A scientific miracle has occurred: a mule has given birth to a male foal in Morocco. Mules, which are hybrids created by mating a horse and a donkey, are sterile and cannot reproduce. There are only two other cases where a mule gave birth?once in China in 1988 and the other in Morocco in 1984. Since 1527, when records began to be kept, there have only been a total of 60 reported cases of mules giving birth.
“The occurrence is so historically rare that the Romans had a saying, ?Cum mula peperit,? meaning ?when a mule foals,? the equivalent of our ?once in a very blue moon,?? says veterinarian Gigi Kay, who has seen the new mother and her son. She?s running blood tests on both of them to make sure the mule is the real mother. The foal looks partly like a baby donkey and partly like a baby mule, but doesn?t exactly resemble either one.
A horse has 64 chromosomes and a donkey has 62, so a mule ends up with 63, an uneven number which cannot divide into chromosome pairs, making it unable to reproduce.
Several white buffalo have been born to Native American tribes in the past few years, a legendary portent. Is a mule birth another sign of the future? Learn how to discover what the future holds from ?Signs of the Times? by Ray Grasse, click here.
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