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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.

  • Horse skeletons provide clues to preventing...
    on August 18, 2020 at 6:21 pm

    In an anatomical comparison of the third metacarpal, or cannon bone, among Thoroughbred racehorses, American Quarter Horses and feral Assateague Island ponies, researchers have found that fostering adaptations in these bones through training might help horses better endure the extreme conditions of racing and prevent serious, often life-ending injuries on the track.

  • Mystery about history of genetic disease in horses
    on July 15, 2020 at 3:14 pm

    Warmblood fragile foal syndrome is a severe, usually fatal, genetic disease that manifests itself after birth in affected horses. Due to the defect, the connective tissue is unstable. Under force, the skin tears from the tissue underneath and the joints can dislocate. Researchers have now been able to prove that the disease did not stem from the English thoroughbred stallion Dark Ronald XX.

  • Small horses got smaller, big tapirs got bigger...
    on March 24, 2020 at 5:18 pm

    The former coalfield of Geiseltal in Saxony-Anhalt has yielded large numbers of exceptionally preserved fossil animals, giving palaeontologists a unique window into the evolution of mammals 47 million years ago. A team has shown that the body size of two species of mammals developed in opposite directions.

  • Sea otters, opossums and the surprising ways...
    on March 19, 2020 at 4:52 pm

    A parasite known only to be hosted in North America by the Virginia opossum is infecting sea otters along the West Coast. A new study elucidates the sometimes surprising and complex pathways infectious pathogens can move from land to sea to sea otter.

  • 5,000-year-old milk proteins point to the...
    on March 2, 2020 at 4:33 pm

    By analyzing milk proteins extracted from calcified dental plaque, researchers present the earliest evidence for dairy consumption on the eastern Eurasian Steppe and uncover clues to the origin of mounted dairy pastoralism in Mongolia.


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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    Spring has arrived, and all over the country the hills and riversides are burnished with the green and gold of Australian wattles, all belonging to the genus Acacia.

  • You wouldn't hit a dog, so why kill one in...
    on September 25, 2020 at 2:00 pm

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  • Scientists devise 'Trojan horse' approach to kill...
    on September 23, 2020 at 2:54 pm

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  • Male baboons with female friends live longer
    on September 21, 2020 at 7:23 am

    Close bonds with the opposite sex can have non-romantic benefits. And not just for people, but for our primate cousins, too.

  • Genetic testing suggests horse domestication did...
    on September 17, 2020 at 2:00 pm

    An international team of researchers has found via genetic testing that horse domestication very likely did not begin in Anatolia as has been thought. Instead, it appears more likely that horses were first domesticated in the Eurasian Steppe and were subsequently imported to both the Caucasus and Anatolia. In their paper published in the journal Science Advances, the group describes their exhaustive study of ancient horse remains from a host of locations in eastern parts of Asia, the Caucasus […]