''tahki''. Historical but obsolete names include ''true tarpan'' and ''Mongolian tarpan''. The horse is named after the Russian geographer and explorer Nikolai Przhevalsky.
DistributionAll Przewalski horses in the world are descended from nine of the 31 horses in captivity in 1945. These nine horses were mostly descended from approximately 15 captured around 1900. A cooperative venture between the Zoological Society of London and Mongolian scientists has resulted in successful reintroduction of these horses from zoos into their natural habitat in Mongolia; and as of 2011 there is an estimated free-ranging population of over 300 in the wild. From a population of 31 horses in captivity in 1945, the total number of these horses by the early 1990s was over 1,500.
BehaviorIn the wild, Przewalski's horses live in small, permanent family groups consisting of one adult stallion, one to three mares, and their common offspring. Offspring stay in the family group until they are no longer dependent, usually at two or three years old. Bachelor stallions, and sometimes old stallions, join bachelor groups. Family groups can join together to form a herd that move together.
The patterns of their daily lives exhibit horse behavior similar to that of feral horse herds. Stallions herd, drive and defend all members of their family, while the mare often displays leadership in the family. Stallions and mares stay with their preferred partner for years.
Horses maintain visual contact with their family and herd at all times and have a host of ways to communicate with one another, including vocalizations, scent marking, and a wide range of visual and tactile signals. Each kick, groom, tilt of the ear, or other contact with another horse is a means of communicating. This constant communication leads to complex social behaviors among Przewalski's horses.
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