Open Access

Morphometric Characteristics of the Extreme Eastern Algerian Domestic Donkey (Equus asinus)


The aim of this study was to define the morphometric variability of the extreme Eastern Algerian donkeys. The study was carried out from June to December 2018 in El-Tarf, Souk-Ahras, and Tebessa provinces. The study population involved 65 individuals (32 jacks and 33 jennies) between the ages of 3 and 16 years old. In total, 13 body measurements were used, and 5 zootechnical indexes were calculated. The quantitative and qualitative characteristics were studied in order to establish an ethnic and functional classification of this particular subspecies. The qualitative data demonstrated that the coat colour was variable. Bay and greyish colours were dominant with a respective rate of 61.5 % and 38.5 %, respectively. The head, the nose, as well as the eyes contour colours were mainly grey with 52.3 %, 58.5 % and 50.8 % respectively. The partial absence of the coat particularities was observed. The population presented a significate relationship between the quantitative characters (P < 0.05). The donkeys were longilinear, of a rectilinear profile, compact with massive trends. They had a hyper-metric format. The animals are good for meat production. The General Linear Model (GLM) showed that the body measurements were variable by sex and body mass. The principal component analysis (PCA), the multiple correspondence analyses (MCA) and the ascending hierarchical classification (AHC) revealed that the population was composed of 2 clusters representing 4 animal classes. This study was the first report on the phenotypic characterization of donkeys in the extreme Eastern Algerian area, based on corporal measurements. The results indicated the existence of heterogeneity and suggested the possibilities of genetic improvement within the species.

Publication timeframe:
4 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Life Sciences, Molecular Biology, Biotechnology, Microbiology and Virology, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine