ass, hoofed, herbivorous mammal of the genus Equus, closely related to the horse. It is distinguished from the horse by its small size, large head, long ears, and small hooves. There are two living species: Equus hemonius, the Asian ass, and E. asinus, the African ass. The latter species includes the domesticated variety, E. asinus asinus, commonly known as the donkey. A male ass is called a jackass and a female, a jenny. Wild asses are swift desert animals that may attain speeds of up to 40 mi (60 km) per hr. They live in herds of up to 1,000 animals.
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