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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 remains reveal new insights into how Native...
    on February 4, 2021 at 6:14 pm

    When a Utah couple dug up the remains of a horse near the city of Provo, researchers suspected that they may have discovered an animal that lived during the last Ice Age. New results suggest a different story.

  • Climate warming linked to tree leaf unfolding and...
    on December 21, 2020 at 3:12 pm

    Climate warming is linked to a widening interval between leaf unfolding and flowering in European trees, with implications for tree fitness and the wider environment, according to new research.

  • Central Asian horse riders played ball games...
    on October 12, 2020 at 2:31 pm

    Researchers have investigated ancient leather balls discovered in the graves of horse riders in northwest China. According to the international research team, they are around 3,000 years old, making them the oldest balls in Eurasia. The find suggests amongst others that the mounted warriors of Central Asia played ball games to keep themselves fit.

  • 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.


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.

  • The Trojan-Horse mechanism: How networks reduce...
    on April 16, 2021 at 6:00 pm

    The social science literature has long viewed homophily and network-based job recruitment as crucial drivers of segregation. Researchers at Linköping University and ESADE, Ramon Llull University, now show that this view must be revised. In their Science Advances article, they call attention to a previously unidentified factor, the Trojan horse mechanism, which shows that network-based recruitment can reduce rather than increase segregation levels.

  • How crowd-sourcing is the future for animal...
    on April 13, 2021 at 1:29 pm

    What's the best way to analyze dog behavior? Take a bow(wow), crowd-sourcing.

  • Study finds barber pole worm developing...
    on April 12, 2021 at 2:14 pm

    A roundworm that plagues sheep grazing irrigated pastures has been found to be resistant to common classes of dewormers, according to a recently published report online in the Sheep & Goat Research Journal.

  • Shift in diet allowed gray wolves to survive...
    on April 12, 2021 at 7:46 am

    Gray wolves are among the largest predators to have survived the extinction at the end of the last ice age around11,700 years ago. Today, they can be found roaming Yukon's boreal forest and tundra, with caribou and moose as their main sources of food.

  • Gut bacteria 'talk' to horse's cells to improve...
    on April 8, 2021 at 7:11 am

    A horse's gut microbiome communicates with its host by sending chemical signals to its cells, which has the effect of helping the horse to extend its energy output, finds a new study published in Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences. This exciting discovery paves the way for dietary supplements that could enhance equine athletic performance.