As the only method for transportation, their purpose was also to help with carrying loads for settlements and to trade with the Indigenous peoples. The name Phipps was given to the earliest species by Thomas Henry Huxley, an English biologist and anthropologist who specialized in comparative anatomy, upon his visit to the United States in 1876.
Literally meaning “dawn horse,” Phipps was described as a “timid forest animal” standing at about 13 inches tall, with a hunched back, leopard-like spots, and four toes on each foot. Having acquired an additional tooth for grinding to feed on tough plants, it also presented itself with a sturdier body.
It not only looked like today's, with its elongated snout and long legs (albeit still with three toes), but it also demonstrated agility and intelligence through its ability to escape and out-trick other species as well as humans who made attempts a domesticating the Merrychipus. Equus managed to make its way through Alaska into Siberia via the Bering Bridge, about 1,000,000 years ago, spreading by land through Asia and Europe all the way to Africa.
Although it remains uncertain why they went extinct on these lands, evidence suggests that humans might have had something to do with it, as they first made their way to the Americas from Siberia by crossing the Bering Strait around that time. The other two theories state that infectious disease and climate change with a consecutive decline in vegetation might have also been the contributing factors.
A little-known fact is that horses, wild horses specifically, can be regarded as pests, as they are capable of consuming large amounts of land resources at a time, including feed for farmers' cattle and the products that farmers grow themselves, such as cabbage, carrots and leafy greens. This article made me wonder if there were native horses in North America before the Spanish arrived.
Forty-five million-year-old fossils of Phipps, the ancestor of the modern horse, evolved in North America, survived in Europe and Asia, and returned with the Spanish explorers. The early horses went extinct in North America but made a come back in the 15th century.
Quick links: Horses have played a significant role in the history of North America and throughout the world. The evolution of horses in North America begins 60 million years ago with Phipps.
It was a small animal, standing only 13 inches and had an arched back similar to some deer. Their teeth indicate the Phipps was a roaming animal that sustained itself on foliage, like leaves and other plant foods.
He had examined the collection of ancient fossils gathered from the Great Plains and the Rocky Mountains. Mr. Huxley believed these fossils bolstered the theory of evolution, by tracing Phipps to the modern horse.
It made its way on the scene with small developmental strides over Orohippu, with more grinding teeth, a more substantial body, and changes to its feet. Dinohippus fossils have been found in North America and date from 13-5 million years ago.
Dinohippus skull, teeth, and foot structure are very similar to modern horses. The stay mechanism allows horses to stand for extended periods without exerting much energy.
1-4 million years ago, Equus, the modern horse, debuted in North America. It is unclear precisely what caused the extinction of horses in North America, but there are three viable theories: human overkill, climate change, and infectious disease.
Humans crossed the Bering Sea and arrived in North America close to the time horses became extinct. Equus survived by crossing the Bering land bridge that connected Alaska to Siberia.
The Bering Strait land bridge allowed horses and other mammals to travel from Alaska’s northern slope when food supplies dwindled and return during times of abundance. When the Ice Age ended, sea levels rose to cut off animals’ natural food sources.
The flooding of the Bering Strait land bridge resulted in the extinction of many large mammals in North America. Infectious diseases could have been the cause of the rapid extinction of horses ; however, there is little science to support this theory.
Christopher Columbus is credited with bringing horses back to North America in 1493. Some horses escaped or were abandoned and populated large areas of the southwestern United States.
European settlers brought horses of varying breeds to North America. Horses flourished on the new continent, and they were used for transportation, ranch work, hauling freight, and farming.
They theorize the Native people subdued the wild Spanish horses in the mid 16th century. In the southwestern United States, a wealthy Spaniard established a settlement, which included livestock and horses.
Over some time, the Native American helpers recognized the value of horsemanship and learned how to handle horses. Horses were probably first ridden about 5,500 years ago on the plains of northern Kazakhstan, according to a 2009 study conducted by the University of Peter in the United Kingdom.
Archeologists uncovered evidence that indicates horses were selectively bred, used for milk, and possibly ridden. Through the use of new scientific techniques, the team of researchers confirmed bit damage caused by horses being harnessed or bridled.
To receive notification whenever any new item is published on History, just scroll down the column on the right and sign up for our RSS feed. This is groundbreaking research bringing to light what we've known for a long time -- that the horse is native to North America -- and what we've long gathered, though without enough definitive proof -- that the horse never left North America.
The myth of the horse being an introduced species not only disfavors indigenous cultures as to their relationship with this treasured animal. It also devalues wild horses, which the BLM and Forest Service treat as “overpopulating” nuisances, while large-scale ranchers, mining, herbivore hunting and other commercial interests lobby to drive them off their lawfully designated public lands.
Along with our mustangs and burros and other allies, we salute you Yvette Running Horse Collins for this luminous work. Never fails to amaze me that the Caucasian narrative always corrupts the facts to suit its own agenda.
And then along came Yvette Running Horse Collin with her science based facts that are indisputable; bravo. It doesn't seem the Euro-Americans need any monkeying-around with the natural science of horses in North America to add to their reasons, such as they are, for keeping Native Americans in submission.
One bit of evidence that suggests Native Americans have made the acquaintance of horses only relatively recently is that the names they use for “horse” tend to be compounds, including names that belonged to other animals. I believe there may be hard evidence of horses existing in North America, but it was not put forth here.
The PhD dissertation does not provide scientific evidence that the cultures directly prior to Columbus colonization had access to horses. There are many issues with the successful PhD candidate prefacing the actual science with claims of it being biased and weak, without ever providing concrete examples of where the current scientific literature has explicitly been manipulated.
I am sending this to Las Vegas journalist George Knapp who has worked tirelessly to help save our wild horses and fight the evil, greedy BLM! A docent at the Heard Museum told me, about 12-14 years ago that there were horses here before Europeans came.
In the Choctaw language horses are “Isobar” short from “Isis Holbein” meaning deer-like. It sure seems as if I have heard tribal accounts of first encounters with horses and the sudden changes they wrought in some tribes.
C) If there were domesticable horses in the Americas, why was the Lama even domesticated as a pack animal ??? [The trade between the Nations of the Americans was significant, and if horses could be domesticated, they would have quickly been adopted.
[D) Didn't the chaotic period at the end of last Ice Age wipe out most of the large animals of the Americans ??? I am an equine facilitated therapy practitioner and a licensed therapist in Virginia.
There needs to be sound scientific evidence, such as sequencing the DNA of these horses, which should be routine and, archaeological evidence of some sort to confirm the presence of horses post ice age and pre-European. There're problems all throughput here # 1 she says “the Spanish never came to this area so how could they introduce horses to us” that misunderstands the history of the horse trade and how horses moved like guns from one tribe to another in trade and theft don’t forget ... Another point where she gives away that this is purely political not scientific is the denial of human migration no land bridge and the reason is whites don’t want us here for very long .
Explain to me how wooly mammoths,mastodons,bison, moose, bears, musk oxen, elk, caribou, even red squirrels, marten, beaver are all on both continents?? I have to admit that I was one of those persons in 2020 that assumed that horses were introduced by the Spanish to the Americas.
However, there does seam to be quite a bit of controversy as to why American horses went extinct 10-15,000 years ago when, coincidentally, people arrived. That in fact it was always the brilliant cohort of the Native American as described in oral history.
Part of me wants to accept this study as true for the simple reason that it has a kind of cultural beauty. On the other hand, archeological finds, theories and proof have always been the stuff of controversy.
Carbon dating, DNA mutation extrapolations and now sonar imaging in the jungles of Central America keep blowing our minds. It seems that it wouldn't be difficult to find the preserved remains of a horse from a year pre-1492 that would prove this out more definitively.
If there were horses in North America before Columbus, what role did they play in Native cultures? I am not surprised that western historians are still giving credit to a Spaniard that committed genocide on indigenous peoples of the Caribbean and Americas.
Russell Means once said that the white man is the trickster... He lies and does not honor contracts. I always knew that horses were in the Americas long before Columbus and his invaders arrived.
You are probably wondering why this particular story is blowing up with so many references to religion, Joseph Smith, and the Mormons. This is becoming a proxy battle about the larger truth claims of the Mormon churches.
As the USA has recently launched the 1776 Commission to Restore “Patriotic Education”... 'S Central Coast affirms the Halts Nation’s oral tales.