Przewalski's horse

Some scientists consider this horse as simply a subspecies of the domestic horse - Equus caballus - rather than a separate species. Most certainly, Przewalski’s horse represents a unique animal, either as the last remaining truly wild variety of domestic horse, or as a unique species. In fact, Przewalski’s horse, named after the Russian explorer who discovered it in 1879, has very similar habits to feral populations of domestic horses.

It lives in groups of around ten individuals, consisting of females with their young and a single dominant male or stallion. The stallion may lead his harem of females and young for many years, taking great care to protect them from rival males and other dangers such as predators.

Przewalski's horses are slightly smaller than domestic horses, with light reddish-brown-coloured upper parts, pale flanks and white undersides. Plans have been made to reintroduce these horses to their former range.

These horses spend their days in dry areas, and in the evenings move to wetter areas with better grazing and drinking water. In some parts they make seasonal migrations to track the rainfall and the richest grazing sites. The horses have not been seen in the wild since 1968, and it is feared that they are now extinct in their former range. However, the species survives in zoos.

Distribution: Altai Mountains of Mongolia.

Habitat: Grassy plains and deserts.

Food: Grass, leaves, twigs, buds and fruit.

Size: 2.2 - 2.8 m (7.25 - 9.25 ft); 200 - 300 kg (440-660 lb).

Maturity: Females 4 years; males 5 years.

Breeding: Single foal born every 3 years.

Life span: 38 years.

Status: Extinct in the wild.