onager

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onager

(ŏn`əjər) or

Persian wild ass,

wild assass,
hoofed, herbivorous mammal of the genus Equus, closely related to the horse. It is distinguished from the horse by its small size, large head, long ears, and small hooves. There are three living species: Equus hemonius, the Asian wild ass; E.
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 of central Asia, Equus hemonius onager. Formerly classified as a separate species, it is one of the several subspecies of Asian wild ass (E. hemonius; the term onager is also now used more broadly for Asian wild ass). It formerly ranged widely across Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. A small, slenderly built animal, it stands about 4 ft (120 cm) high at the shoulder. Its back and legs are rusty brown and its belly white. It has a black tail tuft, a short, stiff black mane, and a black spinal stripe lined with white on either side. For many centuries it was hunted for sport by the Persian nobility, and young onagers were captured for the breeding of riding animals. Owing to the swiftness and endurance of the onager, relatively few animals were captured by traditional methods. However, since the invention of modern firearms and automobiles, the animals have been extensively slaughtered for their flesh and hides. Greatly reduced in number, they are a highly endangered species. Populations have been introduced in a few areas once inhabited by the extinct Syrian race of the Asian wild ass. The onager is classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Perissodactyla, family Equidae.

Onager

 

(Equus hemionus onager), a perissodactylous animal of the genus Equus; a subspecies of the Asiatic wild ass (E. hemionus). Sometimes the name “onager” is used as a synonym for the Asiatic wild ass.


Onager

 

a type of large catapult used in ancient Greece and Rome between the fourth century B.C. and the fifth century A.D. in besieging and defending forts. It hurled stones, barrels containing an incendiary mixture, and other projectiles weighing 30–500 kg at an angle of elevation of up to 45° over distances of 350–1,000 m.

onager

a Persian variety of the wild ass, Equus hemionus
References in periodicals archive ?
These studbooks include data on > 1800 kulan, 900 onager, 350 kiang, and 620 Somali wild ass individuals.
Accordingly, first reproduction took place at an age of three years in kulan males, two years in kulan females, three years in onager males, two years in onager females, two years in kiang males, three years in kiang females, four years in male and two years in female Somali wild asses.
Reproductive phase tended to be negatively related to post-reproductive phase in kulan and onager, and to birth rate within the reproductive phase in one out of four cases (plus two according tendencies).
There are approximately 600 onagers remaining in two protected areas in Iran, where the population is severely threatened by loss of desert habitat, poaching, and competition with domestic livestock.
Because there are so few onagers under human care, SCBI said it is collaborating with the Wilds, a 1,000-acre conservation center in Ohio, to establish a healthy population to hedge against extinction.
An onager was born at SCBI-Front Royal in 2008 to a female that had arrived at the facility pregnant.
asses and onagers (wild donkeys of central Asia) had been similarly harnessed there (Figure 1-8).
drawn by oxen, onagers, or donkey hybrids (males or hinnies).