Behold: a zonkey is born … leading to thoughts about ancient Egyptian animals

The bizaare hybrids called  zonkeys (Equus zebra x Equus asinus) are occasionally born in Africa and elsewhere and Jerry Coyne has an excellent blog about them, referenced below.

The existence of zonkeys leads me (as an occasional practitioner and follower of Egyptology and ancient Egyptian history) to wonder if similar crossbreeding might have either just happened or had been attempted by early Egyptians, with suggestive evidence being uncovered in the predynastic and early dynastic site of Hierakonpolis, Upper Egypt.

At this site a selection of both wild and domestic breeds were carefully wrapped and buried, including elephant, some aurochs (pre-domestic cattle of North Africa and elsewhere), and a wide variety of other domesticated and wild creatures.

In an upcoming blog I want to discuss these predynastic and early dynastic animals and animal burials found at Hierakonpolis as well as the role of animals and animal monsters in ancient Egypt and beyond:

But in this blog let us have a look at a modern-day animal combi via Jerry Coyne;   the zonkey:

Why Evolution Is True

Here’s a nice hybrid for you, born only four days ago and sporting an adorable set of striped leggings:

A zonkey, the offspring of a cross between a zebra and a donkey, named “Khumba” has been born for the first time in Mexico on 21 April, as a zoo in the northern state of Tamaulipas reports. He weighed 26 kilograms and measured 70 centimeters at birth. Khumba’s mother, a female zebra whose name is “Rayas”, lives among exotic animals in the zoo, while his father, a an albino dwarfed blue-eyed donkey, lives in a nearby farm.

Since albinism is a genetically recessive trait, the zonkey shows the same coloration as a hybrid between a zebra and a non-albino donkey.

Wikipedia gives a surprising amount of information about zebra/equid hybrids, called “zebroids” as a whole. They can take occur not only with donkey parents, but also ponies (“zonys”) and horses (“zorses”). The females…

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About dianabuja

With a group of BaTwa (pygmy) women potters, with whom we've worked to enhance production and sales of their wonderful pots - fantastic for cooking and serving. To see the 2 blogs on this work enter 'batwa pots' into the search engine located just above this picture. Blog entries throughout this site are about Africa, as well as about the Middle East and life in general - reflecting over 35 years of work and research in Africa and the Middle East – Come and join me!
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1 Response to Behold: a zonkey is born … leading to thoughts about ancient Egyptian animals

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