mule

The potential of the whole-community approach to achieve the welfare of donkeys and mules

Citation

Avril R. Moreno. December 2010. The potential of the whole-community approach to achieve the welfare of donkeys and mules. Presented at 6th International Colloquium on Working Equids. (29 November - 2 December 2010). New Delhi, India. 407.

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Presentation details
Date presented: 
Monday 29 November 2010
Proceedings
Number of pages: 
407
Publisher: 
The Brooke
Publication date: 
31 December 2010

Mule cognition: A case of hybrid vigour?

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Citation

Leanne Proops, Faith A. Burden, Britta Osthaus. July 2009. Mule cognition: A case of hybrid vigour?. Animal Cognition. 12:1. 75-84.

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Publication details
Publication date: 
1 July 2009
Journal: 
Animal Cognition
Volume: 
12
Issue: 
1
Page numbers: 
75-84
DOI number: 
10.1007/s10071-008-0172-1
Abstract

This study compares the behaviour of the mule (Equus asinus × Equus caballus) with that of its parent species to assess the effects of hybridization on cognition. Six mules, six ponies (E. caballus) and six donkeys (E. asinus) were given a two choice visual discrimination learning task. Each session consisted of 12 trials and pass level was reached when subjects chose the correct stimulus for at least 9 out of the 12 trials in three consecutive sessions. A record was made of how many pairs each subject learnt over 25 sessions. The mules’ performance was significantly better than that of either of the parent species (Kruskal-Wallis: Hx = 8.11, P = 0.017). They were also the only group to learn enough pairs to be able to show a successive reduction in the number of sessions required to reach criterion level. This study provides the first empirical evidence that the improved characteristics of mules may be extended from physical attributes to cognitive function.

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