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Knabstrup
The Knabstrup originated in Denmark. It traces back to the age of the Vikings. The original size of the Knabstrup horse was about 14.3 hands. It had clean, dry limbs; large, strong hind quarters; and a small, refined head. Basic qualities included an easy and tractable temperament, and these horses were know for their speed and endurance. Since 1100 A.D. the principal lines of distribution extended rapidly when China opened its borders for trade. The Chinese used spotted horses to transport silk and other articles. Part of their main route crossed through France and Spain, which is interesti...
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Location: Horses & Ponies
China Sets Up Quack Squad
by David Rennie
An army of 700,000 specially trained ducks and chickens has been mobilised to help fight China's biggest locust plague in 25 years. The birds, which are taught to pursue and eat locusts at the sound of a whistle, are part of a national campaign that includes 280,000 people backed by crop-dusting planes and special locust-killing micro-organisms imported from Britain. Swarms of locusts have destroyed more than 1.6 million hectares of crops in 11 provinces in the north and east of China, and 3.8 million hectares of grassland in the far western region of Xinjiang. The birds are used in Xin...
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Location: Birds & Bats
Chihuahua
The smallest breed of dog, the Chihuahua has a controversial history. One theory holds that it originated in China and was brought to the New World by Spanish traders, where it was then crossed with small native dogs. The other theory contends that it originated entirely in Central and South America, descending from the native Techichi, a small mute dog that was sometimes sacrificed in Toltec religious rituals. A small red dog was believed to guide the soul to the underworld, and every Aztec family kept such a dog, which was sacrificed and buried with any deceased family member.
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Shih Tzu Kou (lion dog)
Shih Tzu (or more properly, Shih Tzu Kou) means "lion dog," designating the breed as one of the most esteemed animals in China because of its association with Buddhism. Even though the Shih Tzu is most often associated with China, it probably originated in Tibet as early as the 17th century, where it enjoyed status as a holy dog. The Shih Tzu, as it is known today, developed most distinctively in China during the reign of Empress Dowager Cixi (Tz'u-shi, 1861 1908). The Shih Tzu and Pekingese share similar histories
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Chow Chow
The chow chow has some spitz characteristics. Because of this, it has been proposed that the chow chow either descends from spitz forebears or is itself an ancestor of some of the spitz breeds. Unfortunately, the origin of the breed has been lost in time, but it has been known in China for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. Its original purpose may have been as a hunting dog, sniffing out and even pointing birds for the nobility. The breed declined in quality and numbers after the imperial hunts were ended, but a few pure descendants were kept in isolated monasteries and wealthy households.
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Chinese Crested Dog
The origins of the Chinese crested are difficult to trace. Hairless dogs seem to arise by mutation all over the world, but they have been principally perpetuated in Central and South America. The Chinese crested is the exception, apparently existing in China as early as the 13th century. Chinese seafarers are said to have kept the dogs on ship as ratters and curios and to have traded them with local merchants wherever they called. Thus, the breed was distributed throughout Turkey, Egypt, South Africa and possibly Central and South America.
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Tibetan Antelope (Pantholops hodgsonii)
Order: Artiodactyla, Family: Bovidae
The Tibetan antelope, or Chiru, is endemic to the Tibetan Plateau. It is found between Ngoring Hu in China and the Ladakh region in India. Its range once extended to western Nepal, but none have been seen in Nepal for several years.
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