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A mule is the
offspring In biology, offspring are the young creation of living organisms, produced either by a Asexual reproduction, single organism or, in the case of sexual reproduction, two organisms. Collective offspring may be known as a brood or progeny in a more ...

offspring
of a male
donkey The donkey or ass is a domestic animal This page gives a list of domestic animals, also including a list of domestication of animals, animals which are or may be currently undergoing the process of domestication and animals that have an exten ...
(jack) and a female
horse The horse (''Equus ferus caballus'') is a domesticated Domestication is a sustained multi-generational relationship in which one group of organisms assumes a significant degree of influence over the reproduction and care of another group to ...

horse
(
mare A mare is an adult female Female (symbol: ♀) is the sex Sex is either of two divisions, typically male Male (♂) is the sex of an organism that produces the gamete known as sperm. A male gamete can fuse with a larger female g ...

mare
). Horses and donkeys are different species, with different numbers of
chromosome A chromosome is a long DNA molecule with part or all of the genome, genetic material of an organism. Most eukaryotic chromosomes include packaging proteins called histones which, aided by Chaperone (protein), chaperone proteins, bind to and ...

chromosome
s. Of the two first-generation hybrids between these two species, a mule is easier to obtain than a
hinny A hinny is a equine that is the offspring of a male (a ) and a female (a jenny). It is the to the more common , which is the product of a male donkey (a jack) and a female horse (a ). The hinny is distinctive from the mule both in and as ...
, which is the offspring of a female donkey ( jenny) and a male horse (
stallion A stallion is a male that has not been (). Stallions follow the and of their , but within that standard, the presence of s such as may give stallions a thicker, "cresty" neck, as well as a somewhat more muscular physique as compared to fema ...

stallion
). The size of a mule and work to which it is put depend largely on the breeding of the mule's mother (
dam A dam is a barrier that stops or restricts the flow of surface water An example of surface water is Lake Kinney. Surface water is water Water is an Inorganic compound, inorganic, Transparency and translucency, transparent, tas ...

dam
). Mules can be lightweight, medium weight, or when produced from
draft Draft, The Draft, or Draught may refer to: Watercraft dimensions * Draft (hull), the distance from waterline to keel of a vessel * Draft (sail), degree of curvature in a sail * Air draft, distance from waterline to the highest point on a vessel ...

draft
mares, of moderately heavy weight. Mules are reputed to be more patient, hardy, and long-lived than horses, and are described as less obstinate and more intelligent than donkeys.


Biology

The mule is valued because, while it has the size and ground-covering ability of its dam, it is stronger than a horse of similar size and inherits the endurance and disposition of the donkey sire, tending to require less feed than a horse of similar size. Mules also tend to be more independent than most domesticated equines other than its parental species, the donkey. The median weight range for a mule is between about . While a few mules can carry live weight up to , the superiority of the mule becomes apparent in their additional endurance. In general, a mule can be packed with dead weight up to 20% of its body weight, or around . Although it depends on the individual animal, mules trained by the
Army of Pakistan The Pakistan Army () is the land Land is the solid surface of the Earth that is not permanently covered by water. The vast majority of human activity throughout history has occurred in land areas that support agriculture Agricul ...
are reported to be able to carry up to and walk without resting. The average equine in general can carry up to roughly 30% of its body weight in live weight, such as a rider. A female mule that has
estrus The estrous cycle (, originally ) is the set of recurring physiological changes that are induced by reproductive hormone A hormone (from the Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλ ...
cycles, and which could thus in theory carry a fetus, is called a "molly" or "Molly mule", though the term is sometimes used to refer to female mules in general. Pregnancy is rare, but can occasionally occur naturally, as well as through
embryo transfer Embryo transfer refers to a step in the process of assisted reproduction in which embryo An embryo is the early stage of development of a multicellular organism A multicellular organism is an organism that consists of more than one cell (biol ...
. A male mule is properly called a "horse mule", though often called a "john mule", which is the correct term for a
gelded A gelding is a castration, castrated horse or other equine, such as a pony, donkey or a mule. Castration, as well as the elimination of hormonally driven horse behavior, behavior associated with a stallion, allows a male horse to be calmer and bette ...
mule. A young male mule is called a "mule colt", and a young female is called a "mule filly".


Characteristics

With its short, thick head, long ears, thin limbs, small, narrow hooves, and short
mane Mane may refer to: *Mane (horse), the line of hair along the spine of the neck *Mane (lion), found around the male mammal's neck In arts and entertainment *Mane (film), ''Mane'' (film) is a 1990 Kannada language film directed by Girish Kasaravall ...
, the mule shares characteristics of a donkey. In height and body, shape of neck and
rump Rump may refer to: * Rump (animal) ) The rump or croup, in the external Morphology (biology), morphology of an animal, is the portion of the posterior dorsum – that is, posterior to the loin The loins, or lumbus, are the sides between the low ...
, uniformity of coat, and teeth, it appears horse-like. The mule occurs in all sizes, shapes, and conformations. Some mules resemble huge draft horses, sturdy , fine-boned racing horses, shaggy
ponies A pony is a small horse The horse (''Equus ferus caballus'') is a domesticated Domestication is a sustained multi-generational relationship in which one group of organisms assumes a significant degree of influence over the reproduction ...

ponies
, and more. The mule is an example of
hybrid vigor Heterosis, hybrid vigor, or outbreeding enhancement is the improved or increased function of any biological quality in a Hybrid (biology), hybrid offspring. An offspring is heterotic if its trait (biology), traits are enhanced as a result of mi ...
. Charles Darwin wrote: "The mule always appears to me a most surprising animal. That a hybrid should possess more reason, memory, obstinacy, social affection, powers of muscular endurance, and length of life, than either of its parents, seems to indicate that art has here outdone nature." The mule inherits from its sire the traits of intelligence, sure-footedness, toughness, endurance, disposition, and natural cautiousness. From its dam it inherits speed, conformation, and agility. Mules are reputed to exhibit a higher cognitive intelligence than their parent species, but robust scientific evidence to back up these claims is lacking. Preliminary data exist from at least two evidence-based studies, but they rely on a limited set of specialized cognitive tests and a small number of subjects. Mules are generally taller at the shoulder than donkeys and have better endurance than horses, although a lower top speed. Handlers of
working animal A working animal is an animal, usually domesticated Domestication is a sustained multi-generational relationship in which one group of organisms assumes a significant degree of influence over the reproduction and care of another group to secu ...
s generally find mules preferable to horses; mules show more patience under the pressure of heavy weights, and their skin is harder and less sensitive than that of horses, rendering them more capable of resisting sun and rain. Their hooves are harder than horses', and they show a natural resistance to disease and insects. Many North American farmers with
clay Clay is a type of fine-grained natural soil Surface-water- gley developed in glacial till, Northern Ireland.">Northern_Ireland.html" ;"title="glacial till, Northern Ireland">glacial till, Northern Ireland. Soil is a mixture of organic m ...

clay
soil found mules superior as plow animals.


Color and size variety

Mules occur in a variety of configurations, sizes, and colors; minis weigh under to over . The coats of mules have the same varieties as those of horses. Common colors are
sorrel left, Polish_cuisine.html"_;"title="Sorrel_soup_with_egg_and_croutons,_part_of_Polish_cuisine">Sorrel_soup_with_egg_and_croutons,_part_of_Polish_cuisine_ Sorrel_(''Rumex_acetosa''),_also_called_common_sorrel_or_garden_sorrel,_is_a_perennial ...
,
bay A bay is a recessed, coastal body of water that directly connects to a larger main body of water, such as an ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of salt water which covers approximately 71% of the surface ...
,
black Black is a color which results from the absence or complete absorption Absorption may refer to: Chemistry and biology *Absorption (chemistry), diffusion of particles of gas or liquid into liquid or solid materials *Absorption (skin), a rout ...
, and
grey Grey or gray (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States. Currently, American Eng ...
. Less common are
white White is the lightest color Color (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the Unite ...
, roan,
palomino Palomino is a genetic color in horse The horse (''Equus ferus caballus'') is a domesticated Domestication is a sustained multi-generational relationship in which one group of organisms assumes a significant degree of influence over the ...

palomino
,
dun 250px, Ruined dun in Lewis ">Isle_of_Lewis.html" ;"title="Loch Steinacleit on Isle of Lewis">Lewis A dun is an ancient or medieval fort. In Ireland and Britain it is mainly a kind of hillfort and also a kind of Atlantic roundhouse. Etymolo ...
, and
buckskin Buckskin may refer to: __NOTOC__ Leather *Buckskin (leather), leather made of buck (i.e. deer) hide *Buckskins, an outfit of buckskin leather Horses *Buckskin (horse), a body color of horses similar to buckskin leather, the animals also have a black ...
. Least common are
paint Paint is any pigmented liquid A liquid is a nearly incompressible In fluid mechanics Fluid mechanics is the branch of physics concerned with the mechanics Mechanics (Ancient Greek, Greek: ) is the area of physics concerned wi ...
or
tobiano Tobiano is a spotted color pattern commonly seen in pinto horse A pinto horse has a coat color that consists of large patches of white and any other color. The distinction between "pinto" and "solid" can be tenuous, as so-called "solid" ho ...

tobiano
patterns. Mules from
Appaloosa The Appaloosa is an American horse breed A horse breed is a selectively bred population of domesticated Domestication is a sustained multi-generational relationship in which one group of organisms assumes a significant degree of influence ...

Appaloosa
mares produce wildly colored mules, much like their Appaloosa horse relatives, but with even wilder skewed colors. The Appaloosa color is produced by a complex of genes known as the
leopard complex The leopard complex is a group of genetically related coat patterns in horse The horse (''Equus ferus caballus'') is a domesticated odd-toed ungulate mammal. It belongs to the taxonomic family Equidae and is one of two Extant taxon, extant s ...
. Mares homozygous for this gene complex bred to any color donkey will produce a spotted mule.


Distribution and use

Mules historically were used by armies to transport supplies, occasionally as mobile firing platforms for smaller cannons, and to pull heavier field guns with wheels over mountainous trails such as in Afghanistan during the
Second Anglo-Afghan War The Second Anglo-Afghan War (Dari (, , ) or Dari Persian (, ) is the political term used for the dialect of Persian language Persian (), also known by its endonym Farsi (, ', ), is a Western Iranian language belonging to the Irania ...
. The
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)french: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'alimentation et l'agriculture; it, Organizzazione delle Nazioni Unite per l'Alimentazione e l'Agricoltura is a specialized agency ...
reports that
China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere ...

China
was the top market for mules in 2003, closely followed by
Mexico Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organi ...

Mexico
and many Central and South American nations.


Fertility

Mules and hinnies have 63
chromosome A chromosome is a long DNA molecule with part or all of the genome, genetic material of an organism. Most eukaryotic chromosomes include packaging proteins called histones which, aided by Chaperone (protein), chaperone proteins, bind to and ...

chromosome
s, a mixture of the horse's 64 and the donkey's 62. The different structure and number usually prevents the chromosomes from pairing up properly and creating successful embryos, rendering most mules
infertile Infertility is the inability of a person, animal or plant to reproduce by natural means. It is usually not the natural state of a healthy adult, except notably among certain eusocial species (mostly haplodiploid insects). In humans, infertil ...
. A few mare mules have produced offspring when mated with a purebred horse or donkey.
Herodotus Herodotus ( ; grc, Ἡρόδοτος, Hēródotos, ; BC) was an Classical Greece, ancient Greek writer, geographer, and historian born in the Greek city of Halicarnassus, part of the Achaemenid Empire, Persian Empire (now Bodrum, Turkey). He ...
gives an account of such an event as an ill omen of Xerxes' invasion of Greece in 480 BC: "There happened also a portent of another kind while he was still at Sardis—a mule brought forth young and gave birth to a mule" (Herodotus '' The Histories'' 7:57), and a mule's giving birth was a frequently recorded portent in antiquity, although scientific writers also doubted whether the thing was really possible (see e.g.
Aristotle Aristotle (; grc-gre, Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questio ...

Aristotle
, ''Historia animalium'', 6.24;
Varro Marcus Terentius Varro (; 116–27 BC) was a Roman polymath A polymath ( el, πολυμαθής, , "having learned much"; la, homo universalis, "universal human") is an individual whose knowledge spans a substantial number of subjects, known ...
, ''De re rustica'', 2.1.28). As of October 2002, only 60 cases of mules birthing foals had been documented since 1527. In China in 2001, a mare mule produced a filly. In
Morocco ) , image_map = Morocco (orthographic projection, WS claimed).svg , map_caption = Location of Morocco in northwest Africa.Dark green: Undisputed territory of Morocco.Lighter green: Western Sahara, a United Nations lis ...

Morocco
in early 2002 and
Colorado Colorado (, other variants) is a state in the Mountain West The Mountain West Conference (MW) is one of the collegiate athletic conferences affiliated with the National Collegiate Athletic Association The National Collegiate Athletic ...

Colorado
in 2007, mare mules produced colts. Blood and hair samples from the Colorado birth verified that the mother was indeed a mule and the foal was indeed her offspring. A 1939 article in the ''Journal of Heredity'' describes two offspring of a fertile mare mule named "Old Bec", which was owned at the time by
Texas A&M University Texas A&M University (Texas A&M, A&M, or TAMU) is a public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an individual or an organization An organization, or organi ...
in the late 1920s. One of the foals was a female, sired by a jack. Unlike her mother, she was sterile. The other, sired by a five-gaited
Saddlebred The American Saddlebred is a horse breed A horse breed is a selectively bred population of domestication, domesticated horses, often with Pedigree chart, pedigrees recorded in a breed registry. However, the term is sometimes used in a broa ...

Saddlebred
stallion, exhibited no characteristics of any donkey. That horse, a stallion, was bred to several mares, which gave birth to live foals that showed no characteristics of the donkey.


History

The mule is "the most common and oldest known manmade hybrid." It was likely invented in ancient times in what is now Turkey. They were common in Egypt by 3000 BCE.
Homer Homer (; grc, Ὅμηρος , ''Hómēros'') was an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally re ...

Homer
noted their arrival in Asia Minor in the ''
Iliad The ''Iliad'' (; grc, Ἰλιάς, Iliás, ; sometimes referred to as the ''Song of Ilion'' or ''Song of Ilium'') is an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Moder ...

Iliad
'' in 800 BCE. Mules are mentioned in the Bible (Samuel 2:18:9, Kings 1:18:5, Zacharia 14:15, Psalms 32:9). Christopher Columbus brought mules to the New World.
George Washington George Washington (February 22, 1732, 1799) was an American soldier, statesman, and Founding Father The following list of national founding figures is a record, by country, of people who were credited with establishing a state. Natio ...

George Washington
is known as the father of the American mule due to his success in producing 57 mules at his home at Mount Vernon. At the time, mules were not common in the United States, but Washington understood their value, as they were "more docile than donkeys and cheap to maintain." In the 19th century, they were used in various capacities as draft animals - on farms, especially where clay made the soil slippery and sticky; pulling canal boats; and famously for pulling, often in teams of 20 or more animals, wagonloads of
borax Borax, also known as sodium borate, sodium tetraborate, or disodium tetraborate, is an important boron chemical substance, compound, a mineral, and a salt (chemistry), salt of boric acid. Powdered borax is white, consisting of soft colorless c ...

borax
out of
Death Valley Death Valley is a desert valley in Eastern California, in the northern Mojave Desert, bordering the Great Basin Desert. It is one of the hottest places on Earth, along with deserts in the Middle East and the Sahara. Death Valley's Badwater Ba ...

Death Valley
, California from 1883 to 1889. The wagons were among the largest ever pulled by draft animals, designed to carry 10
short ton The short ton (symbol tn) is a mass Mass is the quantity Quantity is a property that can exist as a multitude or magnitude, which illustrate discontinuity and continuity. Quantities can be compared in terms of "more", "less", or "equal ...
s (9 metric tons) of borax ore at a time.


Modern usage

In the second half of the 20th century, widespread usage of mules declined in industrialized countries. The use of mules for farming and transportation of agricultural products largely gave way to steam-, then gasoline-powered,
tractors A tractor is an engineering vehicle Heavy equipment or heavy machinery refers to heavy-duty vehicles, specially designed for executing construction tasks, most frequently ones involving Earthworks (engineering), earthwork operations or ot ...

tractors
and
truck A truck or lorry is a motor vehicle A motor vehicle, also known as motorized vehicle or automotive vehicle, is a self-propelled vehicle A vehicle (from la, vehiculum) is a machine that transports people or cargo. Vehicles include ...

truck
s. Mules are still used extensively to transport cargo in rugged, roadless regions, such as the large
wilderness Wilderness or wildlands (usually in the plural), are natural environments on Earth that have not been significantly modified by human activity or any nonurbanized land not under extensive agricultural cultivation. The term has traditionally re ...

wilderness
areas of California's
Sierra Nevada The Sierra Nevada () is a mountain range A mountain range is a series of mountains ranged in a line and connected by high ground. A mountain system or mountain belt is a group of mountain ranges with similarity in form, structure, and align ...
mountains or the Pasayten Wilderness of northern Washington. Commercial pack mules are used recreationally, such as to supply mountaineering base camps, and also to supply trail-building and maintenance crews, and backcountry footbridge-building crews. As of July 2014, at least 16 commercial mule pack stations are in business in the Sierra Nevada. The Angeles chapter of the
Sierra Club The Sierra Club is an environmental organization An environmental organization is an organization coming out of the Conservation movement, conservation or environmental movements that seeks to protect, analyse or monitor the environment against m ...
has a mule pack section that organizes hiking trips with supplies carried by mules. During the
Soviet–Afghan War The Soviet–Afghan War was a conflict wherein insurgent groups known collectively as the Mujahideen ''Mujahideen'', or ''Mujahidin'' ( ar, مُجَاهِدِين, mujāhidīn), is the plural form of ''mujahid'' ( ar, مجاهد, mujā ...
, mules were used to carry weapons and supplies over Afghanistan's rugged terrain to the''
mujahideen ''Mujahideen'', or ''Mujahidin'' ( ar, مُجَاهِدِين, mujāhidīn), is the plural form of ''mujahid'' ( ar, مجاهد, mujāhid, strugglers or strivers or justice, right conduct, Godly rule, etc. doers of jihād), an Arabic term th ...
''. About 3.5 million donkeys and mules are slaughtered each year for meat worldwide. Mule trains have been part of working portions of transportation links as recently as 2005 by the
World Food Programme The World Food Programme; it, Programma alimentare mondiale; es, Programa Mundial de Alimentos; ar, برنامج الأغذية العالمي, translit=barnamaj al'aghdhiat alealami; russian: Всемирная продовольственн ...

World Food Programme
.


Trains

A "mule train" is a connected or unconnected line of pack mules, usually carrying cargo. Because of the mule's ability to carry at least as much as a horse, its trait of being sure-footed along with tolerance of poorer, coarser foods and abilities to tolerate arid terrains, mule trains were common caravan organized means of animal-powered
bulk transport Bulk cargo is commodity cargo In economics, the word cargo refers in particular to goods or produce being conveyed—generally for Commerce, commercial gain—by water, air or land. "Freight" is the money paid to carry cargo. ''Cargo' ...
back into preclassical times. In many climate and circumstantial instances, an equivalent string of pack horses would have to carry more fodder and sacks of high-energy grains such as
oat The oat (''Avena sativa''), sometimes called the common oat, is a of grown for its seed, which is known by the same name (usually in the plural, unlike other cereals and ). While oats are suitable for human consumption as and , one of the m ...
s, so could carry less cargo. In modern times, strings of sure-footed mules have been used to carry riders in dangerous but scenic backcountry terrain such as excursions into canyons. Pack trains were instrumental in opening up the American West, as they could carry up to , survive on rough forage, did not require feed, and could operate in the arid, higher elevations of the Rockies, serving as the main cargo means to the west from Missouri during the heyday of the
North American fur trade#REDIRECT North American fur trade The North American fur trade, an aspect of the international fur trade, was the acquisition, trade, exchange, and sale of animal furs in North America. Indigenous peoples in Canada, Indigenous peoples and Native A ...
. Their use antedated the move west into the Rockies as colonial Americans sent out the first fur trappers and explorers past the Appalachians, who were then followed west by high risk-taking settlers by the 1750s (such as
Daniel Boone Daniel Boone (September 26, 1820) was an American pioneer and frontier, frontiersman whose exploits made him one of the first Folklore of the United States, folk heroes of the United States. Boone became famous for his exploration and settlement ...

Daniel Boone
), who led an increasing flood of emigrants who began pushing west over into southern New York, and through the
gaps of the Allegheny after GNIS finding of'' 'Kittanning Gap, Pennsylvania' '' seen in USGS National Map viewer screenshot. The gap is located effectively in a western suburb of Altoona, Pennsylvania, Altoona, PA. The maps on this page also are showing the nearby Penn ...
into the
Ohio Country upright=1.75, The Ohio Country with battles and massacres between 1775 and 1794 The Ohio Country (sometimes called the Ohio TerritoryA misnomer since it was never an organized territory of the United States or of any other nation or Ohio Valley b ...
(the lands of western
Province of Virginia , legislature = House of Burgesses The House of Burgesses was the elected representative element of the Virginia General Assembly, the legislative body of the Colony of Virginia , legislature = House of Burgesses (1619–177 ...
and the
Province of Pennsylvania The Province of Pennsylvania, also known as the Pennsylvania Colony, was a British North American colony founded by William Penn William Penn (14 October 1644 – 30 July 1718) was an English writer and religious thinker belonging to the R ...
), into Tennessee and Kentucky before and especially after the
American Revolution The American Revolution was an ideological and political revolution which occurred in colonial North America between 1765 and 1783. The Americans in the Thirteen Colonies The Thirteen Colonies, also known as the Thirteen British Colo ...
.


Gallery

File:A British Army mule train transports supplies in the Italian mountains, 21 November 1943. NA8984.jpg,
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
British Army The British Army is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' us ...
pack mule train in
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Alps The Alps ; german: Alpen ; it, Alpi ; rm, Alps; sl, Alpe ) are the highest ...

Italy
File:Mule Train.jpg, Working mule train,
Nicaragua Nicaragua (; ), officially the Republic of Nicaragua (), is the largest Sovereign state, country in the Central American isthmus, bordered by Honduras to the northwest, the Caribbean Sea, Caribbean to the east, Costa Rica to the south, and th ...

Nicaragua
1957–1961 File:Cataline's Mule Train at Hazelton.gif, A 1911 mule train in
British Columbia ( en, Splendour without diminishment) , image_map = British Columbia in Canada 2.svg , Label_map = yes , coordinates = , official_lang = None , Slogan = Beautiful British C ...

British Columbia
File:Mule train.jpg,
Grand Canyon The Grand Canyon (, yuf-x-yav, Wi:kaʼi:la, , ) is a steep-sided canyon A canyon (; archaic British English spelling: ''cañon'') or gorge is a deep cleft between escarpments or cliffs resulting from weathering and the erosion, erosive ...

Grand Canyon
on the South Kaibab trail File:Mule Train at Quesnel River.gif, A 1868 mule train fording the
Fraser River The Fraser River is the longest river within British Columbia ( en, Splendour without diminishment) , image_map = British Columbia in Canada 2.svg , Label_map = yes , coordinates = , official_lan ...

Fraser River
File:Peter Birmann - The Devil%27s Bridge in the Schöllenen Gorge on the Way across the St. Gotthard Pass with a Mule Train, before 1805 - Google Art Project.jpg, The "Devil's Bridge" at Schöllenen Gorge, St. Gotthard Pass,
Switzerland , french: Suisse(sse), it, svizzero/svizzera or , rm, Svizzer/Svizra , government_type = Federalism, Federal semi-direct democracy under an assembly-independent Directorial system, directorial republic , leader_title1 = Fe ...

Switzerland
, about
1800 As of March 1 (Old Style, O.S. February 18), when the Julian calendar acknowledged a leap day and the Gregorian calendar did not, the Julian calendar fell one day further behind, bringing the difference to 12 days until February 28 (Old Style ...

1800
(drawing by Peter Birmann) File:USSMexicanID1655 Mule 1944.jpg, unloading US Army mules in Naples, Italy, in September, 1944 File:Transporte de mulas celaya.jpg, Mule cars in Celaya,
Guanajuato Guanajuato (), officially the Free and Sovereign State of Guanajuato ( es, Estado Libre y Soberano de Guanajuato), is one of the 32 states that make up the Federal Entities of Mexico Mexico ( es, México ; Nahuan languages: ), officially ...

Guanajuato
, Mexico, 1930s File:Plowing ca 1947.jpg, Plowing with a mule,
Saluda, South Carolina Saluda is a town in Saluda County, South Carolina South Carolina () is a state in the Southeastern region of the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a cou ...
, 1947


Clone

In 2003, researchers at
University of Idaho The University of Idaho (U of I, or UIdaho) is a Public university, public Land-grant, land-grant research university in Moscow, Idaho. It is the state's land-grant and primary research university, and the lead university in the National Space Gr ...

University of Idaho
and
Utah State University Utah State University (USU or Utah State) is a public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an individual or an organization An organization, or organisation ...
produced the first mule
clone Clone or Clones or Cloning or The Clone may refer to: Places * Clones, County Fermanagh * Clones, County Monaghan, a town in Ireland Biology * Clone (B-cell), a lymphocyte clone, the massive presence of which may indicate a pathological conditio ...

clone
as part of Project Idaho. The research team included Gordon Woods, professor of
animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular A multicellular organism is an organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system that functions as an individual entity. All organisms are composed of cells ...
and
veterinary science Veterinary medicine is the branch of medicine Medicine is the science Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity, awareness, or understanding of someone or something, such ...
at the University of Idaho; Kenneth L. White, Utah State University professor of animal science; and Dirk Vanderwall, University of Idaho assistant professor of animal and veterinary science. The baby mule, Idaho Gem, was born May 4. It was the first clone of a hybrid animal. Veterinary examinations of the foal and its surrogate mother showed them to be in good health soon after birth. The foal's DNA comes from a fetal cell culture first established in 1998 at the University of Idaho.


See also

*
African wild ass The African wild ass or African wild donkey (''Equus africanus'') is a wild member of the horse The horse (''Equus ferus caballus'') is a domesticated Domestication is a sustained multi-generational relationship in which one group of or ...
*
Forty acres and a mule Forty acres and a mule is part of Special Field Orders No. 15, a wartime order proclaimed by Union General William Tecumseh Sherman on January 16, 1865, during the American Civil War, to allot land to some freed families, in plots of land no larg ...
*
Headless Mule The Headless Mule ( pt, Mula-Sem-Cabeça, ) is a myth Myth is a folklore genre consisting of narratives that play a fundamental role in a society, such as foundational tales or origin myths. The main characters in myths are usually gods, de ...

Headless Mule
, a cursed woman in Brazilian folklore *
Jennet Image:Jennet.jpg, A medieval jennet. A jennet or Spanish jennet was a small Spain, Spanish horse. It was noted for a smooth naturally ambling horse gait, gait, compact and well-muscled build, and a good disposition. The jennet was an ideal light ri ...

Jennet
, a small Spanish horse *
Kiang The kiang (''Equus kiang'') is the largest of the ''Asinus ''Asinus'' is a subgenus of '' Equus'' (single-toed (hooved) grazing animal) that encompasses several subspecies In Taxonomy (biology), biological classification, the term sub ...

Kiang
, the Tibetan ass *
List of genetic hybrids This is a list of genetic hybrids which is limited to well documented cases of animals of differing species able to create hybrid offspring which may or may not be infertile. Hybrids should not be confused with Chimera (genetics), genetic chimeras ...
*
No Mule's Fool No Mule's Fool is a song by the British progressive rock band Family In human society, family (from la, familia) is a group of people related either by consanguinity (by recognized birth) or affinity (by marriage or other relationship). T ...
* Onager, the Asiatic wild ass * Zebroid


Notes


Citations


Further reading

* Arnold, Watson C. "The Mule: The Worker that 'Can't Get No Respect'," ''Southwestern Historical Quarterly'' (2008) 112#1 pp. 34–50
online
* * Ellenberg, George B. ''Mule South to Tractor South: Mules, Machines, and the Transformation of the Cotton South'' (University of Alabama Press. 2007) 219pp * * * * * Hosted by the University of North Texas, UNT Digital Library. Originally published by the United States Government Printing Office, U.S. Government Printing Office.


External links


American Donkey and Mule Society

American Mule Association

British Mule Society


{{Authority control Mules, Equid hybrids Livestock Livestock guardians Pack animals