From cats and dogs to chickens and donkeys, domesticated animals show up in a wide variety of sizes and colors - some more similar to their wild ancestors, while others, not so much...
The metallic sheen of the coat is a unique trait of the Akhal-teke horses (By Artur Baboev - give free of charge right for promouting of Akhal-teke article on Wikipedia - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=27787013)
1. Naked neck chicken
As its name says it, the Transylvanian naked neck chicken doesn’t have any feathers on its neck. Beside this unique feature, it usually has bright red skin, which is extremely flashy, especially when the fowl has black feathers on other parts of its body. The naked neck is caused by one dominant gene, and though cross-bred offsprings will also have naked necks, a little "featherball" can be seen right on the middle of their necks most of the times.
Once only black color was considered standard for Transylvanian naked neck chickens (By ceridwen, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=14184859)
In Hungary, the naked neck chicken is considered a native breed and it’s protected by law in order to save it from extinction and to preserve its ancient and unique genes. The reason of the protection is that native breeds are now replaced by modern ones or hybrids that can be easily kept in conditions industrial livestock production require. On the other hand, the naked neck is quite popular among those who only want to keep backyard chicken, because - contrary to most other breeds and hybrids - it lays a considerable amount of eggs even in the winter.
When hearing the word "donkey", most of us will think of pony-sized gray animal with short hair and perhaps a black cross on its back, and usually this picture will stand. But not in the case of the Poitou donkey, which is neither small, nor does it have short hair. The once highly prized, shaggy coat, called a cadanette, is nowadays not always left growing into cords, many owners shear their animals instead, especially if they use the donkeys for work. The breed was popular in France during the Middle Ages, but then started to decrease in number. By the end of the 1970s only about 45 Poitou donkeys were known to exist worldwide, and no more than 80 lived in 1980. Thanks to the conservation efforts of many breeders and organizations, about 450 Poitou donkeys could be found worldwide by 2005.
Poitou donkeys have unusual shaggy coats (By Sudorculus - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18435189)
The Çatalburun, also known as the Turkish Pointer is the only dog breed that has a split (or “double, as some prefer to call it) nose, and this trait is so distinguishing even its original Turkish name means fork-nose. The dogs, mostly used for hunting, were popular among the people of the Turkish city of Mersin. Still, the Çatalburun is an extremely rare breed, only about 200 dogs are known to live worldwide. Although the almost heart-shaped nose looks quite unusual, Çatalburuns are not prone to have difficulties with their breathing of sniffing abilities. Hip dysplasia, some skin problems and hypothyroidism are, on the other hand, more frequent health concerns among the Turkish Pointers than they are in the case of other breeds on average.
The Akhal-Teke is one of the most expensive and most treasured horse breeds in the world. In Turkmenistan, where they originate from, this graceful horse is a national emblem. Beside the graceful, lanky and showy appearance, the coat is the most distinguishing feature of the Akhal-Teke. It’s not the color, but the structure of the hair that makes this breed so unique: on sunny days the metallic glow of the coats makes Akhal-Tekes look almost like bronze and golden statues came alive. The metallic sheen is most noticeable when accompanied by palomino, cremello or buckskin coats. Apart from their looks, their agility and endurance make them popular and highly-prized sport horses, as well as hobby horses.
In the feline world munchkin cat is something like the dachshund in the dog world: with its short legs and fairly long body this rare breed even gained the nickname "Sausage Cat". Beside their fluffy and adorable appearance, munchkin cats are usually perfect family pets, especially when kept in safe spaces like rooms and kennels. These cuddly furballs are playful, intelligent, outgoing and love the company of their human friends. The short legs may lead to difficulty when jumping, but otherwise the munchkin is just as lively, curious, spry and acrobatic as other felines.
Unfortunately breeding the munchkins is not at all easy, and when two standard munchkins mate there is 25% chance that the embryos will not develop in the womb, and this usually leads to smaller litter sizes. This is because two copies of the munchkin gene causes the (homozygous) embryos to be non-viable. There is another 25% that the kittens will have normal sized legs, and 50% for being born with short legs. When cross-bred with other breeds, non of the embryos will be homozygous, and still there will be 50% chance of short-legged kittens – that’s the reason cross-breeding the munchkin cat is a popular choice.