Przhevalsk's Horse

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Przhevalsk’s Horse


(Equus przewalskii), also Przewalski’s horse, a perissodactyl of the genus Equus. Discovered by N. M. Przheval’skii in 1879 in Central Asia, it is distinguished from the domestic horse by its short erect mane, the absence of a forelock, a tail whose base is covered with short hairs, and a larger head. The body length of the male measures approximately 2.3 m, and the height at the shoulder is approximately 1.3 m. The females are slightly smaller. The top and sides of the body are brownish yellow or reddish yellow (light chestnut or dun); the lower body and end of the muzzle are lighter, and the legs are dark. There is a narrow dark stripe along the spine. The mane and long hairs of the tail are blackish brown.

Przhevalski’s horse lived in the deserts of Dzungaria. It is the only wild breed of true horses (Equus subgenus) in European and American zoos (in the USSR, in the Askaniia-Nova sanctuary). In nature these horses lived in herds of five to 20 individuals; it is not known whether these herds have been preserved. The cross between the domestic horse and Przhevalski’s horse results in fertile offspring.


Sokolov, I. I. “Kopytnye zveri.” Moscow-Leningrad, 1959. (Fauna SSSR: Mlekopitaiushchie, vol. 1, fasc. 3.)
Sokolov, I. I. “Loshad’ Przheval’skogo.” Biul. Moskovskogo obshchestva ispytatelei prirody: Otdel biologii, 1967, vol. 72, issue 1.
Mlekopitaiushchie Sovetskogo Soiuza, vol. 1. Moscow, 1961.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.