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Przewalski's Horse (Equus ferus) Fact Sheet: Physical Characteristics

Przewalski's Horse (Equus ferus)

Physical Characteristics

Body measurements

AttributeMalesFemales
Weight 200-300 kg (440-660 lb)
Average Height
(at the withers/top of shoulder)
1.42 m (4.65 ft) 1.37 m (4.5 ft)
Length 2.1 m (7 ft), average
Tail Length 90 cm (3 ft), average

General Appearance

Description

  • Smaller than most domestic horses
  • Thick, short neck and short limbs, compact build.
  • Iris of eye is usually brown, but some are blue
  • Sheds mane and tail annually unlike domestic horses.
  • Mane is dark brown to black and stands upright with no forelock. Domestic horses have long, falling manes
  • Dock of tail is shorthaired; hairs get gradually longer along the sides. Domestic horses have long guard hairs throughout tail.       
  • Muzzle is short and high, lower margin of jaw is straight.

Pelage

  • Two color types found: bright yellowish-red-brown and pale grey-yellow.
  • Head and neck darker than the body.
  • Underparts lighter than the flanks.
  • 3-10 thin dark stripes on legs.
  • Dark dorsal stripe (“eel-mark”) runs from mane down back to tail-tuft.
  • Muzzle is light-colored, often white, and margins of nostrils are dark.

Rare and Rugged

two Przewalski's horse standing near each other

The endangered Przewalski's horses has a distinctive tan-colored coat, white muzzle, and dark mane that stand on end.

Image credit: © San Diego Zoo Global. All rights reserved.

Page Citations

Boyd & Houpt (1994)
Groves (1994)
Mohr (1959)

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