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

Przewalski's Horse (Equus ferus przewalskii)

Physical Characteristics

Body measurements

Attribute Males Females
Weight 200-300 kg (440-660 lb)
Average Height
(at the withers/top of shoulder)
1.42 m (4.65 ft) 1.37 m (4.50 ft)
Length 2.1 m (6.9 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
    • 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
  • Muzzle is short and high, lower margin of jaw is straight.

Pelage

  • Two color types
    • Bright yellowish-red-brown
    • Pale grey-yellow.
  • Head and neck darker than the body
  • Underparts lighter than flanks
  • 3 to 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
    • Margins of nostrils dark

Rare and Rugged

two Przewalski's horse standing near each other

Przewalski's horse stands with ears alert

The endangered Przewalski's horse has a distinctive tan-colored coat, white muzzle, and dark mane that stands upright.

Image credit: © San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. All rights reserved.

Page Citations

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

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