What’s the Difference Between a Donkey, a Mule, a Burro, and a Jackass?

First there was the wild ass, way before the donkey, mule, burro, and jackass.

A relative of the zebra, the African ass became a beast of human burdens thousands of years ago.

This domesticated ass is what we came to call a donkey. It quickly spread to Europe and Asia. Burros, often used as pack animals, are just small, surefooted donkeys.

A male ass or donkey is called a jack (hence, “jackass”), and a female is called a jennet or a jenny.

If a jack donkey is mated with a female horse, the offspring is a mule. A cross between a jenny and a male horse produces a hinny.

Both mules and hinnies are hybrids, which means they can’t reproduce.

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