Donkey

The donkey or ass (Equus africanus asinus)[1][2] is a domesticated member of the horse family, Equidae. The wild ancestor of the donkey is the African wild ass, E. africanus. The donkey has been used as a working animal for at least 5000 years. There are more than 40 million donkeys in the world, mostly in underdeveloped countries, where they are used principally as draught or pack animals. Working donkeys are often associated with those living at or below subsistence levels. Small numbers of donkeys are kept for breeding or as pets in developed countries.

A male donkey or ass is called a jack, a female a jenny or jennet;[3][4][5] a young donkey is a foal.[5] Jack donkeys are often used to mate with female horses to produce mules; the biological "reciprocal" of a mule, from a stallion and jenny as its parents instead, is called a hinny.

Asses were first domesticated around 3000 BC, probably in Egypt or Mesopotamia,[6][7] and have spread around the world. They continue to fill important roles in many places today. While domesticated species are increasing in numbers, the African wild ass is an endangered species. As beasts of burden and companions, asses and donkeys have worked together with humans for millennia.

Donkey
Donkey 1 arp 750px
Domesticated
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Perissodactyla
Family: Equidae
Genus: Equus
Species:
Subspecies:
E. a. asinus
Trinomial name
Equus africanus asinus

Scientific and common names

Traditionally, the scientific name for the donkey is Equus asinus asinus based on the principle of priority used for scientific names of animals. However, the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature ruled in 2003 that if the domestic species and the wild species are considered subspecies of one another, the scientific name of the wild species has priority, even when that subspecies was described after the domestic subspecies.[2] This means that the proper scientific name for the donkey is Equus africanus asinus when it is considered a subspecies, and Equus asinus when it is considered a species.

At one time, the synonym ass was the more common term for the donkey. The first recorded use of donkey was in either 1784[8] or 1785.[9][10][11]:239 While the word ass has cognates in most other Indo-European languages, donkey is an etymologically obscure word for which no credible cognate has been identified. Hypotheses on its derivation include the following:

  • Perhaps from Spanish, for its don-like gravity; the donkey was also known as "the King of Spain's trumpeter"[10]
  • Perhaps a diminutive of dun (dull grayish-brown), a typical donkey colour.[9][12]
  • Perhaps from the name Duncan.[9][13]
  • Perhaps of imitative origin.[13]

From the 18th century, donkey gradually replaced ass, and jenny replaced she-ass, which is now considered archaic.[14] The change may have come about through a tendency to avoid pejorative terms in speech, and be comparable to the substitution in North American English of rooster for cock, or that of rabbit for coney, which was formerly homophonic with cunny. By the end of the 17th century, changes in pronunciation of both ass and arse had caused them to become homophones.[11]:239 Other words used for the ass in English from this time include cuddy in Scotland, neddy in southwest England and dicky in the southeast;[11]:239 moke is documented in the 19th century, and may be of Welsh or Gypsy origin.

Characteristics

Skegness4web
Classic British seaside donkeys in Skegness

Donkeys vary considerably in size, depending on breed and management. The height at the withers ranges from 7.3 to 15.3 hands (31 to 63 inches, 79 to 160 cm), and the weight from 80 to 480 kg (180 to 1,060 lb). Working donkeys in the poorest countries have a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years;[15] in more prosperous countries, they may have a lifespan of 30 to 50 years.[5]

Donkeys are adapted to marginal desert lands. Unlike wild and feral horses, wild donkeys in dry areas are solitary and do not form harems. Each adult donkey establishes a home range; breeding over a large area may be dominated by one jack.[16] The loud call or bray of the donkey, which typically lasts for twenty seconds[17][18] and can be heard for over three kilometres, may help keep in contact with other donkeys over the wide spaces of the desert.[19] Donkeys have large ears, which may pick up more distant sounds, and may help cool the donkey's blood.[20] Donkeys can defend themselves by biting, striking with the front hooves or kicking with the hind legs.

Breeding

Equus asinus Kadzidłowo 001
A 3-week-old donkey

A jenny is normally pregnant for about 12 months, though the gestation period varies from 11 to 14 months,[5][21] and usually gives birth to a single foal. Births of twins are rare, though less so than in horses.[5] About 1.7 percent of donkey pregnancies result in twins; both foals survive in about 14 percent of those.[22] In general jennies have a conception rate that is lower than that of horses (i.e. less than the 60–65% rate for mares).[5]

Although jennies come into heat within 9 or 10 days of giving birth, their fertility remains low, and it is likely the reproductive tract has not returned to normal.[5] Thus it is usual to wait one or two further oestrous cycles before rebreeding, unlike the practice with mares. Jennies are usually very protective of their foals, and some will not come into estrus while they have a foal at side.[23] The time lapse involved in rebreeding, and the length of a jenny's gestation, means that a jenny will have fewer than one foal per year. Because of this and the longer gestation period, donkey breeders do not expect to obtain a foal every year, as horse breeders often do, but may plan for three foals in four years.[5]

Donkeys can interbreed with other members of the family Equidae, and are commonly interbred with horses. The hybrid between a jack and a mare is a mule, valued as a working and riding animal in many countries. Some large donkey breeds such as the Asino di Martina Franca, the Baudet de Poitou and the Mammoth Jack are raised only for mule production. The hybrid between a stallion and a jenny is a hinny, and is less common. Like other inter-species hybrids, mules and hinnies are usually sterile.[5] Donkeys can also breed with zebras in which the offspring is called a zonkey (among other names).

Behaviour

Donkeys have a notorious reputation for stubbornness, but this has been attributed to a much stronger sense of self-preservation than exhibited by horses.[24] Likely based on a stronger prey instinct and a weaker connection with humans, it is considerably more difficult to force or frighten a donkey into doing something it perceives to be dangerous for whatever reason. Once a person has earned their confidence they can be willing and companionable partners and very dependable in work.[25]

Although formal studies of their behaviour and cognition are rather limited, donkeys appear to be quite intelligent, cautious, friendly, playful, and eager to learn.[26]

History

Equus eisenmannae
Skull of a giant extinct horse, Equus eisenmannae

The genus Equus, which includes all extant equines, is believed to have evolved from Dinohippus, via the intermediate form Plesippus. One of the oldest species is Equus simplicidens, described as zebra-like with a donkey-shaped head. The oldest fossil to date is ~3.5 million years old from Idaho, USA. The genus appears to have spread quickly into the Old World, with the similarly aged Equus livenzovensis documented from western Europe and Russia.[27]

Molecular phylogenies indicate the most recent common ancestor of all modern equids (members of the genus Equus) lived ~5.6 (3.9–7.8) mya. Direct paleogenomic sequencing of a 700,000-year-old middle Pleistocene horse metapodial bone from Canada implies a more recent 4.07 Myr before present date for the most recent common ancestor (MRCA) within the range of 4.0 to 4.5 Myr BP.[28] The oldest divergencies are the Asian hemiones (subgenus E. (Asinus), including the kulan, onager, and kiang), followed by the African zebras (subgenera E. (Dolichohippus), and E. (Hippotigris)). All other modern forms including the domesticated horse (and many fossil Pliocene and Pleistocene forms) belong to the subgenus E. (Equus) which diverged ~4.8 (3.2–6.5) million years ago.[29]

The ancestors of the modern donkey are the Nubian and Somalian subspecies of African wild ass.[30]

Maler der Grabkammer des Panehsi 001
Donkey in an Egyptian painting c. 1298–1235 BC
Henderson and the donkey
Lt. Richard Alexander "Dick" Henderson using a donkey to carry a wounded soldier at the Battle of Gallipoli.

[31] Remains of domestic donkeys dating to the fourth millennium BC have been found in Ma'adi in Lower Egypt, and it is believed that the domestication of the donkey was accomplished long after the domestication of cattle, sheep and goats in the seventh and eighth millennia BC. Donkeys were probably first domesticated by pastoral people in Nubia, and they supplanted the ox as the chief pack animal of that culture. The domestication of donkeys served to increase the mobility of pastoral cultures, having the advantage over ruminants of not needing time to chew their cud, and were vital in the development of long-distance trade across Egypt. In the Dynasty IV era of Egypt, between 2675 and 2565 BC, wealthy members of society were known to own over 1,000 donkeys, employed in agriculture, as dairy and meat animals and as pack animals.[32] In 2003, the tomb of either King Narmer or King Hor-Aha (two of the first Egyptian pharaohs) was excavated and the skeletons of ten donkeys were found buried in a manner usually used with high ranking humans. These burials show the importance of donkeys to the early Egyptian state and its ruler.[33]

By the end of the fourth millennium BC, the donkey had spread to Southwest Asia, and the main breeding center had shifted to Mesopotamia by 1800 BC. The breeding of large, white riding asses made Damascus famous, while Syrian breeders developed at least three other breeds, including one preferred by women for its easy gait. The Muscat or Yemen ass was developed in Arabia. By the second millennium BC, the donkey was brought to Europe, possibly at the same time as viticulture was introduced, as the donkey is associated with the Syrian god of wine, Dionysus. Greeks spread both of these to many of their colonies, including those in what are now Italy, France and Spain; Romans dispersed them throughout their empire.[32]

The first donkeys came to the Americas on ships of the Second Voyage of Christopher Columbus, and were landed at Hispaniola in 1495.[34] The first to reach North America may have been two animals taken to Mexico by Juan de Zumárraga, the first bishop of Mexico, who arrived there on 6 December 1528, while the first donkeys to reach what is now the United States may have crossed the Rio Grande with Juan de Oñate in April 1598.[35] From that time on they spread northward, finding use in missions and mines. Donkeys were documented as present in what today is Arizona in 1679. By the Gold Rush years of the 19th century, the burro was the beast of burden of choice of early prospectors in the western United States. With the end of the placer mining boom, many of them escaped or were abandoned, and a feral population established itself.

Present status

About 41 million donkeys were reported worldwide in 2006.[36] China had the most with 11 million, followed by Pakistan, Ethiopia and Mexico. As of 2017, however, the Chinese population was reported to have dropped to 3 million, with African populations under pressure as well, due to increasing trade and demand for donkey products in China.[37] Some researchers believe the actual number may be somewhat higher since many donkeys go uncounted.[38] The number of breeds and percentage of world population for each of the FAO's world regions was in 2006:[36]

Region No. of breeds % of world pop.
Africa 26 26.9
Asia and Pacific 32 37.6
Europe and the Caucasus 51 3.7
Latin America and the Caribbean 24 19.9
Near and Middle East 47 11.8
United States and Canada 5 0.1
World 185 41 million head

In 1997 the number of donkeys in the world was reported to be continuing to grow, as it had steadily done throughout most of history; factors cited as contributing to this were increasing human population, progress in economic development and social stability in some poorer nations, conversion of forests to farm and range land, rising prices of motor vehicles and fuel, and the popularity of donkeys as pets.[38][39] Since then, the world population of donkeys is reported to be rapidly shrinking, falling from 43.7 million to 43.5 million between 1995 and 2000, and to only 41 million in 2006.[36] The fall in population is pronounced in developed countries; in Europe, the total number of donkeys fell from 3 million in 1944 to just over 1 million in 1994.[40]

The Domestic Animal Diversity Information System (DAD-IS) of the FAO listed 189 breeds of ass in June 2011.[41] In 2000 the number of breeds of donkey recorded worldwide was 97, and in 1995 it was 77. The rapid increase is attributed to attention paid to identification and recognition of donkey breeds by the FAO's Animal Genetic Resources project.[36] The rate of recognition of new breeds has been particularly high in some developed countries. In France, for example, only one breed, the Baudet de Poitou, was recognised prior to the early 1990s; by 2005, a further six donkey breeds had official recognition.[42]

In prosperous countries, the welfare of donkeys both at home and abroad has become a concern, and a number of sanctuaries for retired and rescued donkeys have been set up. The largest is The Donkey Sanctuary near Sidmouth, England, which also supports donkey welfare projects in Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Kenya, and Mexico.[43]

Uses

Economic use

104 Donkeys in Tayrona Park Colombia
Donkeys bring supplies through the jungle to a camp outpost in Tayrona National Natural Park in northern Colombia
Esel auf Ydra
On the island of Hydra, because cars are outlawed, donkeys and mules are virtually the only ways to transport heavy goods.

The donkey has been used as a working animal for at least 5000 years. Of the more than 40 million donkeys in the world, about 96% are in underdeveloped countries, where they are used principally as pack animals or for draught work in transport or agriculture. After human labour, the donkey is the cheapest form of agricultural power.[44] They may also be ridden, or used for threshing, raising water, milling and other work. Working donkeys are often associated with those living at or below subsistence levels.[45] Some cultures that prohibit women from working with oxen in agriculture do not extend this taboo to donkeys, allowing them to be used by both sexes.[46]

In developed countries where their use as beasts of burden has disappeared, donkeys are used to sire mules, to guard sheep,[32][47] for donkey rides for children or tourists, and as pets. Donkeys may be pastured or stabled with horses and ponies, and are thought to have a calming effect on nervous horses. If a donkey is introduced to a mare and foal, the foal may turn to the donkey for support after it has been weaned from its mother.[48]

A few donkeys are milked or raised for meat;[38] in Italy, which has the highest consumption of equine meat in Europe and where donkey meat is the main ingredient of several regional dishes, about 1000 donkeys were slaughtered in 2010, yielding approximately 100 tonnes of meat.[49] Asses' milk may command good prices: the average price in Italy in 2009 was €15 per litre,[50] and a price of €6 per 100 ml was reported from Croatia in 2008; it is used for soaps and cosmetics as well as dietary purposes. The niche markets for both milk and meat are expanding.[36] In the past, donkey skin was used in the production of parchment.[36] In 2017, the UK based charity The Donkey Sanctuary estimated that 1.8 million skins were traded every year, but the demand could be as high as 10 million.[51]

In China, donkey meat is considered a delicacy with some restaurants specializing in such dishes, and Guo Li Zhuang restaurants offer the genitals of donkeys in dishes. Donkey-hide gelatin is produced by soaking and stewing the hide to make a traditional Chinese medicine product. Ejiao, the gelatine produced by boiling donkey skins, can sell for up to $388 per kilo, at October 2017 prices.

In 2017, a drop in the number of Chinese donkeys, combined with the fact that they are slow to reproduce, meant that Chinese suppliers began to look to Africa. As a result of the increase in demand, and the price that could be charged, Kenya opened three donkey abattoirs. Concerns for donkeys' well-being, however, have resulted in a number of African countries (including Uganda, Tanzania, Botswana, Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Senegal) banning China from buying their donkey products.[51]

In warfare

During World War I John Simpson Kirkpatrick, a British stretcher bearer serving with the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, and Richard Alexander "Dick" Henderson of the New Zealand Medical Corps used donkeys to rescue wounded soldiers from the battlefield at Gallipoli.[52][53]

According to British food writer Matthew Fort, donkeys were used in the Italian Army. The Mountain Fusiliers each had a donkey to carry their gear, and in extreme circumstances the animal could be eaten.[54]

Donkeys have also been used to carry explosives in conflicts that include the war in Afghanistan and others.[55][56]

Care

Shoeing

Donkey hooves are more elastic than those of horses, and do not naturally wear down as fast. Regular clipping may be required; neglect can lead to permanent damage.[5] Working donkeys may need to be shod. Donkey shoes are similar to horseshoes, but usually smaller and without toe-clips.

Donkey shoe

A donkey shoe with calkins

Cyprian Farriers (1900) - TIMEA

Farriers shoeing a donkey in Cyprus in 1900

Nutrition

Donkey eating
Donkey eating apples from a trough

In their native arid and semi-arid climates, donkeys spend more than half of each day foraging and feeding, often on poor quality scrub.[57] The donkey has a tough digestive system in which roughage is efficiently broken down by hind gut fermentation, microbial action in the caecum and large intestine.[57] While there is no marked structural difference between the gastro-intestinal tract of a donkey and that of a horse, the digestion of the donkey is more efficient. It needs less food than a horse or pony of comparable height and weight,[58] approximately 1.5 percent of body weight per day in dry matter,[59] compared to the 2–2.5 percent consumption rate possible for a horse.[60] Donkeys are also less prone to colic.[61] The reasons for this difference are not fully understood; the donkey may have different intestinal flora to the horse, or a longer gut retention time.[62]

Donkeys obtain most of their energy from structural carbohydrates. Some suggest that a donkey needs to be fed only straw (preferably barley straw), supplemented with controlled grazing in the summer or hay in the winter,[63] to get all the energy, protein, fat and vitamins it requires; others recommend some grain to be fed, particularly to working animals,[5] and others advise against feeding straw.[64] They do best when allowed to consume small amounts of food over long periods. They can meet their nutritional needs on 6 to 7 hours of grazing per day on average dryland pasture that is not stressed by drought. If they are worked long hours or do not have access to pasture, they require hay or a similar dried forage, with no more than a 1:4 ratio of legumes to grass. They also require salt and mineral supplements, and access to clean, fresh water.[65] In temperate climates the forage available is often too abundant and too rich; over-feeding may cause weight gain and obesity, and lead to metabolic disorders such as founder (laminitis[66]) and hyperlipaemia,[63] or to gastric ulcers.[67]

Throughout the world, working donkeys are associated with the very poor, with those living at or below subsistence level.[45] Few receive adequate food, and in general donkeys throughout the Third World are under-nourished and over-worked.[68]

Burro

DonkeyCartCarnHuejot2
A burro pulling a cart during the Carnival of Huejotzingo

In the Iberian Peninsula and the Americas, a burro is a small donkey. The Domestic Animal Diversity Information System (DAD-IS) of the FAO lists the burro as a specific breed of ass.[69] In Mexico, the donkey population is estimated at three million.[70] There are also substantial burro populations in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua.

Burro is the Spanish and Portuguese word for donkey. In Spanish, burros may also be called burro mexicano ('Mexican donkey'), burro criollo ('Criollo donkey'), or burro criollo mexicano. In the United States, "burro" is used as a loan word by English speakers to describe any small donkey used primarily as a pack animal, as well as to describe the feral donkeys that live in Arizona, California, Oregon, Utah, Texas and Nevada.[64]

Among donkeys, burros tend to be on the small side. A study of working burros in central Mexico found a weight range of 50–186 kilograms (110–410 lb), with an average weight of 122 kg (269 lb) for males and 112 kg (247 lb) for females. Height at the withers varied from 87–120 cm (34–47 in), with an average of approximately 108 cm (43 in), and girth measurements ranged from 88–152 cm (35–60 in), with an average of about 120 cm (47 in). The average age of the burros in the study was 6.4 years; evaluated by their teeth, they ranged from 1 to 17 years old.[45] They are gray in color. Mexican burros tend to be smaller than their counterparts in the USA, which are both larger and more robust. To strengthen their bloodstock, in May 2005, the state of Jalisco imported 11 male and female donkeys from Kentucky.[70]

Feral donkeys and wild asses

In some areas domestic donkeys have returned to the wild and established feral populations such as those of the Burro of North America and the Asinara donkey of Sardinia, Italy, both of which have protected status. Feral donkeys can also cause problems, notably in environments that have evolved free of any form of equid, such as Hawaii.[71] In Australia, where there may be 5 million feral donkeys,[34] they are regarded as an invasive pest and have a serious impact on the environment. They may compete with livestock and native animals for resources, spread weeds and diseases, foul or damage watering holes and cause erosion.[72]

Wild asses, onagers, and kiangs

Few species of ass exist in the wild. The African wild ass, Equus africanus, has two subspecies, the Somali wild ass, Equus africanus somaliensis, and the Nubian wild ass, Equus africanus africanus,[73] the principal ancestor of the domestic donkey.[36] Both are critically endangered.[74] Extinct species include the European ass, Equus hydruntinus, which became extinct during the Neolithic, and the North African wild ass, Equus africanus atlanticus, which became extinct in Roman times.[36]

There are five subspecies of Asiatic wild ass or onager, Equus hemionus, and three subspecies of the kiang, Equus kiang, of the Himalayan upland.

Donkey hybrids

A male donkey (jack) can be crossed with a female horse to produce a mule. A male horse can be crossed with a female donkey (jenny) to produce a hinny.

Horse-donkey hybrids are almost always sterile because horses have 64 chromosomes whereas donkeys have 62, producing offspring with 63 chromosomes. Mules are much more common than hinnies. This is believed to be caused by two factors, the first being proven in cat hybrids, that when the chromosome count of the male is the higher, fertility rates drop. The lower progesterone production of the jenny may also lead to early embryonic loss. In addition, there are reasons not directly related to reproductive biology. Due to different mating behavior, jacks are often more willing to cover mares than stallions are to breed jennies. Further, mares are usually larger than jennies and thus have more room for the ensuing foal to grow in the womb, resulting in a larger animal at birth. It is commonly believed that mules are more easily handled and also physically stronger than hinnies, making them more desirable for breeders to produce.

The offspring of a zebra-donkey cross is called a zonkey, zebroid, zebrass, or zedonk;[75] zebra mule is an older term, but still used in some regions today. The foregoing terms generally refer to hybrids produced by breeding a male zebra to a female donkey. Zebra hinny, zebret and zebrinny all refer to the cross of a female zebra with a male donkey. Zebrinnies are rarer than zedonkies because female zebras in captivity are most valuable when used to produce full-blooded zebras.[76] There are not enough female zebras breeding in captivity to spare them for hybridizing; there is no such limitation on the number of female donkeys breeding.

See also

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External links

Wikisource-logo.svg "Origin of the Donkey" in Popular Science Monthly Volume 22, April 1883

Diddy Kong

Diddy Kong (Japanese: ディディーコング, Hepburn: Didī Kongu) is a fictional character who appears in games belonging to the Donkey Kong and Mario video game franchises, debuting in the 1994 Donkey Kong series game, Donkey Kong Country. He is a young monkey who lives on Donkey Kong Island in the Kongo Jungle, and is identified by his red hat with the Nintendo logo on it, and his red shirt with stars on it. Diddy Kong is Donkey Kong's sidekick, best friend, and is described as his "nephew wannabe" in the Donkey Kong 64 manual. He has a girlfriend named Dixie Kong. He was originally created by Donkey Kong Country developer Rare as an updated version of Donkey Kong Jr., but he was renamed, due to Nintendo's response.

Diddy Kong has made some appearances in the Donkey Kong series, appearing in every Donkey Kong Country game and Donkey Kong Land game, notably as the lead character in Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest with his girlfriend, Dixie Kong, as his sidekick. He received a spin-off called Diddy Kong Racing, and more recently appeared as co-star to Donkey Kong in Donkey Kong Country Returns and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. Through his relationship with Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong has become a prominent character in the Mario franchise. He has also become a playable character in the Super Smash Bros. series. Outside video games, Diddy Kong appeared in the TV show Donkey Kong Country, where he is played by Andrew Sabiston.

Since appearing in Donkey Kong Country, Diddy has received mostly positive reception, one strong enough to create a fan following, resulting in Diddy getting his own spin-off. He has been featured in several pieces of merchandise, including plush toys, candies, and two Amiibo figures.

Donkey (Shrek)

Donkey is a fictional fast-talking donkey created by William Steig and adapted by DreamWorks Animation for the Shrek franchise. The character is voiced by Eddie Murphy.

Donkey Kong

Donkey Kong is a series of video games featuring the adventures of a gorilla character called Donkey Kong, conceived by Shigeru Miyamoto in 1981. The franchise consists mainly of two game genres, but also includes additional spin-off titles of various genres.

The games of the first genre are mostly single-screen platform/action puzzle types, featuring Donkey Kong as the opponent in an industrial construction setting. Donkey Kong first made his appearance in the 1981 arcade machine called Donkey Kong, in which he faced Jumpman (Mario), now Nintendo's flagship character. This game was also the first appearance of Mario, pre-dating the well-known Super Mario Bros. by four years. In 1994, the series was revived as the Donkey Kong Country series, featuring Donkey Kong and his clan of other apes as protagonists in their native jungle setting versus a variety of anthropomorphic enemies, usually against the Kremlings, a clan of crocodiles, and their leader King K. Rool. These are side-scrolling platform games. Titles outside these two genres have included rhythm games (Donkey Konga), racing games (Diddy Kong Racing), and edutainment (Donkey Kong Jr. Math).

A hallmark of the Donkey Kong franchise is barrels, which the Kongs use as weapons, vehicles, furniture, and lodging. The Donkey Kong character is highly recognizable and very popular; the franchise has sold over 40 million units worldwide.

Donkey Kong (character)

Donkey Kong or DK is a fictional character who appears in games belonging to the Donkey Kong and Mario video game franchises. He is a gorilla and Mario's former nemesis. A popular character, DK has appeared in many video games, along with his nephew Diddy Kong. Donkey Kong appeared as Mario's first opponent in the game bearing the ape's name, Nintendo's popular 1981 arcade game, Donkey Kong. Since then he has starred in his own series of games, starting with sequel's of the arcade game and, later, 1994's Donkey Kong Country for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). He remains an important character in the Mario series, such as the Mario Kart games. DK debuted at the same time as Mario, and he still appears with the plumber on occasion, appearing as a playable character in the Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros. series, and is the primary antagonist in the Mario vs. Donkey Kong games that started in 2004.

Donkey Kong (video game)

Donkey Kong is an arcade game released by Nintendo in 1981. An early example of the platform game genre, the gameplay focuses on maneuvering the main character across a series of platforms while dodging and jumping over obstacles. In the game, Mario (originally named Mr. Video and then Jumpman) must rescue a damsel in distress named Pauline (originally named Lady), from a giant ape named Donkey Kong. The hero and ape later became two of Nintendo's most popular and recognizable characters. Donkey Kong is one of the most important games from the golden age of arcade video games as well as one of the most popular arcade games of all time.

The game was the latest in a series of efforts by Nintendo to break into the North American market. Hiroshi Yamauchi, Nintendo's president at the time, assigned the project to a first-time video game designer named Shigeru Miyamoto. Drawing from a wide range of inspirations, including Popeye, Beauty and the Beast, and King Kong, Miyamoto developed the scenario and designed the game alongside Nintendo's chief engineer, Gunpei Yokoi. The two men broke new ground by using graphics as a means of characterization, including cutscenes to advance the game's plot, and integrating multiple stages into the gameplay.

Although Nintendo's American staff was initially apprehensive, Donkey Kong succeeded commercially and critically in North America and Japan. Nintendo licensed the game to Coleco, who developed home console versions for numerous platforms. Other companies cloned Nintendo's hit and avoided royalties altogether. Miyamoto's characters appeared on cereal boxes, television cartoons, and dozens of other places. A lawsuit brought on by Universal City Studios (later Universal Studios), alleging Donkey Kong violated its trademark of King Kong, ultimately failed. The success of Donkey Kong and Nintendo's victory in the courtroom helped to position the company for video game market dominance from its release in 1981 until the late 1990s.

Donkey Kong 64

Donkey Kong 64 is a 1999 adventure platform video game for the Nintendo 64 console, and the first in the Donkey Kong series to feature 3D gameplay. As the gorilla Donkey Kong, the player explores the themed levels of an island to collect items and rescue his kidnapped friends from King K. Rool. The player completes minigames and puzzles as five playable Kong characters—each with its own special abilities—to receive bananas and other collectibles. In a separate multiplayer mode, up to four players can compete in deathmatch and last man standing games.

Rare, who had previously developed the Donkey Kong Country games, began development on this game in 1997. A 16-person team, with many members recruited from Rare's Banjo group, finished the game in 1999, when it was published by Nintendo for North America in November and worldwide by December. It was the first game to require the Nintendo 64 console's Expansion Pak, an accessory that added memory resources. The game's exceptionally large marketing budget included advertisements, sweepstakes, and a national tour.

The game received universal acclaim from reviewers and was Nintendo's top seller during the 1999 holiday season, with 2.3 million units sold by 2004. It won the 1999 E3 Game Critics award for Best Platform Game, and multiple awards and nominations from games magazines. Reviewers noted the game's exceptional size and length, but criticized its camera controls and emphasis on item collection and backtracking. Some cited its similarity in gameplay and visuals to Rare's 1998 predecessor, Banjo-Kazooie, despite Donkey Kong 64's mandatory memory add-on. Critics felt that the game did not meet the revolutionary potential of Donkey Kong Country, but remained among the best 3D platform games on the console.

Donkey Kong 64 is remembered as the emblematic example of Rare's "collect-a-thon" adventure platformers for the tedium of its collection tasks. A rap song from the game's introductory sequence—the DK Rap—is often cited among the worst songs to feature in a video game. The title was later released on Nintendo's Wii U Virtual Console in 2015.

Donkey Kong Country

Donkey Kong Country is a 1994 side-scrolling platform video game developed by Rare and published by Nintendo for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. The game centers on the duo of Donkey Kong and his nephew Diddy Kong, who are on a quest to recover their stolen banana hoard from King K. Rool and his henchmen Kremlings.

Development began shortly after Rare founders, brothers Tim and Chris Stamper, ran experiments with a Silicon Graphics (SGI) workstation to render 3D sprites. Nintendo became interested in Rare's work and acquired 49% of the company, leading to the production of a game for the SNES utilizing Alias and SGI technology. The Stamper brothers expressed interest in creating a standalone Donkey Kong game and assembled a team of 12 developers to work on the game over 18 months. Donkey Kong Country is the first Donkey Kong game that was not produced or directed by the franchise's creator Shigeru Miyamoto, though he was involved with the project.

Following an aggressive marketing campaign, Donkey Kong Country received critical acclaim and sold more than nine million copies worldwide, making it the third best-selling SNES game and has been cited as one of the greatest video games of all time. It was ported to the Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance consoles, and was made available for Nintendo's Virtual Console. Donkey Kong Country is the first game in the Donkey Kong Country series and was followed by two sequels on the SNES: Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest in 1995, and Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble! in 1996.

Donkey Kong Country (TV series)

Donkey Kong Country is a Canadian/French computer-animated television series loosely based on the Nintendo franchise Donkey Kong as portrayed in the Donkey Kong Country video game series by Nintendo and Rare. It first aired in France on September 4, 1996 during a block called La Planète de Donkey Kong translated as The Planet of Donkey Kong.; and aired on Teletoon in Canada in 1997. In the United States, it was one of the first series to be shown on Fox Family, in which the series was broadcast in its entirety from August 15, 1998 (the same day Fox Family was launched) until 2000. It was also seen on Fox Kids from 1998-1999 for a very short time airing two episodes as specials on December 19 of 1998 and aired a few more episodes during the summer of 1999 before being taken off.In Japan, Donkey Kong Country took over the TV Tokyo 6:30 p.m. timeslot from Gokudo airing on October 1, 1999, and was later replaced with Hamtaro after ending on June 30, 2000.

Donkey Kong Country was one of the earliest television series to be entirely computer-animated as with ReBoot and Beast Wars: Transformers. Several elements of the series, such as the Crystal Coconut, appeared in later Donkey Kong video games like Donkey Kong 64, which was released a year after the show began airing on Fox.

Donkey Kong Jr.

Donkey Kong Jr. is a 1982 platform game that was released by Nintendo. It is the sequel to Donkey Kong, which featured Mario as the hero and Donkey Kong Junior's father as the villain; the roles are reversed here. It first appeared in arcades, and, over the course of the 1980s, was released for a variety of home platforms. The game's title is written out as Donkey Kong Junior in the North American arcade version and various ports to non-Nintendo systems.

The game was principally designed by Shigeru Miyamoto and one of his coworkers. Miyamoto also created the graphics for the title along with Yoshio Sakamoto. As with its predecessor, the music for the game was composed by Yukio Kaneoka.

Donkey burger

The donkey burger (Chinese: 驴肉火烧; pinyin: lǘròu huǒshāo) is a kind of sandwich commonly eaten in Baoding and Hejian, Hebei Province, China, where it is considered a local specialty, though it may also be found in other parts of China, particularly in northeastern China. Chopped or shredded donkey meat or offal is placed within a huǒshāo or shao bing, a roasted, semi-flaky bread pocket, and eaten as a snack or as part of a meal. Hejian style typically serves the meat cold in a warm huoshao while Baoding style serves the meat hot, they both often include green chili-pepper and cilantro leaves. Donkey burger is a popular street food and can also be found on the menus of high-end restaurants.

A well-known saying, especially in Baoding (and elsewhere in Hebei province), is "In Heaven there is dragon meat, on Earth there is donkey meat" (天上龙肉,地上驴肉).

Donkey burgers have two styles: Baoding style and Hejian style. Baoding style uses round huoshao, while Hejian style uses rectangluar huoshao. Also, the inside donkey burgers are different: Baoding style serves hot meat, while Hejian style serves cold meat. Donkey burgers have been traced to the Ming Dynasty. According to legend, the military of Yongle Emperor had nothing to eat, so soldiers began to kill and eat their horses. The local people then also began to eat horse meat; however, since horses were a valuable resource, common people substituted donkey meat and considered it tastier.Donkey burgers became popular towards the end of the Qing dynasty after the Beijing-Hankou railway line was built, as donkeys were no longer needed to transport goods in and out of Beijing. When departing from Beijing, Baoding is the first major city on the Beijing-Hankou railroad. The traditional freight industry was hit particularly hard there, and as a result, donkey burgers became most popular in Baoding.

Donkey punch

Donkey punch is the sexual practice of inflicting blunt force trauma to the back of the head or lower back of the receiving partner during anal or vaginal sex as an attempt by the penetrating partner to induce involuntary tightening of internal or external anal sphincter muscles or vaginal passage of the receiving partner. According to Dr. Jeffrey Bahr of Medical College of Wisconsin, there is no reflex in humans that would cause such tensing in response to a blow on the head, although striking a partner on the back of the neck or head could cause severe, even lethal injury.

Hinny

A hinny is a domestic equine hybrid that is the offspring of a male horse, a stallion, and a female donkey, a jenny. It is the reciprocal cross to the more common mule, which is the product of a male donkey, a jack, and a female horse, a mare. The hinny is distinctive from the mule both in physiology and temperament as a consequence of genomic imprinting.

King K. Rool

King K. Rool (Japanese: キングクルール Hepburn: Kingu Kurūru) is a fictional anthropomorphic crocodile and the main antagonist of Nintendo's Donkey Kong video game franchise, as well as the archenemy of Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong. K. Rool is the leader of a group of crocodilian raiders known as the Kremlings, who have crossed paths with the Kongs on many occasions. First appearing in the 1994 video game Donkey Kong Country for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, he has been described as being "to Donkey Kong what Bowser is to Mario". He is depicted as a crazed Kremling who frequently feigns defeat in order to deceive the Kongs; he tricks them by wearing different costumes, and utilizes a variety of gadgets to his advantage. K. Rool resembles an overweight crocodile with an infected, bulging eye. The name "K. Rool" is a play on the word "cruel", a nod to his malevolent nature. In addition to video games, K. Rool has appeared in the manga adaption of Donkey Kong Country, the Donkey Kong Country animated series, comics, and several pieces of Nintendo merchandise.

In Donkey Kong 64 and the Gameboy Advance ports of the Donkey Kong Country trilogy, K. Rool's voice was provided by former Rare developer Chris Sutherland. K. Rool is currently voiced by Japanese voice actor Toshihide Tsuchiya, who also provides the voice of Funky Kong.

List of Donkey Kong characters

This page lists all the characters from the Donkey Kong franchise.

List of donkey breeds

This list of breeds of domestic donkey is based on country reports to the international DAD-IS database.

Mule

A mule is the offspring of a male donkey (jack) and a female horse (mare). Horses and donkeys are different species, with different numbers of chromosomes. Of the two first generation hybrids between these two species, a mule is easier to obtain than a hinny, which is the offspring of a female donkey (jenny) and a male horse (stallion).

The size of a mule and work to which it is put depend largely on the breeding of the mule's female parent (dam). Mules can be lightweight, medium weight or when produced from draft horse mares, of moderately heavy weight. Mules are reputed to be more patient, hardy and long-lived than horses and are described as less obstinate and more intelligent than donkeys.

Underarm bowling

In cricket, underarm bowling is as old as the sport itself. Until the introduction of the roundarm style in the first half of the 19th century, bowling was performed in the same way as in bowls, the ball being delivered with the hand below the waist. Bowls may well be an older game than cricket and it is possible (although unlikely) that cricket was derived from bowls by the intervention of a batsman trying to stop the ball reaching its target by hitting it away, though bowling per se continued as in bowls.

Zebroid

A zebroid is the offspring of any cross between a zebra and any other equine: essentially, a zebra hybrid. In most cases, the sire is a zebra stallion. Offspring of a donkey sire and zebra dam called a donkra or zebra hinny and offspring of a horse sire and a zebra dam called a hebra do exist, but are rare and are usually sterile and infertile. Zebroids have been bred since the 19th century. Charles Darwin noted several zebra hybrids in his works.

Extant Perissodactyla (Odd-toed ungulates) species by suborder
Species of the genus Equus
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