15 Interesting Facts About Mules

  1. Mules are the offspring of a male donkey and a female horse. The mating of male horses and female donkeys produces hinnies. Both mules and hinnies can be male or female.
  2. Both mules and hinnies are almost always sterile. It happens due to an uneven number of chromosomes (63) in these hybrid mammals. It is the result of the different number of chromosomes in a horse (64) and donkey (62). (Source)
  3. But exceptions to this rule have been seen. There are a few recorded cases where mare (female) mules and hinnies gave birth to babies. (Source)
  4. Mules are superior to horses in several ways. They are more intelligent, healthier, and live longer than horses. Mules are also surefooted and can perform better than horses in hostile terrain.
  5. Mules are generally taller and faster than donkeys. The sound produced by mules is a mixture of horse and donkey’s sound.
  6. Due to several vital qualities, humans have used mules in wars and for other difficult jobs since ancient times. Their usage decreased in the second half of the Century due to the introduction of tractors and lorries.
    A mule lifting weight
    Mules are used for difficult jobs

  7. China and Mexico have the highest number of mules in the world. The number of mules in both these countries is over 3 million. (Source)
  8. The interbreeding of horses and donkeys produces several collective and unique qualities in mules. Mules are taller than donkeys and have better endurance than horses.
  9. The natural breeding of donkeys and horses to produce mules is possible in the wild but rarely happens. Most of the mules are the result of human interference. According to estimates, people in areas now part of Turkey were the first to breed mules. (Source)
  10. In 2017, the first cloned mule was born. It is also the first successful cloned birth in any equine animal. (Source)
  11. Compared to horse racing for long distances, there is a concept of short-distance mule racing. A mule named Black Ruby has won more races than any other mule. It has won 62 out of 77 mule races. Black Ruby holds records in races of varying distances.
  12. The average lifespan for mules is between 35 to 40 years. These equines can live up to 50 years with proper care.
  13. Pakistan Army keeps thousands of mules as they assist in difficult-to-reach mountainous terrains. These well-trained mules can carry up to 72 kg of load for 26 km without resting. (Source)
  14. According to estimates, there are 15 million mules in the world. China and Spain are the biggest producers of mule meat. Mule’s meat is darker and tougher than donkey’s meat. The toughness is due to its higher glycogen and collagen content and lower fat than donkey meat. (Source)
  15. Mules become the only source of transport when earthquakes destroy roads and trails in mountainous areas. World Food Programme (WFP) uses mule trains to reach remote mountainous villages in these conditions. (Source)


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