There are so many interesting things to learn about horses! This post is part of the Equus Education Blog Hop, focused on Equine Learning.
One thing I learned about early whilst growing up and reading about horse related things, was that a horse and a donkey crossed are known as a mule. Did you know that the mule is infertile? That is, that it cannot produce babies of its own?
It turns out that horses and donkeys have a different number of paired chromosomes. It is important that these come in pairs so that things work correctly in our body. Humans have 23 Pairs of chromosomes, or 46 in total. Horses have 32 pairs and donkeys have 31 pairs.
When a donkey and a horse are bred together, the horse parent gives half of its chromosomes to the growing baby (32) and the donkey parent gives half of its chromosomes (31). This means that the total number for the mule baby is (63). Suddenly one chromosome is left without a pair, which leaves it infertile, or not able to reproduce.
Isn’t that unusual? What interesting or unusual fact have you learned about horses? Share with me in a reply to this post!