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The Onager

This animal is endangered and will be extinct if we don't save it soon
by Ben French on 11 February 2011

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Transcript of The Onager

Onagers
The onager (also known as the wild Asian ass) is a donkey found in the deserts of Syria, Iran, Pakistan, India, Israel, and Tibet. There are many types of onagers and can be found all over Asia. The onager were first used to pull wagons around in about 2600 BC. Then in about 2000 BC they started to pull chariots around. Onagers weigh roughly about 640 lb and are about 2.1 meters long. They are somewhat a mixture between donkeys and mules. Onagers are usually reddish brown in
colour in the summer and yellowish in
the winter. They have a black stripe that
goes along their back. The onagers are now starting to be bred in captivity as a way to keep them from going extinct. The onagers are going extinct because of a loss of habitat, poaching and competition with livestock. Even though the onagers are going extinct, people contine to poach them. They are lossing their habitat to people building on the land and scaring them away. One of the core reasons onagers are going extinct is because of all the poaching. Onager meat sells very well on the Asian market and because of this, more and more onagers are being poached. Onager numbers are slowly, very slowly increasing, because of the reserves where they're breeding them. Sadly most of the world doesn't know about the onager. The onager is a favoured meal in parts of Asia and a lot of people don't want the world to know about it. If more people knew about it, more of the poachers and people who enjoy onager meat would be in a lot of trouble. A lot of people would say that if the onager went extinct, no body would care. Actually the onager is one of the most useful animals for farming. It's fast, strong and big, people have been using them on their farms for thousands of years. The onager is like any other endangered animal, people are destroying it's habitat and poaching them. Slowly the onager will be another species that we've wiped off the earth. Even though the onagers are being bred in captivity, all the wild onagers will soon be extinct. The onager is one of the thousands of species that the market for it is increasing wildly and is leading to more and more poaching. The onager has a very strong body that allows it to get away from predators. It can reach 70km (using it's strong leg muscles) and that's faster than most predators that live in the same area. When onagers see a predator, they first take in consideration of their young. Onagers care a lot about their young like most mammals. Onagers get their water from their food, which is plants. Onagers are herbivores and eat the scarce plant life in the desert where they live. Onagers will usually walk around the desert looking for plants they can eat. When there is little plant life, onagers will search for ponds for water and plants. The dominant male in the herd will mate with the females in the herd. The dominant onager is usually the biggest onager in the herd. Only the dominant one will mate with the females because the onagers (like most animal species) will want to pass on the best genes they can. Usually the best genes are in the dominant onager. References Images:
http://www.nic.funet.fi/pub/sci/bio/life/mammalia/perissodactyla/equidae/equus/onager-1.jpg

http://www.sbs.utexas.edu/levin/bio213/biomes/deserts/onager.gif

http://www.dispatch.com/wwwexportcontent/sites/dispatch/local_news/stories/2010/08/03/onagers-textbox-gnd9cnal-1persian-onager-births---ny130---large.jpg

http://i.usatoday.net/communitymanager/_photos/science-fair/2010/08/02/ONAGER1x-large.jpg

http://natureisrael.com/pics/Animals/onager3f.JPG

http://www.iranian.com/PhotoDay/March98/Images/last.jpg Information:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onager

http://nationalzoo.si.edu/scbi/ReproductiveScience/WildEquids/MeetTheEquids/fact-onager.cfm

http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2010/08/03/the-wilds-celebrates-onagers-historic-births.html

Two similar animalsthat are actually relatives of the onanger, the donkeyand the mule. The equus africanus asinus, or donkey for short, is very much the same animal. The donkey looks, acts and as some of the same tasks they used them for. The mule is actually very much the same as a donkey, but they're different species. The mule, donkey, and the onager are all used for the same things and are very close relatives. The habitat forthe onager consists of a vast open desert with little plant life and little to know ponds to drink from. Onagers have a broad niche because they are and need to be open to a number of methods of survival to survive. The onager deals with starvation, loss of habitat, being poached and a number of other things. If the onager went extinct not many species would be effected. We know this because the onager is close to extinction and not many species are being impacted so far. Really the only species that would be effected seriously would be the carnivores that depend on the onager. A possible habitat for the onagers would be a wide open range that has little plant life and almost no ponds. The onagers live in some of the driest places in the world, so the dryer it is the better. One important trait the onager has would be the ability to locate water sources. The onager can locate water sources that are kilometres away from where it is. Scientests are currently studying the onager to figure out how it can do that. Out of all the onagers traits, this one porbably helps it survive and pass on it's offspring the best and easiest. When the food sources are scarce in the wild, animals need to know where they can find food and water. The onager knows that it'll find food (plants) if it finds a sufficient water source. Onagers roughly live up to 40 years. this depends on the species of onager. Onagers reach sexual maturity at about two years old, but males don't usually mate until they're four.
It would take roughly about 200-400 years to pass on 100 generations. In about 100 generations, the onager will probably have evolved quite a bit. Onagers will probably have bigger and better ears to hear predators and poachers coming at them. They might also have bigger and stronger legs to outrun poachers. In 100 generations, onagers may become more horse like. Kind of like this picture. The picture on the left is the onager today, the one on the left is the onager after 100 generations. The red lines of the right is the outline of the onager (imagine the onager grew to fill in the red lines). With larger leg muscles and larger ears, it'll be able to run and move faster to avoid predators while being able to hear them at the same time.
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