Difference between Donkey and Mule

Mar 6, 2012 by

Difference between Donkey and Mule

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  1. daniel

    There are probably very few people who can successfully differentiate a mule from a donkey. This is because they are very similar in both their appearance and behavior. Nonetheless, they do have a few physiological and anatomical differences.

    1. Definition

    A donkey is basically a domesticated animal that is closely related to horses. However, donkeys are much smaller than horses, along with very long ears and a short mane. In contrast, mules are basically hybrid animals that are obtained from crossing male donkeys with female horses.

    2. Reproduction

    A key difference between mules and donkeys is associated with their reproductive system. In this case, donkeys have the capability of reproducing, but mules cannot reproduce. In fact, mules are sterile. Furthermore, donkeys have 62 chromosomes, whereas mules have 63 chromosomes.

    3. Stamina

    Mules can perform far much better than donkeys. In general, donkeys show impatience when placed under immense pressure or heavy weight. However, mules remain calm even when carrying very heavy loads. Mules have much more stamina and energy than donkeys. They can do more work and last longer because of their hybrid origin. In contrast, donkeys normally get tired very quickly.

    4. Intelligence

    Mules are believed to be much more intelligent as compared to donkeys. In fact, mules have an ability of jumping up several feet from their normal standing position, while donkeys cannot do the same action.

    5. Physical traits

    Although one can observe a likeness in the outward appearance of mules and donkeys, there are great differences also. Mules have a physical makeup that resembles both a donkey and horse. They have smaller ears than donkeys, but longer ears that closely resemble those of a horse. Mules are also much taller when compared with donkeys.

    The final way of differentiating these closely related animals is by the sound they produce. In this case, mules produce a more unique sound that is very different from a donkey’s sound.

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