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horse : a large solid-hoofed herbivorous ungulate mammal (Equus caballus, family Equidae, the horse family) domesticated since prehistoric times and used as a beast of burden, a draft animal, or for riding — Webster

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Horse is one of two extant subspecies of Equus ferus. It is an odd-toed ungulate mammal belonging to the taxonomic family Equidae. The horse has evolved over the past 45 to 55 million years from a small multi-toed creature, Eohippus, into the large, single-toed animal of today. Humans began domesticating horses around 4000 BC, and their domestication is believed to have been widespread by 3000 BC. Horses in the subspecies caballus are domesticated, although some domesticated populations live in the wild as feral horses. These feral populations are not true wild horses, as this term is used to describe horses that have never been domesticated, such as the endangered Przewalski’s horse, a separate subspecies, and the only remaining true wild horse. There is an extensive, specialized vocabulary used to describe equine-related concepts, covering everything from anatomy to life stages, size, colors, markings, breeds, locomotion, and behavior.

Horses’ anatomy enables them to make use of speed to escape predators and they have a well-developed sense of balance and a strong fight-or-flight response. Related to this need to flee from predators in the wild is an unusual trait: horses are able to sleep both standing up and lying down, with younger horses tending to sleep significantly more than adults. Female horses, called mares, carry their young for approximately 11 months, and a young horse, called a foal, can stand and run shortly following birth. Most domesticated horses begin training under saddle or in harness between the ages of two and four. They reach full adult development by age five, and have an average lifespan of between 25 and 30 years.

Horse breeds are loosely divided into three categories based on general temperament: spirited “hot bloods” with speed and endurance; “cold bloods”, such as draft horses and some ponies, suitable for slow, heavy work; and “warmbloods”, developed from crosses between hot bloods and cold bloods, often focusing on creating breeds for specific riding purposes, particularly in Europe. There are more than 300 breeds of horse in the world today, developed for many different uses. — Wikipedia

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Horses News -- ScienceDaily Equine News. All about horses including the latest in horse cloning, race horse physiology and horse health.

  • 'Invisible,' restricted horse racing therapy may...
    on December 10, 2019 at 10:19 pm

    Shockwave therapy is used in both horses and humans to speed healing, but it can also mask pain. For the first time veterinarians have identified several biomarkers of the treatment, the use of which is restricted in horse racing.

  • Horses blink less, twitch eyelids more when...
    on November 6, 2019 at 6:03 pm

    A horse will blink less and twitch its eyelids more when it's under mild stress, the research team found -- a new finding that could offer handlers a simple, easy-to-spot sign their animal is becoming agitated.

  • Horse nutrition: Prebiotics may do more harm than...
    on October 1, 2019 at 2:22 pm

    Prebiotics are only able to help stabilize the intestinal flora of horses to a limited degree. Before they can reach the intestines, commercially available supplements partially break down in the animals' stomachs, which can lead to inflammation of the stomach lining.

  • Care of horses: Damage found in the bit area of...
    on August 16, 2019 at 1:02 pm

    Damage was found in the part of the mouth affected by the bit in more than 80% of trotters examined after a race. However, such damage is easily overlooked due to being out of sight.

  • Zebras' stripes could be used to control their...
    on June 13, 2019 at 2:31 pm

    New research indicates that zebras' stripes are used to control body temperature after all -- and reveals for the first time a new mechanism for how this may be achieved.


Phys.org - latest science and technology news stories Phys.org internet news portal provides the latest news on science including: Physics, Nanotechnology, Life Sciences, Space Science, Earth Science, Environment, Health and Medicine.

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    on December 11, 2019 at 4:00 pm

    Despite being four times thicker than human hair, elephant hair is only half as strong—that's just one finding from researchers studying the hair strength of many different mammals. Their work, appearing in a paper publishing December 11 in the journal Matter, shows that thin hair tends to be stronger than thick hair because of the way that it breaks.

  • 'Invisible,' restricted horse racing therapy may...
    on December 11, 2019 at 8:32 am

    A treatment called extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) is used in patients both human and equine to speed healing of injured tendons and ligaments. Using high-pressure sonic waves, ESWT is thought to increase blood flow to the treated area and has been shown to reduce pain over the short term.

  • What blocks bird flu in human cells?
    on December 10, 2019 at 6:42 pm

    Normally, bird flu viruses do not spread easily from person to person. But if this does happen, it could trigger a pandemic. Researchers from the MDC and RKI have now explained in the journal Nature Communications what makes the leap from animals to humans less likely.

  • Randomised trials in economics: what the critics...
    on December 10, 2019 at 3:00 pm

    The 2019 Nobel Prize has been awarded to three scholars for pioneering recent attempts to answer microeconomic issues in development using randomised experiments.

  • Brazil milks deadly snakes for their life-saving...
    on December 10, 2019 at 8:23 am

    Gripping the deadly snake behind its jaws, Fabiola de Souza massages its venom glands to squeeze out drops that will save lives around Brazil where thousands of people are bitten every year.