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(both: shē`rā), river, c.250 mi (400 km) long, flowing from the southern end of Lake Nyasa, Malawi, SE Africa, to the Zambezi River in central Mozambique. It is navigable to Nsanje. The upper Shire has been developed for irrigation and power production. Cotton is raised in the valley.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(also Chire), a river in eastern Africa, in Malawi and Mozambique; a left tributary of the Zambezi. The Shire, which originates in Lake Nyasa, is 400 km long and drains an area of 32,000 sq km. As the river descends from the Shire Highlands to the low-lying valley of the Zambezi, it forms rapids and waterfalls, including Murchison Falls. Water levels are highest from November through April. The Shire is navigable below Murchison Falls. There are two hydroelectric power plants on the river—one at Nkula Falls (opened 1966; 24 megawatts) and one at Tedzani Falls (opened 1973; 16 megawatts).



the oldest breed of heavy draft horse. The breed was developed in Great Britain by improving small local heavy war horses (the medieval Great Horse) and then crossing them with Belgian heavy draft horses. In the 19th century the breed was exported to many countries in Europe, including Russia, and to North and South America. The Shire horse has a massive trunk, a long hook-nosed head, and a broad chest, back, and croup. The coloration is bay, dark bay, black, gray, or red dun with white markings. The average stallion stands 165–175 cm high at the withers; the circumference of the chest is 210–250 cm, and that of the front cannon bone, 28–30 cm. The load-pulling capacity is 18–20 tons and more.

In the USSR the Shire horse was used to develop the Vladimir heavy draft horse.


Rukovodstvo po razvedeniiu zhivotnykh, vol. 3, book 1. Moscow, 1965. (Translated from German.)
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. one of the British counties
2. (in Australia) a rural district having its own local council
3. See shire horse
4. the Midland counties of England, esp Northamptonshire and Leicestershire, famous for hunting, etc.
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005