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Kunekune Pigs
A Rare Breed of New Zealand Origin
The delightful Kunekune developed into its present form in New Zealand, although the breed is almost certainly of Asian origin*. During most of the period these pigs have been in New Zealand they were kept almost solely by Maori communities, and were to a large extent unknown by Europeans. (It is quite certain, however, that they were not in this country prior to the arrival of Europeans and they were probably introduced very early in the European period by whalers or traders.) A combined excursion, in 1984, by Staglands Wildlife Reserve and Willowbank Wildlife Reserve, led to 18 animals be...
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Berkshire Pigs
A Rare Breed of British Origin
The modern Berkshire breed was developed in Britain as a specialist pork pig in the middle of the nineteenth century. The basic unimproved animals from which it derived were short-legged and rather fat pigs (also known as Berkshires) which had evolved by crossing British pigs with Chinese stock introduced into Britain in the 1700s. During the nineteenth century the breed was refined to an early-maturing black pig – often with white on its short legs and dished face. It was extremely popular, and a Breed Society was formed in 1885.
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Location: Pigs
Auckland Island Pigs
A Rare Breed of New Zealand Origin
Pigs were first introduced onto Auckland Island, south of mainland New Zealand, in 1807 as a source of food for whalers and shipwrecked sailors. They thrived and were reported as “numerous” in 1840 when more pigs were released, followed by further liberations in 1842. Continuing concern for the welfare of castaways led to a final introduction of pigs in the 1890s. By the end of the nineteenth century there was a thriving feral pig population on Auckland Island derived from the successive liberations over the previous century and these animals remained isolated over the next hundred years....
Rate:  (3.1)
Location: Pigs
Arapawa Pigs
A Rare Breed of New Zealand Origin
The true origin of the feral pigs of Arapawa Island in the Marlborough Sounds is not known although they have given rise to much speculation. It has been suggested that they are descendants of animals released in the Marlborough Sounds area by James Cook in 1773 and 1777. A more likely explanation, however, is that they were introduced by whalers during the first half of the nineteenth century. Several attempts were made over the years to catch some of the pigs, but until the late 1990s there were only a few adults on the mainland, and they were critically endangered on Arapawa Is...
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Location: Pigs
Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae)
The emu is the largest bird in Australia, and the second largest in the world after the ostrich. Emus have long necks, sharp beaks and small ears. They have two sets of eyelids, one for blinking and one to keep out the dust. Their feet are long, with three toes. One toe on each foot has a long talon, for fighting. Emu feathers are soft and light-brown with dark tips. Each feather has a double shaft. Emus can grow to between 5 to 6.5 feet (1.5 – 2 metres) in height and weigh up to 130 pounds (60 kg). Males are slightly smaller than females. Males make a grunting sound like a pig and...
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Location: Birds & Bats
Labrador Retriever
The original Labradors were all-purpose water dogs originating in Newfoundland, not Labrador. Not only did the breed not originate in Labrador, but it also was not originally called the Labrador retriever. The Newfoundland of the early 1800s came in different sizes, one of which was the "Lesser" or "St. John's" Newfoundland — the earliest incarnation of the Labrador. These dogs — medium-sized black dogs with close hair — not only retrieved game but also retrieved fish, pulled small fishing boats through icy water and helped the fisherman in any task involving swimming. Eventually the breed...
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Shetland Pony
Perhaps the oldest breed of horse in Britain is the Shetland Pony. Named after the islands where it originated, it is now one of the most popular ponies in the world. The little Shetland is probably so shaggy because it was conditioned by its environment. The Shetland Islands, lying off the northern coast of Scotland, are mostly barren and have a harsh climate. For many centuries the Shetland Pony lived in the open, protected from the elements only by this thick hair, long mane, and forelocks. The Shetland Islanders domesticated the ponies to do useful work for them. The pony carried peat down...
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Norwegian Fjord
Also Known By: Fjord, Norges Fjordhest (Norwegian), Fjording, Nordbag, Nordfjord, Northern Dun, Norwegian Dun, Norwegian Pony, Vestland, West Norway, West Norwegian
The Norwegian Fjord (pronounced Fee-ord) Horse is Norway's oldest horse breed. It is estimated that the original Fjords migrated to Norway and the Scandinavian peninsula over 4,000 years ago and they were domesticated about 2,000 B.C. They have been selectively bred in Norway for over 2,000 years and the first directed selection program began in the mid-1880's. The original Norwegian Fjord varied in color and averaged 12.1 hands in size. Selection has increased the height to 13 to 14.1 hands and the breed is one of the few modern breeds exhibiting only the primitive or dun coloration.
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Location: Horses & Ponies
Nordland
Also Known By: Northland Pony, Lyngen, Lyngshest (Norway)
There is a variety of ideas as to the origin of this breed. Research indicates that it came into Norway from the east during very early times. For various reasons it was forced northward where it lived and developed through the centuries, but after World War II the breed was at the door of extinction. It is of the northern type and is similar to the Lofoten.
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Location: Horses & Ponies
Mustang
American feral horse, BLM (Bureau of Land Management) horse, Range horse
The Mustang is a feral horse found now in the western United States. The name Mustang comes from the Spanish word mesteño or monstenco meaning wild or stray. Originally these were Spanish horses or their descendants but over the years they became a mix of numerous breeds. These were the horses which changed the lives of the Native Americans living in or near the Great Plains. As European settlers came farther west they brought their horses with them. Some were lost to Indian raids, others were freed as wild stallions tore down fences to add the tame mares tn his herd or tame horse escap...
Rate:  (3.5)
Location: Horses & Ponies
Icelandic
Islenzki hesturinn, Icelandic toelter horse, Iceland Tolter
The Icelandic horse is descended from horses brought to Iceland by settlers over eleven centuries ago. Comparison between the Icelandic horse, at the time of the settlement of Iceland, and ancient Norwegian and German horses show them to have similar bone structure. Some consider it likely that there was a separate species of horse, Ecuus scandianavicus, found in these areas. These horses were later crossed with other European breeds, except in Iceland where it remained relatively pure. Some have said that the Icelandic horse is related to the Shetland but the Icelandic has a genotype which is...
Rate:  (4.4)
Location: Horses & Ponies
Gotland
Skogsruss, Russ, Gotlandsruss, Skogsbaggar, Skogshäst
The herd of ponies at Lojsta moor on the island of Gotland is unique. The Gotland pony, or Russ, as it is called in Sweden, has been called a living relic of the past, and that is precisely what it is. Thanks to decisive intervention on the part of the local inhabitants, Sweden's most primordial horses still live as they have for thousands of years on the wooded moors of Gotland. The Gotland Pony horses have lived in the forest regions of the island of Gotland from time immemorial. Their history is mysterious and fascinating. Discoveries from the Stone Age show that horses have been pr...
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Location: Horses & Ponies
Fell Pony
One of the classic native breeds of England, the Fell Pony is noted for its hardiness, courage and adaptability. Its docile temperament makes it popular with riding and trekking stables, and it is also well suited for driving, is a creditable jumper and has the ability to trot for long distances at a steady speed. Bred for the harsh environment of England's north country where feed is always at a premium, the Fell requires less keep than most horses and ponies, and given sufficient shelter, will live out in all weather. Generally, the native breeds were named after-their local habitat and ...
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Polish Frizzle Chicken
Created in Holland
The Frizzle Poland was created in Holland by Mr Airie Bolan. His inspiration came from a painting by Van Gink, a famous artist. It started with the use of long legged Japanese Bantam Frizzle. It took several years to create but, between 1989 and 1991, the Frizzle Poland became recognised giving us a superb new breed. Today the popularity of the Frizzle Poland is extremely high and is now also standardised by the British Poultry Club.
Rate:  (4.3)
Location: Birds & Bats
Tonkinese
While planned breeding of the Tonkinese didn’t begin until the 1960s, early versions of the breed probably have been around for hundreds of years. Since Burmese cats, originally called “Copper cats” in their native land of Southeast Asia, existed in the same general regions as the Siamese for centuries, unplanned or intentional outcrossings seem likely.
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Siamese
The Siamese is one of the oldest breeds of domestic cat and has a history as long and colorful as the cat itself. The Siamese is also (arguably) the most recognizable breed on the planet. These sleek cats with the beautiful baby blues and outspoken nature originated in Thailand (formerly Siam, thus the breed’s name), where they were treasured by members of royalty as companions and were thought to inherit the transmigrated souls of royalty en route to the hereafter.
Rate:  (3.9)
Havana Brown
The Havana Brown, a cat the color of chocolate kisses, is another breed that comes from the mysterious land of Siam. Solid brown cats were described and depicted in the Cat-Book Poems, a manuscript written in the city of Ayudha, Siam, some time between 1350 when the city was founded and 1767 when the city was burned by invaders. These brown cats appear in the manuscript alongside royal Siamese, black and white bicolors, and silver-blue Korats. The people of Siam considered the burnished brown cats very beautiful and believed they protected their human companions from evil.
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Bombay
The Bombay was created in the 1950s by the late Nikki Horner, an American breeder who wanted to develop a cat that possessed the conformation of the Burmese but with a sleek black coat and copper eyes instead of brown fur and yellow eyes—sort of a pint-sized panther. She named the breed after Bombay, India, land of the black leopard. She first attempted to breed a female Burmese to a black American Shorthair. The results were disappointing; they looked more like poor American Shorthairs than anything else.
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Keeshond
The keeshond (plural: keeshonden) is one of the family of spitz dogs, although its exact origin is undocumented. It seems to have been well-established in Holland at least since the 18th century as a companion and watchdog. The breed later became known as the barge dog because it was often kept as a watchdog on the small vessels navigating the Rhine River. By a stroke of fate, the breed became entangled in the political events of Holland in the years preceding the French Revolution. The leader of the patriot faction was a man named Kees de Gyselaer, who in turn owned a barge dog named Kees.
Rate:  (4.4)
Australian Cattle
In the early 1800s, vast land areas in Australia became available for grazing cattle. The cattle raised on these lands became so wild and intractable that the traditional European herding breeds that had proved satisfactory on tamer cattle were no longer suited for the job. A dog was needed that could withstand traveling long distances over rough terrain in hot weather and that could control cattle without barking (which only served to make wild cattle wilder).
Rate:  (3.9)

     

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