Donkeys, Burros, Mules, Jackasses – What’s the Difference?

A beautiful young horse.
From youth till only recently, I’ve wondered “What’s the difference between donkeys, burros, mules and jackasses?” Perhaps it’s crossed your mind as well, yet you’ve never sought an answer until now. Hopefully, you will find the answer you seek in this article…

What’s a Donkey?

A domesticated donkey.
The donkey is said to come from the African wild ass. It has been used as a work animal for ages. It is a fertile animal, multiplying in the usual way.

And What’s a Burro?

A burro is a small, wild (rather than domesticated) donkey. And burro is Spanish for donkey.

Here is a 38 second video of wild burros outside Las Vegas, Nevada…

What’s Different About a Mule?

Smile, mule… You’re on Candid Camera!
A mule is a cross between a male donkey and a female horse. Generally, they are sterile, since a horse and a donkey have a different number of chromosomes.

Less common, a male horse crossed with a female donkey is a hinny. The body of a hinny somewhat resembles a donkey, but has a head more like a horse.

And a Jackass

So a jackass is an irritating human, right? Well, a male donkey is called a jack and a female is a jenny or a jennet. Hence, a jack-ass (or jackass) is a male donkey.


So what’s the difference between a vulture and a buzzard. Ah, that is another matter…

Note: You might also enjoy How the Electric Eel Produces Electricity


← Back to Environment
← Home

5 thoughts on “Donkeys, Burros, Mules, Jackasses – What’s the Difference?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *