While roaming around, you may have come across donkeys and spotted what appears to be a dark cross on their back. Many people are fascinated by what donkeys have a cross, especially the Jerusalem donkey, which is said to have carried Jesus, and Jesus rode the Nubian donkeys on Palm Sunday.
But why do donkeys have a cross on their back? And what is the origin and meaning of this distinctive marking? In our guide, you can discover the scientific and cultural aspects of the donkey cross and how the dark cross relates to animal genetics, phenotypic trait, and primitive markings of the horse family.
We will also look at some myths surrounding the donkey cross and how it has inspired Christian storytelling, children’s books, and humble love. By the end, we will examine the current status and conservation of why donkeys have a cross on their backs and whether it is a genetic trait passed down from a common ancestor or a result of environmental factors and selective breeding. (Learn How Do Donkeys Show Affection)
Do All Donkeys Have a Donkey Cross On Back?
One of the most distinctive features of some donkeys is the donkey cross on their back, which is a dark line that runs along the spine and another one that crosses over the shoulders. But do all donkeys have a donkey cross on their back? The answer is no; not all donkeys have this marking, as it depends on their genetic makeup, phenotypic trait, and primitive markings.
The donkey cross is more common in some breeds of donkeys, such as the Nubian donkey, the Jerusalem donkey, and the American Mammoth Jackstock. The donkey cross results from a gene that produces a darker pigment in the hair and is inherited from a common ancestor of the horse family.
According to scientists and academics, the cross symbol on the backs of donkeys is a product of the same camouflaging that gives modern horses their color beneath their coat stripes. The cross on donkeys back is not a sign of cultural symbolism or a prophecy but a primitive marking that adds to the beauty and diversity of these humble and lovable animals.
Do Newborn Donkeys Have A Cross On The Back?
Many wonders if newborn donkeys have a cross on their back or if it develops later in life. The answer is that almost all donkeys born have a cross sign on their back, while others do not.
The cross on the back is a phenotypic trait, so both the genes and the environment of the donkey influence it. Some donkeys are born with a cross on their back because they inherit the gene that produces the dark hair from their parents.
Other donkeys may develop a cross on their back later in life due to environmental factors, such as exposure to sunlight, nutrition, or stress. Donkeys are not the only animal to have such a cross. Some other animals, such as horses, zebras, and mules, may also have it. (Read Is Lime Bad For Dogs)
What is The Spiritual Significance of the Jerusalem Donkey?
The Jerusalem donkey, also known as the Holy Land donkey, is a breed of Nubian Donkey native to Israel and Palestine. Nubian donkeys are characterized by their small size, gray coat, and cross on its back. The Jerusalem donkey is the only animal to have many religious myths believed by many Christians, as legend tells. It is believed to be the descendant of the donkey used to carry Jesus on his triumphant entry to Jerusalem donkeys during Palm Sunday.
According to a narrative, a poor farmer near Jerusalem had too little donkey to do any work, so he intended to kill it. His children begged their father to tie the little donkey to a tree in case someone might come along and take it. According to the legend, as stated by Jim Powell (Pastor), God blessed the worthless donkey with a cross on the back as a sign of his service and loyalty to Jesus. The Jerusalem donkeys are a symbol of humility, peace, and love, as it represents the contrast between the worldly power and glory of the Roman Empire and the spiritual power and grace of Jesus Christ.
The Jerusalem donkey is a reminder of the humble love and sacrifice of Jesus and the hope and joy of Jesus’ disciples. According to another legend, Jesus was carried to Jerusalem by a donkey, and when he was carrying his own cross, the donkey asked if it might help him. When the donkey turned to depart after waiting through the crucifixion, it had the shadow of the cross on its back. Note: The Nubian wild ass can be the ancestor of domestic donkeys, although now almost all donkeys are presumed extinct.
Why Was The Donkey The First Town Planner?
The donkey was the first town planner, as it helped humans to travel, trade, and build. The donkey was a loyal and adaptable animal that shaped and transformed human civilization. The donkey’s role in human history was studied by Dr. McCarthy, a renowned animal geneticist who conducted little research and scientific writings on this. (Read Can Chickens Eat Potato Skins)
Scientific Explanation Of Why Do Donkeys Have A Cross On Their Back?
Things are always less symbolic and fiction-like in the scientific realm. All of your why’s and how’s are answered. Why do donkeys have a cross on their back? Science believes in putting aside myths of Jesus and religion and cultural iconography. According to researchers, the gene that gives modern horses their camouflage coloring may also be to blame for a donkey’s cross on their backs.
For thousands of years, donkeys have existed in society (hence so many Jesus stories). The genetic makeup has changed over time, leading to the cross on the back. The alteration of genetic makeup is influenced by breeding with other breeds. Professor Claire Wade of Computational Biology and Animal Genetics believes the same gene can be found among horses, donkeys, zebras, and Kulan as they all originated from the same ancestors.
Therefore, the single cross on their backs is a farewell gift from the ancestors or the only reminder of the good old times when donkeys, horses, zebras, and other animals lived side by side. In some instances, you can even see wild bears have a cross marking. Even though they are not exact crosses, they have no connection to donkeys, yet it shows that cross marking is a common trait in animals rather than being a Christian prophecy.
Not only donkeys that have the cross sign may be in the spotlight because they are the only animals connected to Jerusalem riding and being the chosen Jesus mount. (Read Do Hawks Eat Squirrels)
Which donkeys have a cross on their back?
Most donkeys have a cross on their back, but the Nubian donkeys are the origin of this trait. They are believed to be the descendants of the donkey that carried Jesus to Jerusalem.
What is the biblical significance of the donkey?
The donkey is one of the few animals mentioned in the Bible. The donkey symbolizes service, suffering, humility, and peace in biblical stories and is shown by the cross sign.
How did the cross on the donkey’s back form?
According to religious belief, the narrow strip of the cross sign on the donkey’s back marks Jesus’ blessing and gratitude for the donkey’s loyalty.
According to the scientific explanation, the cross on the donkey’s back results from a gene that produces a darker pigment in the hair, similar to the one that creates the stripes in zebras and horses.