Samurai were the military nobility and officer caste of medieval and early-modern Japan. In Japanese, they are referred to as bushi or buke. According to translator William Scott Wilson: "In Chinese, the character 侍 was a verb meaning'to wait upon','accompany persons' in the upper ranks of society, this is true of the original term in Japanese, saburau. In both countries the terms were nominalized to mean'those who serve in close attendance to the nobility', the Japanese term saburai being the nominal form of the verb." According to Wilson, an early reference to the word samurai appears in the Kokin Wakashū, the first imperial anthology of poems, completed in the first part of the 10th century. By the end of the 12th century, samurai became entirely synonymous with bushi, the word was associated with the middle and upper echelons of the warrior class; the samurai were associated with a clan and their lord, were trained as officers in military tactics and grand strategy. While the samurai numbered less than 10% of Japan's population, their teachings can still be found today in both everyday life and in modern Japanese martial arts.
Following the Battle of Hakusukinoe against Tang China and Silla in 663 AD which led to a retreat from Korean affairs, Japan underwent widespread reform. One of the most important was that of the Taika Reform, issued by Prince Naka-no-Ōe in 646 AD; this edict allowed the Japanese aristocracy to adopt the Tang dynasty political structure, culture and philosophy. As part of the Taihō Code of 702 AD, the Yōrō Code, the population was required to report for the census, a precursor for national conscription. With an understanding of how the population was distributed, Emperor Monmu introduced a law whereby 1 in 3–4 adult males were drafted into the national military; these soldiers were required to supply their own weapons, in return were exempted from duties and taxes. This was one of the first attempts by the Imperial government to form an organized army modeled after the Chinese system, it was called "Gundan-Sei" by historians and is believed to have been short-lived. The Taihō Code classified most of the Imperial bureaucrats into 12 ranks, each divided into two sub-ranks, 1st rank being the highest adviser to the Emperor.
Those of 6th rank and below were dealt with day-to-day affairs. Although these "samurai" were civilian public servants, the modern word is believed to have derived from this term. Military men, would not be referred to as "samurai" for many more centuries. In the early Heian period, during the late 8th and early 9th centuries, Emperor Kanmu sought to consolidate and expand his rule in northern Honshū, sent military campaigns against the Emishi, who resisted the governance of the Kyoto-based imperial court. Emperor Kanmu introduced the title of sei'i-taishōgun, or shōgun, began to rely on the powerful regional clans to conquer the Emishi. Skilled in mounted combat and archery, these clan warriors became the Emperor's preferred tool for putting down rebellions. Though this is the first known use of the title shōgun, it was a temporary title and was not imbued with political power until the 13th century. At this time, the Imperial Court officials considered them to be a military section under the control of the Imperial Court.
Emperor Kanmu disbanded his army. From this time, the emperor's power declined. While the emperor was still the ruler, powerful clans around Kyoto assumed positions as ministers, their relatives bought positions as magistrates. To amass wealth and repay their debts, magistrates imposed heavy taxes, resulting in many farmers becoming landless. Through protective agreements and political marriages, the aristocrats accumulated political power surpassing the traditional aristocracy; some clans were formed by farmers who had taken up arms to protect themselves from the Imperial magistrates sent to govern their lands and collect taxes. These clans formed alliances to protect themselves against more powerful clans, by the mid-Heian period, they had adopted characteristic Japanese armor and weapons; the Emperor and non-warrior nobility employed these warrior nobles. In time they amassed enough manpower and political backing, in the form of alliances with one another, to establish the first samurai-dominated government.
As the power of these regional clans grew, their chief was a distant relative of the Emperor and a lesser member of either the Fujiwara, Minamoto, or Taira clans. Though sent to provincial areas for fixed four-year terms as magistrates, the toryo declined to return to the capital when their terms ended, their sons inherited their positions and continued to lead the clans in putting down rebellions throughout Japan during the middle- and later-Heian period; because of their rising military and economic power, the warriors became a new force in the politics of the Imperial court. Their involvement in the Hōgen Rebellion in the late Heian period consolidated their power, which pitted the rivalry of Minamoto and Taira clans against each other in the Heiji Rebellion of 1160; the victor, Taira no Kiyomori, became an imperial advisor and was the first warrior to attain such a position. He seized control of the central government, establishing the first samurai-dominated government and relegating the Emperor to figurehead status.
However, the Taira clan was still conservative when compared to its eventual successor, the Minamoto, instead of expanding or stre
California Gold Rush
The California Gold Rush began on January 24, 1848, when gold was found by James W. Marshall at Sutter's Mill in Coloma, California; the news of gold brought 300,000 people to California from the rest of the United States and abroad. The sudden influx of gold into the money supply reinvigorated the American economy, the sudden population increase allowed California to go to statehood, in the Compromise of 1850; the Gold Rush had severe effects on Native Californians and resulted in a precipitous population decline from disease and starvation. By the time it ended, California had gone from a thinly populated ex-Mexican territory, to having one of its first two U. S. Senators, John C. Frémont, selected to be the first presidential nominee for the new Republican Party, in 1856; the effects of the Gold Rush were substantial. Whole indigenous societies were attacked and pushed off their lands by the gold-seekers, called "forty-niners". Outside of California, the first to arrive were from Oregon, the Sandwich Islands, Latin America in late 1848.
Of the 300,000 people who came to California during the Gold Rush, about half arrived by sea and half came overland on the California Trail and the Gila River trail. While most of the newly arrived were Americans, the gold rush attracted thousands from Latin America, Europe and China. Agriculture and ranching expanded throughout the state to meet the needs of the settlers. San Francisco grew from a small settlement of about 200 residents in 1846 to a boomtown of about 36,000 by 1852. Roads, churches and other towns were built throughout California. In 1849 a state constitution was written; the new constitution was adopted by referendum vote, the future state's interim first governor and legislature were chosen. In September 1850, California became a state. At the beginning of the Gold Rush, there was no law regarding property rights in the goldfields and a system of "staking claims" was developed. Prospectors retrieved the gold from riverbeds using simple techniques, such as panning. Although the mining caused environmental harm, more sophisticated methods of gold recovery were developed and adopted around the world.
New methods of transportation developed. By 1869, railroads were built from California to the eastern United States. At its peak, technological advances reached a point where significant financing was required, increasing the proportion of gold companies to individual miners. Gold worth tens of billions of today's US dollars was recovered, which led to great wealth for a few, though many who participated in the California Gold Rush earned little more than they had started with; the Mexican–American War ended on February 3, 1848, although California was a de facto American possession before that. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo provided for, among other things, the formal transfer of Upper California to the United States; the California Gold Rush began near Coloma. On January 24, 1848, James W. Marshall, a foreman working for Sacramento pioneer John Sutter, found shiny metal in the tailrace of a lumber mill Marshall was building for Sutter on the American River. Marshall brought what he found to John Sutter, the two tested the metal.
After the tests showed that it was gold, Sutter expressed dismay: he wanted to keep the news quiet because he feared what would happen to his plans for an agricultural empire if there were a mass search for gold. Rumors of the discovery of gold were confirmed in March 1848 by San Francisco newspaper publisher and merchant Samuel Brannan. Brannan hurriedly set up a store to sell gold prospecting supplies, walked through the streets of San Francisco, holding aloft a vial of gold, shouting "Gold! Gold! Gold from the American River!"On August 19, 1848, the New York Herald was the first major newspaper on the East Coast to report the discovery of gold. On December 5, 1848, US President James Polk confirmed the discovery of gold in an address to Congress; as a result, individuals seeking to benefit from the gold rush--later called the "forty-niners"--began moving to the Gold Country of California or "Mother Lode" from other countries and from other parts of the United States. As Sutter had feared, his business plans were ruined after his workers left in search of gold, squatters took over his land and stole his crops and cattle.
San Francisco had been a tiny settlement. When residents learned about the discovery, it at first became a ghost town of abandoned ships and businesses, but boomed as merchants and new people arrived; the population of San Francisco increased from about 1,000 in 1848 to 25,000 full-time residents by 1850. Miners lived in wood shanties, or deck cabins removed from abandoned ships. In what has been referred to as the "first world-class gold rush," there was no easy way to get to California. At first, most Argonauts, as they were known, traveled by sea. From the East Coast, a sailing voyage around the tip of South America would take four to five months, cover 18,000 nautical miles. An alternative was to sail to the Atlantic side of the Isthmus of Panama, take canoes and mules for a week through the jungle, on the Pacific side, wait for a ship sailing for San Francisco. There was a route across Mexico starting at Veracruz; the companies providing such transportation created vast wealth among their owners and included the U.
S. Mail Steamship Company, the federally subsidized Pacific Mail Steamship Company, the Accessory Tra
Marsden, West Yorkshire
Marsden is a large village within the Metropolitan Borough of Kirklees district, in West Yorkshire, England. It is 7 miles west of Huddersfield and located at the confluence of the River Colne and the Wessenden Brook, it was an important centre for the production of woollen cloth, focused at Bank Bottom Mill, which closed in 2003. According to a 2008 mid-year estimate the village has a population of 4,440. Marsden grew wealthy in the 19th century from the production of woollen cloth, it is still home to Bank Bottom Mill known as Marsden Mill, home to John Edward Crowther Ltd one of the largest mills in Yorkshire. The Crowthers moved to Marsden in 1876, beginning a long and profitable association with cloth manufacturing in the town. During the 1930s Bank Bottom Mill covered an area of 14 acres, employed 680 looms, provided employment for 1,900 workers; the Church of St Bartholomew was completed in 1899, although the nave and aisle had been in use from 1895, when the previous chapel was demolished.
The tower was built in 1911, the Parochial Hall in 1924. The church has a peal of ten bells. Production of woollen cloth at Bank Bottom Mill ceased with the loss of 244 jobs. Marsden is the last significant settlement on the West Yorkshire side of the Standedge Pennine crossing into Greater Manchester; the village is in the South Pennines with the boundary of the Peak District National Park to the south. It is surrounded on three sides by the moorland of Marsden and Meltham Moors with Saddleworth Moor nearby. Marsden has low level access only from the east along the Colne Valley; the Marsden Moor Estate, which surrounds Marsden to the west and south, includes several reservoirs, is in the care of the National Trust. The trust is developing techniques to rehabilitate the moor. Butterley Reservoir with its distinctive spillway is near Marsden inside the Peak District National Park. In chronostratigraphy, the British sub-stage of the Carboniferous period, the Marsdenian derives its name from Marsden.
Several generations of tracks and roads have crossed the moors near Marsden. Mellor Bridge by the church, Close Gate Bridge at the edge of the moor to the east of the village are both packhorse bridges; the A62 road between Huddersfield and Oldham passes through the village and the Standedge cutting some 2.5 miles to the west. The road between Oldham and Huddersfield, in particular the stretch between Marsden and Diggle was named the fourth dangerous road in Britain in 2003-2005. First West Yorkshire operates bus services between Marsden. A local service run by JRT, runs before continuing to Slaithwaite. A Trans-Pennine service between Huddersfield and Manchester, jointly operated by First Greater Manchester and First West Yorkshire, passes through the village; until 1963 it was a Huddersfield trolleybus terminus. The Huddersfield Narrow Canal and the Huddersfield to Manchester railway enter the parallel rail and canal Standedge Tunnels about half a mile to the west of the town centre. Marsden railway station on the Huddersfield line is operated by Northern provides services to Huddersfield, Manchester Piccadilly railway station and Leeds.
The Holme Valley Mountain Rescue Team has its headquarters at Marsden Fire Station from where the volunteer team provides rescue cover for surrounding moorland areas and assists West Yorkshire Police with searches for missing people. The team was founded in 1965 and was based in Meltham before relocating in 2005. Marsden football club, Marsden AFC, play. In its centenary year the 1st team were promoted from the West Riding County Amateur League Division 1, played in the West Riding County Amateur Premier Division for the 2008–09 season. Above the village at Hemplow, on Mount Road is a sports ground that hosts Marsden's cricket and tennis clubs, as well as Hemplow Bowling Club; the cricket club, formed in 1865, runs two teams in the Drake's Huddersfield Cricket League and teams in five age groups in the Huddersfield Junior Cricket League. In 2010 Marsden gained Walkers are Welcome status in recognition of its well-maintained footpaths and information for walkers and ramblers. Marsden Silver Prize Band is the local silver band.
The village hosts cultural events throughout the year. Marsden Cuckoo Day, a day-long festival held annually in Spring, holds clog dancing, a duck race, music, a procession and a "cuckoo walk"; the Marsden Jazz Festival is held every October, the winter Imbolc Festival, in which the'triumph of the Green Man', over Jack Frost is celebrated with fire juggling and giant puppets. Marsden is the home of Mikron Theatre Company, the world's only professional theatre company to tour by Narrowboat. Marsden's'Cuckoo Day festival' is named after a local legend of the Marsden Cuckoo: "Many years ago the people of Marsden were aware that when the cuckoo arrived, so did the Spring and sunshine, they tried to keep Spring forever, by building a tower around the Cuckoo. As the last stones were about to be laid, away flew the cuckoo. If only they'd built the tower one layer higher; as the legend says, it'were nobbut just wun course too low'." Marsden is popular as a location for film productions. These productions have used the village: Where the Heart Is Last of the Summer Wine Eleventh Hour Housewife, 49 Wokenwell The League of Gentlemen Between Two Women In the Flesh Remember Me A Monster Calls Walk Like a Panther Marsden was the birthplace of Henrietta Thompson, the mother of General James Wolfe who took Quebec from the French in 1759.
Marsden is where Enoch Taylor was buried. Enoch Taylor was the
A pannier is a basket, box, or similar container, carried in pairs either slung over the back of a beast of burden, or attached to the sides of a bicycle or motorcycle. The term derives from a Middle English borrowing of the Old French panier, meaning'bread basket'. Traditional panniers for animal transport are made of canvas, leather, or wicker. Modern panniers may be rectangular boxes of hard-sided plastic. Panniers are loaded in such a manner as to distribute weight evenly on either side of the animal. For horse packing, when carrying heavy loads on other animals they are supported by a pack saddle to distribute weight more evenly across the back of the animal. In some cases, additional items are placed on the back between the panniers. There are many styles of bicycle panniers. Touring panniers are sold in pairs, intended to hold enough equipment for self-sustained tours over days or weeks; the most common setup is to use a pair of smaller panniers mounted on a low rider and a pair of larger ones on the rear carrier.
Commuters who bicycle have pannier options designed to hold laptop computers and folders, changes of clothes or shoes and lunches. There are panniers that convert to backpacks or shoulder bags for easier carrying when not on a bicycle; the first panniers designed for bicycles were patented by John B. Wood of Camden, New Jersey, in 1884; the modern bicycle pannier was invented by Hartley Alley of Boulder, Colorado, in 1971. Alley designed a handlebar bag and other bicycle luggage that he manufactured and sold under the Touring Cyclist brand in the 1970s until his retirement in 1984. Bicycle panniers are made of nylon or other synthetic fabric that can be stitched, or, in the case of waterproof panniers, welded together; as bicycles are ridden in the rain, many panniers are built to be water-repellent or waterproof by themselves. Others include built-in rain-covers; the shape of the pannier may be enforced by a frame or stiffening panel made of plastic or metal to help keep it in place and prevent it from contacting a wheel.
Panniers are built to attach to a rear rack or front rack fitted to the bicycle. Removable panniers hook onto the top edge of the rack and are held in place by a latch or elastic mechanism. Motorcycle panniers are hard box containers with lids, made of metal or hard plastic; the panniers may be removable. Soft cases may be leather or fabric without permanent mountings and are called saddlebags or'throwovers'. Outline of cycling Pannier Saddlebag Pannier Market "Pannier". Encyclopædia Britannica. 20. 1911. P. 680
A pony is a small horse. Depending on context, a pony may be a horse, under an approximate or exact height at the withers or a small horse with a specific conformation and temperament. There are many different breeds. Compared to other horses, ponies exhibit thicker manes and overall coat, as well as proportionally shorter legs, wider barrels, heavier bone, thicker necks, shorter heads with broader foreheads; the word pony derives from the old French poulenet, meaning foal, a young, immature horse, but this is not the modern meaning. On occasion, people who are unfamiliar with horses may confuse an adult pony with a foal; the ancestors of most modern ponies developed small stature because they lived on the margins of livable horse habitat. These smaller animals were domesticated and bred for various purposes all over the Northern Hemisphere. Ponies were used for driving and freight transport, as children's mounts, for recreational riding, as competitors and performers in their own right. During the Industrial Revolution in Great Britain, a significant number were used as pit ponies, hauling loads of coal in the mines.
Ponies are considered intelligent and friendly. They are sometimes described as stubborn or cunning. Properly trained ponies are appropriate. Larger ponies can be ridden by adults, as ponies are strong for their size. In modern use, many organizations define a pony as a mature horse that measures less than 14.2 hands at the withers, but there are a number of exceptions. Different organizations that use a strict measurement model vary from 14 hands to nearly 14.3 hands. Many breeds classify an animal as either horse or pony based on pedigree and phenotype, no matter its height; some full-sized horses may be called ponies for various reasons of tradition or as a term of endearment. For many forms of competition, the official definition of a pony is a horse that measures less than 14.2 hands at the withers. Standard horses are taller; the International Federation for Equestrian Sports defines the official cutoff point at 148 centimetres without shoes and 149 centimetres with shoes, though allows a margin for competition measurement of up to 150 centimetres without shoes, or 151 centimetres with shoes.
However, the term "pony" can be used in general for any small horse, regardless of its actual size or breed. Furthermore, some horse breeds may have individuals who mature under that height but are still called "horses" and are allowed to compete as horses. In Australia, horses that measure from 14 hands to 15 hands are known as a "galloway", ponies in Australia measure under 14 hands. People who are unfamiliar with horses may confuse an adult pony with a immature horse. While foals that will grow up to be horse-sized may be no taller than some ponies in their first months of life, their body proportions are different. A pony can be ridden and put to work, while a foal is too young to be ridden or used as a working animal. Foals, whether they grow up to be horse or pony-sized, can be distinguished from adult horses by their long legs and slim bodies, their heads and eyes exhibit juvenile characteristics. Furthermore, in most cases, nursing foals will be in close proximity to a mare, the mother of the foal.
While ponies exhibit some neoteny with the wide foreheads and small size, their body proportions are similar to that of an adult horse. Ponies developed as a landrace adapted to a harsh natural environment, were considered part of the "draft" subtype typical of Northern Europe. At one time, it was hypothesized that they may have descended from a wild "draft" subspecies of Equus ferus. Studies of mitochondrial DNA indicate that a large number of wild mares have contributed to modern domestic breeds. Domestication of the horse first occurred in the Eurasian steppes with horses of between 13 hands to over 14 hands, as horse domestication spread, the male descendants of the original stallion went on to be bred with local wild mares. Domesticated ponies of all breeds developed from the need for a working animal that could fulfill specific local draft and transportation needs while surviving in harsh environments; the usefulness of the pony was noted by farmers who observed that a pony could outperform a draft horse on small farms.
By the 20th century, many pony breeds had Arabian and other blood added to make a more refined pony suitable for riding. Ponies are seen in many different equestrian pursuits; some breeds, such as the Hackney pony, are used for driving, while other breeds, such as the Connemara pony and Australian Pony, are used for riding. Others, such as the Welsh pony, are used for both driving. There is no direct correlation between its inherent athletic ability. Ponies compete at events that include show hunter, English riding on the flat and western riding classes at horse shows, as well as other competitive events such as gymkhana and combined driving, they are seen in casual pursuits such as trail riding, but a few ponies have performed in international-level competition. Though many exhibitors confine themselves to classes just for ponies, some top ponies
A mountain man is an explorer who lives in the wilderness. Mountain men were most common in the North American Rocky Mountains from about 1810 through to the 1880s, they were instrumental in opening up the various Emigrant Trails allowing Americans in the east to settle the new territories of the far west by organized wagon trains traveling over roads explored and in many cases, physically improved by the mountain men and the big fur companies to serve the mule train based inland fur trade. They arose in a natural geographic and economic expansion driven by the lucrative earnings available in the North American fur trade, in the wake of the various 1806–07 published accounts of the Lewis and Clark expeditions' findings about the Rockies and the Oregon Country where they flourished economically for over three decades. By the time two new international treaties in early 1846 and early 1848 settled new western coastal territories in the United States and spurred a large upsurge in migration, the days of mountain men making a good living by fur trapping had ended.
This was because the fur industry was failing due to reduced demand and over trapping. With the rise of the silk trade and quick collapse of the North American beaver-based fur trade in the 1830s–1840s, many of the mountain men settled into jobs as Army Scouts or wagon train guides or settled throughout the lands which they had helped open up. Others, like William Sublette, opened up fort-trading posts along the Oregon Trail to service the remnant fur trade and the settlers heading west. Mountain men were most common in the North American Rocky Mountains from about 1810 through to the 1880s. 3,000 mountain men ranged the mountains between 1820 and 1840, the peak beaver-harvesting period. While there were many free trappers, most mountain men were employed by major fur companies; the life of a company man was militarized. The men had mess groups and trapped in brigades and always reported to the head of the trapping party; this man was called a bastardization of the French term bourgeois. He was the leader of the head trader.
Donald Mackenzie, representing the North West Company, held a rendezvous in the Boise River Valley in 1819. The rendezvous system was implemented by William Henry Ashley of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company, whose company representatives would haul supplies to specific mountain locations in the spring, engage in trading with trappers, bring pelts back to communities on the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, like St. Louis, in the fall. Ashley sold his business to the outfit of Jedediah Smith and Sublette, he continued to earn revenue by selling that firm their supplies. This system of rendezvous with trappers continued when other firms the American Fur Company owned by John Jacob Astor, entered the field; the annual rendezvous was held at Horse Creek on the Green River, now called the Upper Green River Rendezvous Site, near present-day Pinedale, Wyoming. Another popular site in the same general area was Pierre's Hole. By the mid-1830s, it attracted 450-500 men annually all the American trappers and traders working in the Rockies, as well as numerous Native Americans.
In the late 1830s, the Canadian-based Hudson's Bay Company instituted a policy to destroy the American fur trade. The HBC's annual Snake River Expedition was transformed to a trading enterprise. Beginning in 1834, it visited the American Rendezvous to buy furs at low prices; the HBC was able to offer manufactured trade goods at prices far below that with which American fur companies could compete. Combined with a decline in demand for and supply of beaver, by 1840 the HBC had destroyed the American system; the last rendezvous was held in 1840. During the same years, fashion in Europe shifted away from the popular beaver hats. After achieving an American monopoly by 1830, Astor got out of the fur business before its decline. By 1841 the American Fur Company and the Rocky Mountain Fur Company were in ruins. By 1846 only some 50 American trappers still worked in the Snake River country, compared to 500-600 in 1826. Soon after the strategic victory by the HBC, the Snake River route was used for emigrants as the Oregon Trail, which brought a new form of competition.
Former trappers earned money as hunters for the emigrant parties. A second fur trading and supply center grew up in Taos in; this trade attracted numerous French Americans from Louisiana and some French Canadian trappers, in addition to Anglo-Americans. Some New Mexican residents pursued the beaver trade, as Mexican citizens had some legal advantages. Trappers and traders in the Southwest covered territory, inaccessible to the large fur companies, it included parts of New Mexico, Nevada and central and southern Utah. After the decline in beaver and the fur trade, with some emigrants to the West using the Mormon Trail, former trappers found work as guides and hunters for the traveling parties. After the short-lived American Pacific Fur Company was sold, the British controlled the fur trade in the Pacific Northwest, under first the North West Company and the Hudson's Bay Company. To prevent American fur traders from competing, the British companies adopted a policy of destroying fur resources west of the Rocky Mountains in the upper Snake River country.
After the Hudson's Bay Company took over operations in the Pacific Northwest in 1821, the Snake River country was trapped out. Thi
A mule is the offspring of a male donkey and a female horse. Horses and donkeys are different species, with different numbers of chromosomes. Of the two first generation hybrids between these two species, a mule is easier to obtain than a hinny, the offspring of a female donkey and a male horse; the size of a mule and work to which it is put depend on the breeding of the mule's female parent. Mules can be lightweight, medium weight or when produced from draft horse mares, of moderately heavy weight. Mules are reputed to be more patient and long-lived than horses and are described as less obstinate and more intelligent than donkeys; the mule is valued because, while it has the size and ground-covering ability of its dam, it is stronger than a horse of similar size and inherits the endurance and disposition of the donkey sire, tending to require less food than a horse of similar size. Mules tend to be more independent than most domesticated equines other than its parental species, the donkey. Compared to horses, mules emit less of the greenhouse gas methane as a product of their digestive system The median weight range for a mule is between about 370 and 460 kg.
While a few mules can carry live weight up to 160 kg, the superiority of the mule becomes apparent in their additional endurance. In general, a mule can be packed with dead weight of up to 20% of its body weight, or 90 kg. Although it depends on the individual animal, it has been reported that mules trained by the Army of Pakistan can carry up to 72 kilograms and walk 26 kilometres without resting; the average equine in general can carry up to 30% of its body weight in live weight, such as a rider. A female mule that has estrus cycles and thus, in theory, could carry a fetus, is called a "molly" or "Molly mule", though the term is sometimes used to refer to female mules in general. Pregnancy is rare, but can occur as well as through embryo transfer. A male mule is properly called a horse mule, though called a john mule, the correct term for a gelded mule. A young male mule is called a mule colt, a young female is called a mule filly. With its short thick head, long ears, thin limbs, small narrow hooves, short mane, the mule shares characteristics of a donkey.
In height and body, shape of neck and rump, uniformity of coat, teeth, it appears horse-like. The mule comes in all sizes and conformations. There are mules that resemble huge draft horses, sturdy quarter horses, fine-boned racing horses, shaggy ponies and more; the mule is an example of hybrid vigor. Charles Darwin wrote: "The mule always appears to me a most surprising animal; that a hybrid should possess more reason, obstinacy, social affection, powers of muscular endurance, length of life, than either of its parents, seems to indicate that art has here outdone nature."The mule inherits from its sire the traits of intelligence, sure-footedness, endurance and natural cautiousness. From its dam it inherits speed and agility. Mules are reputed to exhibit a higher cognitive intelligence than their parent species; that said, there is a lack of robust scientific evidence to back up these claims. There is preliminary data from at least two evidence based studies, but they rely on a limited set of specialized cognitive tests and a small number of subjects.
Mules are taller at the shoulder than donkeys and have better endurance than horses, although a lower top speed. Handlers of working animals find mules preferable to horses: mules show more patience under the pressure of heavy weights, their skin is harder and less sensitive than that of horses, rendering them more capable of resisting sun and rain, their hooves are harder than horses', they show a natural resistance to disease and insects. Many North American farmers with clay soil found mules superior as plow animals. A mule does not sound like a donkey or a horse. Instead, a mule makes a sound, similar to a donkey's but has the whinnying characteristics of a horse. Mules sometimes whimper. Mules come in a variety of shapes and colors, from minis under 50 lb to maxis over 1,000 lb, in many different colors; the coats of mules come in the same varieties as those of horses. Common colors are sorrel, bay and grey. Less common are white, palomino and buckskin. Least common are paint tobianos. Mules from Appaloosa mares produce wildly colored mules, much like their Appaloosa horse relatives, but with wilder skewed colors.
The Appaloosa color is produced by a complex of genes known as the Leopard complex. Mares homozygous for the Lp gene bred to any color donkey will produce a spotted mule. Mules were used by armies to transport supplies as mobile firing platforms for smaller cannons, to pull heavier field guns with wheels over mountainous trails such as in Afghanistan during the Second Anglo-Afghan War; the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations reports that China was the top market for mules in 2003 followed by Mexico and many Central and South American nations. Mules and hinnies have 63 chromosomes, a mixture of the horse's 64 and the donkey's 62; the different structure and number prevents the chromosomes from pairing up properly and creating successful embryos, rendering most mules infertile. There are no recorded cases of fertile mule stallions. A few mare mules have produced offspring when mated with donkey. Herodotus gives an account of such an event as an ill omen of Xerxes' invasion of Greece in 480 BC: "There happe