Another of the report's authors, archaeologist Alan Outran from Britain's University of Peter, said the Przewalski's horse, named after a Russian who described them in the 19th century, is relatively small and stocky. The study was conducted at two sites in northern Kazakhstan, where scientists found the earliest proof of horse domestication, going back more than 5,000 years.
Przewalski's horse had reached the brink of extinction but was reintroduced successfully into the wild. The Tarzan became extinct in the 19th century, though it is a possible ancestor of the domestic horse; it roamed the steppes of Eurasia at the time of domestication.
However, other subspecies of Equus ferns may have existed and could have been the stock from which domesticated horses are descended. Since the extinction of the Tarzan, attempts to have been made to reconstruct its phenotype, resulting in horse breeds such as the König and Heck horse.
However, the genetic makeup and foundation bloodstock of those breeds is substantially derived from domesticated horses, so these breeds possess domesticated traits. The term wild horse” is also used colloquially in reference to free-roaming herds of feral horses such as the mustang in the United States, the crumby in Australia, and many others.
The latter two are the only never-domesticated wild groups that survived into historic times. However, other subspecies of Equus ferns may have existed.
In the Late Pleistocene epoch, there were several other subspecies of E.ferns which have all since gone extinct. The exact categorization of Equus' remains into species or subspecies is a complex matter and the subject of ongoing work.
Equus ferns fossil from 9100 BC found near Dense, at the Zoological Museum in CopenhagenProbable European wild horse coat colors The horse family Equine and the genus Equus evolved in North America during the Pliocene, before the species migrated across Bering into the Eastern Hemisphere. Studies using ancient DNA, as well as DNA of recent individuals, suggest the presence of two equine species in Late Pleistocene North America, a cabal line species, suggested being nonspecific with the wild horse, and Haringtonhippus Francisco, the “New World stilt-legged horse”; the latter has been taxonomically assigned to various names, and appears to be outside the grouping containing all extant equines.
Currently, three subspecies that lived during recorded human history are recognized. One subspecies is the widespread domestic horse (Equus ferns Catullus), as well as two wild subspecies: the recently extinct Tarzan (E. f. ferns) and the endangered Przewalski's horse (E. f. przewalskii).
Genetically, the pre-domestication horse, E. f. ferns, and the domesticated horse, E. f. Catullus, form a single homogeneous group (clade) and are genetically indistinguishable from each other. The genetic variation within this clade shows only a limited regional variation, with the notable exception of Przewalski's horse.
Besides genetic differences, astrological evidence from across the Eurasian wild horse range, based on cranial and metacarpal differences, indicates the presence of only two subspecies in post glacial times, the Tarzan and Przewalski's horse. At present, the domesticated and wild horses are considered a single species, with the valid scientific name for the horse species being Equus ferns.
The wild Tarzan subspecies is E. f. ferns, Przewalski's horse is E. f. przewalskii, and the domesticated horse is E. f. Catullus. The rules for the scientific naming of animal species are determined in the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature, which stipulates that the oldest available valid scientific name is used to name the species.
Previously, when taxonomists considered domesticated and wild horse two subspecies of the same species, the valid scientific name was Equus Catullus Linnaeus 1758, with the subspecies labeled E. c. Catullus (domesticated horse), E. c. ferns Border, 1785 (Tarzan) and E. c. przewalskii Polio, 1881 (Przewalski's horse). However, in 2003, the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature decided that the scientific names of the wild species have priority over the scientific names of domesticated species, therefore mandating the use of Equus ferns for the horse, independent of the position of the domesticated horse.
Przewalski's horse occupied the eastern Eurasian Steppes, perhaps from the Urals to Mongolia, although the ancient border between Tarzan and Przewalski's distributions has not been clearly defined. Przewalski's horse was limited to Dzungaria and western Mongolia in the same period, and became extinct in the wild during the 1960s, but was reintroduced in the late 1980s to two preserves in Mongolia.
Although researchers such as Maria Gimbals theorized that the horses of the Paleolithic period were Przewalski's, more recent genetic studies indicate that Przewalski's horse is not an ancestor to modern domesticated horses. However, it was subsequently suggested that Przewalski's horse represent feral descendants of horses belonging to the Bowie culture.
Przewalski's horse is still found today, though it is an endangered species and for a time was considered extinct in the wild. Roughly 2000 Przewalski's horses are in zoos around the world.
A small breeding population has been reintroduced in Mongolia. As of 2005, a cooperative venture between the Zoological Society of London and Mongolian scientists has resulted in a population of 248 animals in the wild.
However, the offspring of Przewalski and domestic horses are fertile, possessing 65 chromosomes. For instance, when the Spanish reintroduced the horse to the Americas, beginning in the late 15th century, some horses escaped, forming feral herds; the best-known being the mustang.
Similarly, the crumby descended from horses strayed or let loose in Australia by English settlers. Isolated populations of feral horses occur in a number of places, including Bosnia, Croatia, New Zealand, Portugal, Scotland and a number of barrier islands along the Atlantic coast of North America from Sable Island off Nova Scotia, to Cumberland Island, off the coast of Georgia.
In 1995, British and French explorers discovered a new population of horses in the Roche Valley of Tibet, unknown to the rest of the world, but apparently used by the local Samba people. It was speculated that the Roche horse might be a relict population of wild horses, but testing did not reveal genetic differences with domesticated horses, which is in line with news reports indicating that they are used as pack and riding animals by the local villagers.
These horses only stand 12 hands (48 inches, 122 cm) tall and are said to resemble the images known as “horse no 2” depicted in cave paintings alongside images of Przewalski's horse. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
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Przewalski's Horse: The History and Biology of an Endangered Species. Albany, New York Colin P. Groves: State University of New York Press.
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^ Provost, Melanie; Bell one, Rebecca; Bedecked, Norbert; Sandoval-Castellanos, Edson; Paisley, Michael; Kuznets ova, Tatyana; Morales-Muñiz, Arturo; O'Connor, Terry; Weissmann, Monika; Forfeited, Michael; Ludwig, Are (15 November 2011). “Genotypes of domestic horses match phenotypes painted in Paleolithic works of cave art”.
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Nomadic Art of the Eastern Eurasian Steppes: The Eugene V. Thaw and Other New York Collections. “Overview : Gaza : World Association of Zoos and Aquariums”.
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^ Gaunt, Charlene; Ages, Antoine; Half, Kristian; Albrecht, Andes; Khan, Naveen; Schubert, Mikkel; Seguin-Orlando, Ancient; Owens, Ivy J.; Fell, Sabine; Bignon-Lau, Olivier; DE Barros Damaged, Peter; Hitting, Alissa; Mohave, Azazel F.; Avoid, Hossein; Quraish, Sale; Afghan, Ahmed H.; Al-Rasheid, Khaled A. S.; Crudely, Eric; Bedecked, Norbert; Olsen, Sandra; Brown, Dorcas; Anthony, David; Mass, Ken; Titular, Vladimir; Kasparov, Alaska; Bred, Gottfried; Forfeited, Michael; Mukhtarova, Elmira; Baimukhanov, Turbo; Loughs, Semi; Omar, Vedas; Stock hammer, Philipp W.; Krause, Johannes; Bold, Bazartseren; Undrakhbold, Saintlier; Erdenebaatar, Diimaajav; Lopez, Sébastien; Masseur, Marian; Ludwig, Are; Waller, Barbara; Mere, Victor; Mere, Ilia; Albert, Viktor; Wellesley, ESE; Libra do, Pablo; Outran, Alan K.; Orlando, Ludovic (6 April 2018). “Ancient genomes revisit the ancestry of domestic and Przewalski's horses ".
^ “An extraordinary return from the brink of extinction for worlds last wild horse” Archived 2006-07-22 at the Payback Machine ZSL Living Conservation, December 19, 2005. “Iberian Origins of New World Horse Breeds”.
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New genetic research has revealed that the world’s wild horses went extinct hundreds, if not thousands, of years ago. Scientists found that an assumed wild breed, native to Mongolia, were actually domesticated horses.
There are roughly 2,000 take in the world right now, and the largest number of them live at Hastie National Park, within 60 miles of Mongolia’s capital, Ulaanbaatar. Since 1996, the Amur leopard has been classified by the IUCN as Critically Endangered with less than 70 individuals thought to exist today.
Evidence suggests North America was the hardest hit by extinctions. It survived only because the Bering land bridge that once connected Alaska and Siberia had enabled animals to cross into Asia and spread west.
Horse meat has a slightly sweet taste reminiscent of a combination of beef and venison. Scientists estimate that 150-200 species of plant, insect, bird and mammal become extinct every 24 hours.
This is nearly 1,000 times the “natural” or “background” rate and, say many biologists, is greater than anything the world has experienced since the vanishing of the dinosaurs nearly 65 m years ago. Production of the remaining crops would likely continue without bees with only slightly lower yields.
So if honeybees did disappear for good, humans would probably not go extinct (at least not solely for that reason). It’s somewhat of a human hallmark, making other species extinct, although we’ve kept cows around for both food and leather.
Horses are wonderful animals that have served humans from time immemorial. They have helped them cultivate land, build houses, wage wars, and transport things for centuries.
In the era of technology, we’re less reliant on them, and they’re gradually replaced by cars, planes, and different equipment. Horses history goes back a long way and far exceeds that of their relationships with humans.
The propalaeotherium, the most ancient and known form of the horse, was a relatively small animal with rudimentary hoofs. They lived in Western Europe and Asia and became extinct more than 30 million years ago.
By taking over more and more space for their agricultural activities, people forced horses to displace, which usually led to their death. Many species of horses that until recently inhabited certain areas of our planet completely disappeared due to the onslaught of human civilization.
About 200 years ago, tartans lived all over the European continent, but now this is an extinct horse species. They were gray-brown with large erect ears, curly mane, and a short tail.
So, when people started to hunt them using domesticated horses, they were quickly exterminated. Because of the development of agriculture, tartans could not find an area where they could safely live.
The remains of this horse were found near the town of German (USA), so it was named accordingly. These wild horses are thought to have gone extinct about 10,000 years ago due to climate change.
It was stocky and had straight shoulders, a thick neck, and a narrow skull. This horse probably lived in the meadows and floodplains 3 million years ago.
Wild quangos lived in Africa and disappeared over 100 years ago. At present, a group of scientists from the South African Republic are working on herding these animals.
They were not able to travel long distances and couldn’t jump because of their weak heart. The height of these horses ranged from 5.5 to 6.5 feet in the withers, and their weight was approximately 2,200 lbs.
Przewalski’s horses living in zoos became accustomed to man, and they are unlikely to survive in their natural habitat. They are incredibly hardy as they are accustomed to continuously searching for food in arid areas where it is particularly scarce in winter.
Now, experts are trying to take care of rare breeds of horses by creating special conditions for them and protecting them by law. Extreme weather, encroaching human settlements, and livestock infringing on their habitat pushed the horses as far east as the steppes of the Gobi Desert in China and Mongolia.
Conservationists report that the species is extinct in the wild, and only an estimated 2,000 individuals remain in zoos and reserves, including the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia. Every Przewalski’s horse descends from 12 wild ancestors, so they’re in dire need of increased genetic diversity, reports Jonathan Women for the San Diego Union-Tribune.
“A central tenet of the Frozen Zoo… was that it would be used for purposes not possible at the time,” Oliver Ryder, director of genetics at the San Diego Zoo Global, said in a statement released last month. After 40 years of being frozen in time, scientists thawed the stallion’s cells and fused one with an egg from a female domestic horse, who would later be Kurt’s surrogate mother.
His successful cloning provides hope for conservationists that one day they can restore the population of Przewalski’s horses in their native range. “This colt is expected to be one of the most genetically important individuals of his species,” Bob Wise, chief life sciences officer at San Diego Zoo Global, said in last month’s statement.
Just as the Narragansett Pacer (#4 below) is associated with George Washington, so is the slightly earlier Norfolk Trotter inextricably entangled with the reign of King Henry VIII. In the mid-16th century, this monarch ordered England's nobles to maintain a minimum number of trotting horses, presumably to be mobilized in the event of war or insurrection.
Fossil specimens of the American Zebra (all of them discovered in German, Idaho) date to about three million years ago, during the late Pliocene epoch. In the first and second centuries B.C., the Han Dynasty of China imported this short-legged, muscular equine from the Dayan people of Central Asia, for the use of the army.
Fearing depletion of their native stock, the Dayan put a sudden end to the trade, resulting in the short (but colorfully named) “War of the Heavenly Horses.” The Chinese won, and, according to at least one account, demanded ten healthy Merchants for breeding purposes and a bounty of 3,000 additional specimens.
In fact, the Narragansett Pacer was the first horse breed ever to be engineered in the United States, derived from British and Spanish stock shortly after the Revolutionary War. No less a personage than George Washington owned a Narragansett Pacer, but this horse fell out of style in the ensuing decades, its cache depleted by export and interbreeding.
“His limbs are strong, and well-knit together; his pace is lofty, and he is very docile for the performance of any exercise; but a nice eye may discover that his legs are something too small, which seems to be his only imperfection.” While equine experts maintain that the Neapolitan has gone extinct (some of its bloodlines persist in the modern Lipizzaner), some people continue to confuse it with the similarly named Napolitana.
Old English Black. Louis Moll; Eugène Nicolas Got; François Hippolyta Malaise, cropped and reworked by Kermit / Wikimedia Commons / public domain. This equine had its roots in the Norman Conquest, in 1066, when European horses brought by William the Conqueror's armies interbred with English mares.
Any Quangos that weren't immediately shot and skinned wound up being humiliated in other ways, exported for display in foreign zoos, used to herd sheep and even dragooned into pulling carts of gawking tourists in early 19th-century London. The Syrian Wild Ass was one of the smallest modern equips yet identified at only about three feet high at the shoulder, and it was also notorious for its ornery, unnameable disposition.
Presumably known to the Arabic and Jewish residents of the Middle East for millennia, this ass entered the western imagination via the reports of European tourists in the 15th and 16th centuries. Shortly after the last Ice Age, about 10,000 years ago, the indigenous horses of North and South America went extinct, along with other mammalian megafauna.
As huge debt as we owe to the Tarzan, that didn't prevent the last living captive specimen from expiring in 1909, and since then efforts to re-breed this subspecies backs into existence have met with dubious success. For much of recorded history, the settled civilizations of Eurasia were terrorized by the nomadic peoples of the Steppes, Huns, and Mongols, to name two famous examples.
Long story short, the Turbofan Horse was the mount favored by the Turkic tribes people, though as a military secret it was impossible to keep. TarpanOnly known live photo of an alleged Tarzan, which may have been a hybrid or feral animal, 1884 Scientific classification Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Mammalian Order: Perissodactyla Family: Equine Genus: Equus Species: Subspecies: Trinomial name Equus ferus Synonyms The Tarzan (Equus ferus), also known as Eurasian wild horse, is an extinct subspecies of wild horse.
The last individual believed to be of this subspecies died in captivity in the Russian Empire during 1909, although some sources claim that it was not a genuine wild horse due to its resemblance to domesticated horses. The breeds that resulted included the Heck horse, the Heart or Strobe's horse, and a derivation of the König breed, all of which have a primitive appearance, particularly in having the grille coat color.
In modern use, the term has been loosely used to refer to the domesticated ancestor of the modern horse, Equus ferns, to the domestic subspecies believed to have lived into the historic era, Equus ferus, and to all European primitive or wild horses in general. The modern “bred-back” breeds are also referred to as “Tarzan” by their supporters, although they derive predominantly from domestic stock.
The Tarzan was first described by Samuel Gottlieb Gaelic in 1771; he had seen the animals in 1769 in the district of Borrow, near Voronezh. In 1784 Peter Border named the species Equus ferns, referring to Gaelic's description.
Since Antonius' name refers to the same description as Border's it is a junior objective synonym. It is now thought that the domesticated horse, named Equus Catullus by Carl Linnaeus in 1758, is descended from the Tarzan; indeed, many taxonomists consider them to belong to the same species.
However, biologists have generally ignored the letter of the rule and used E. ferns for the Tarzan to avoid confusion with the domesticated subspecies. Most studies have been based on only two preserved specimens and research to date has not positively linked the Tarzan to Pleistocene or Holocene-era animals.
In 2003, the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature “conserved the usage of 17 specific names based on wild species, which are predated by or contemporary with those based on domestic forms”, confirming E. ferns for the Tarzan. Taxonomists who consider the domestic horse a subspecies of the wild Tarzan should use Equus ferns Catullus ; the name Equus Catullus remains available for the domestic horse where it is considered to be a separate species.
The last individual, which died in captivity in 1909, was between 140 and 145 centimeters (55 and 57 in) tall at the shoulders, or about 14 hands, and had a thick, falling mane, a grille coat color, dark legs, and primitive markings, including a dorsal stripe and shoulder stripes. This feature is advantageous in regions with much rainfall because it diverts rain and snow from the neck and face and prevents a loss of heat, as much as a bushy tail.
The appearance of European wild horses may be reconstructed with genetic, geologic and historic data. One genetic study suggests that bay was the predominant color in European wild horses.
During the Mesolithic, a gene coding a black coat color appeared on the Iberian Peninsula. This color spread east but was less common than bay in the investigated sample and never reached Siberia.
Hangar or “mealy” coloration, a characteristic of other wild equines, might have been present in at least some tartans, as historic accounts report a light belly. It is also likely that European wild horses had primitive markings, consisting of stripes on the shoulders, legs and spine.
Replica of a horse painting from a cave in Lascaux Wild horses have been present in Europe since the Pleistocene and ranged from southern France and Spain east to central Russia. There are cave drawings of primitive domestication horses at Lascaux, France and in Cave of Altamira, Spain, as well as artifacts believed to show the species in southern Russia, where a horse of this type was domesticated around 3000 BCE.
Equus ferns had a continuous range from Western Europe to Alaska ; historic material suggests wild horses lived in most parts of Holocene continental Europe and the Eurasian steppe, except for parts of Scandinavia, Iceland and Ireland. However, historic references to do not describe any major difference between the populations, and therefore most authors assume there was only one subspecies of western Eurasian wild horse, Equus ferus.
Nevertheless, a stocky type of horse living in forests and highlands was described during the 19th century in Spain, the Pyrenees, the Cam argue, the Rennes, Great Britain, and the southern Swedish upland. They had a robust head and strong body, and a long frizzy mane.
They dwelt in rocky habitats and showed intelligent and fierce behavior. Black wild horses were found in Dutch swamps, with a large skull, small eyes, and a bristly muzzle.
European wild horse coat colors Herodotus described light-coloured wild horses in an area now part of Ukraine in the 5th century BCE. In the 12th century, Albert us Magnus states that mouse-coloured wild horses with a dark eel stripe lived in the German territory, and in Denmark, large herds were hunted.
Eleazar Racquet saw wild horses in the Polish zoo in Amos during the Seven Years' War. According to him, those wild horses were of small body size, had a blackish brown color, a large and thick head, short dark manes and tail hair, and a “beard”.
Gaëtan Woman visited the population at Amos as well and reported that they were small and strong, had robust limbs and a consistently dark mouse color. They were typically mouse-colored with a light belly and legs becoming black, although gray and white horses were mentioned as well.
Peter Simon Dallas witnessed possible wild tartans in the same year in southern Russia. The horses he described had a small body, large and thick heads, short frizzly manes and short tail hair, as well as pinned ears.
He also reported of obvious domestic hybrids with light-colored legs or gray coats. The Natural History of Horses by 19th-century author Charles Hamilton Smith also described tartans.
The short frizzy mane was reported to be black, as were the tail and legs. According to Smith, tartans made stronger sounds than domestic horses and the overall appearance of these wild horses was mule-like.
A Tarzan herd survived in the zoo of Amos until 1806, when the reserve had to sell them because of economic problems. They were dispersed onto the local farms at the Mingora region, tamed, and bred to domestic horses.
According to Woman, wild horses had been exterminated in the Polish wilderness shortly before, because they damaged hay collected for livestock. Illustration of a running individualize human-caused extinction of the Tarzan began in Southern Europe, possibly in antiquity.
While humans had been hunting wild horses since the Paleolithic, during historic times horse meat was an important source of protein for many cultures. As large herbivores, the range of the Tarzan was continuously decreased by the increasing human population of the Eurasian continent.
Wild horses were further persecuted because they caused damage to hay stores and often took domestic mares from pastures. Furthermore, interbreeding with wild horses was an economic loss for farmers since the foals of such ratings were intractable.
Tartans survived the longest in the southern parts of the Russian steppe. An early 19th-century attempt was made by the Polish government to save the Tarzan type by establishing a preserve for animals descended from the Tarzan in a forested area in Biaowiea.
In 1780, a wildlife park was established protecting a population of tartans until the beginning of the 19th century. When the preserve had to close down in 1806, the last remaining tartans were donated to local farmers and it is claimed that they survived through crossbreeding with domestic horses.
Recent research has highlighted a significant degree of anatomic difference between free-roaming König in the Netherlands and other modern domesticated horses. The oldest archaeological evidence for domesticated horses is from Kazakhstan and Ukraine between 6,000 and 5,500 GBP (years before present).
The diverse mitochondrial DNA of domestic horses contrasts sharply with the very low diversity of the Y chromosome; that suggests that many mares but only a few stallions were used, and local use of wild mares or even secondary sites of domestication are likely. Few consider the more recent animals historically called “tartans” to be genuine wild horses without domestic influence.
Other contemporary authors claimed all wild horses between the Volga River and the Ural were actually feral. However, others thought that this was too speculative and assumed that wild, undomesticated horses still lived into the 19th century.
There are some accounts from the 18th and 19th centuries of wild herds with typical wild horse features such as large heads, pinned ears, short frizzy mane and tail, but mentioned animals with domestic influence as well. The only known individual to be photographed was the so-called Person Tarzan, which was caught as a foal near Novovorontsovka in 1866.
Today it is assumed this individual either was a hybrid or a feral domestic horse. Three attempts to have been made to use selective breeding to create a type of horse that resembles the Tarzan phenotype, though recreating an extinct subspecies is not genetically possible with current technology.
In 1936, Polish university professor Mateusz Petulant selected Polish farm horses that were formerly known as Pane horses (now called König) and that he believed resembled the historic Tarzan and started a selective breeding program. Although his breeding attempt is well-known, it made only a minor contribution to the modern König stock, which clusters genetically with other domestic horse breeds, including those as diverse as the Mongolian horse and the Thoroughbred.
While all three breeds have a primitive look that resembles the wild type Tarzan in some respects, they are not genetically tartans and the wild, domestic European horse remains extinct. However, this does not prevent some modern breeders from marketing horses with these features as a “Tarzan”.
On the other hand, there has not yet been a study comparing domestic breeds directly with the European wild horse. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.).
^ a b c d e f g h Bunzel-Drüke, Finch, Hammer, Quick, Ranger, Rickey, Raid, Scarf & Kimball: “Wilde Maiden: Praxisleitfaden fur Ganzjahresbeweidung in Naturschutz UND Landschaftsentwicklung ^ “Tarzan”. CS1 main: date and year (link) ^ “Comparative radiometry of “Station's Tarzan” (Equus Gemini Antonius, 1912): a problem of species status” (PDF).
“Usage of 17 specific names based on wild species which are predated by or contemporary with those based on domestic animals (Lepidoptera, Osteichthyes, Mammalian): conserved.” ^ Bennett, 1998 ^ a b c Provost, Melanie; Bell one, Rebecca; Bedecked, Norbert; Sandoval-Castellanos, Edson; Paisley, Michael; Kuznets ova, Tatyana; Morales-Muñiz, Arturo; O'Connor, Terry; Weissmann, Monika; Forfeited, Michael; Ludwig, Are (4 November 2011).
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^ Provost, Melanie; Bell one, Rebecca; Bedecked, Norbert; Sandoval-Castellanos, Edson; Paisley, Michael; Kuznets ova, Tatyana; Morales-Muñiz, Arturo; O'Connor, Terry; Weissmann, Monika; Forfeited, Michael; Ludwig, Are (15 November 2011). “Genotypes of domestic horses match phenotypes painted in Paleolithic works of cave art”.
^ Thomas Jansen: Untersuchungen our Phylogeny UND Domestication DES Hauspferdes (Equus ferns f. Catullus) Stammesentwicklung UND geographic Verteilung. 2002 (PDF Archived 2016-03-08 at the Payback Machine) ^ May-Davis, Sharon; Brown, Wendy; Shorter, Kathleen; Vermeulen, Zephaniah; Butler, Raquel; Koekkoek, Marianne; May-Davis, Sharon; Brown, Wendy Y.; Shorter, Kathleen (2018-02-01).
“A Novel Non-Invasive Selection Criterion for the Preservation of Primitive Dutch König Horses ". ^ Outran, Alan K.; Stare, Natalie A.; Kendra, Robin; Olsen, Sandra; Kasparov, Alexei; Albert, Victor; Thorpe, Nick; Ever shed, Richard P. (2009).
^ Lindgren, Gabriella; Backstroke, Nicolas; Swinburne, June; Hellebore, Linda; Einarsson, Annika; Sandberg, Key; Cochran, Gus; Vila, Charles; Binds, Matthew; Allergen, Hans (14 March 2004). ^ a b c d Jansen, Thomas; Forster, Peter; Levine, Marsha A.; Else, Hardy; Hurdles, Matthew; Renfrew, Colin; Weber, Jürgen; Ole, Klaus (6 August 2002).
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. ^ Mateusz Béziers, Biggie Wazowski: Was Police König.
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“Origin and History of Mitochondrial DNA Lineages in Domestic Horses ". Equus is a genus of mammals in the familyEquidae, which includes horses, donkeys, and zebras.
Within Equine, Equus is the only recognized extant genus, comprising seven living species. Like Equine more broadly, Equus has numerous extinct species known only from fossils.
The genus most likely originated in North America and spread quickly to the Old World. All species are herbivorous, and mostly grazers, with simpler digestive systems than ruminants but able to subsist on lower-quality vegetation.
While the domestic horse and donkey (along with their feral descendants) exist worldwide, wild equine populations are limited to Africa and Asia. Wild equine social systems are in two forms; a harem system with tight-knit groups consisting of one adult male or stallion, several females or mares, and their young or foals ; and a territorial system where males establish territories with resources that attract females, which associate very fluidly.
In both systems, females take care of their offspring, but males may play a role as well. Human activities have threatened wild equine populations.
The word Equus is Latin for “horse” and is cognate with the Greek (hippos, “horse”) and Mycenaean Greek into /inks/, the earliest attested variant of the Greek word, written in Linear B syllabic script. Compare the alternative development of the labiovelar in Ionic (inks).
It is the only recognized extant genus in the family Equine. The first equips were small, dog-sized mammals (e.g. Phipps) adapted for browsing on shrubs during the Eocene, around 54 million years ago (MYA).
Equips developed into larger, three-toed animals (e.g. Mesohippus) during the Oligocene and Miocene. From there, the side toes became progressively smaller through the Pleistocene until the emergence of the single-toed Equus.
The genus Equus, which includes all extant equines, is believed to have evolved from Dinohippus, via the intermediate form Plesippus. One of the oldest species is Equus simplifies, described as zebra-like with a donkey-like head shape.
The oldest material to date was found in Idaho, USA. The genus appears to have spread quickly into the Old World, with the similarly aged E. livenzovensis documented from Western Europe and Russia.
Molecular phylogeny indicate that the most recent common ancestor of all modern equines (members of the genus Equus) lived ~5.6 (3.9-7.8) MYA. Direct paleogenomic sequencing of a 700,000-year-old middle Pleistocene horse metaphorical bone from Canada implies a more recent 4.07 MYA for the most recent common ancestor within the range of 4.0 to 4.5 MYA.
Mitochondrial evidence supports the division of Equus species into noncaballoid (which includes zebras and asses) and tabloids or “true horses (which includes E. ferns and E. przewalskii). Of the extant equine species, the lineage of the asses may have diverged first, possibly as soon as Equus reached the Old World.
Zebras appear to be monophyletic and differentiated in Africa, where they are endemic. Members of the subgenus Sussemionus were abundant during the Early and Middle Pleistocene of North America and Afro-Eurasia, but only a single species, E. voodoo survived into the Late Pleistocene in south Siberia and North-East China.
Mitochondrial DNA from E. voodoo have placed the Sussemionus lineage as closer to zebras than to asses. Molecular dating indicates the tabloid lineage diverged from the noncaballoids 4 MYA.
Genetic results suggest that all North American fossils of cabal line equines, as well as South American fossils traditionally placed in the subgenus E. (Amerhippus), belong to E. ferns. Remains attributed to a variety of species and lumped together as New World stilt-legged horses (including E. Francisco, E. tau, and E. Quinn) probably all belong to a second species that was endemic to North America.
This was confirmed in a genetic study done in 2017, which subsumed all the specimens into the species E. Francisco which was placed outside all extant horse species in the new genus Haringtonhippus , although its placement as a separate genus was subsequently questioned. A separate genus of horse, Hippidion existed in South America.
The possible causes of the extinction of horses in the Americas (about 12,000 years ago) have been a matter of debate. Hypotheses include climatic change and overexploitation by newly arrived humans.
Horses only returned to the American mainland with the arrival of the conquistadors in 1519. Subgenus Image Scientific name Common name Distribution Equus Equus ferns includes Equus ferns Catullus and Equus ferns przewalskii Wild horse includes domesticated horse and Przewalski's horse Eurasia AsinusEquus Africans African wild ass ; includes domesticated donkey Horn of Africa, in Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia Equus heinous Onsager, Hermione, or Asiatic wild ass Iran, Pakistan, India, and Mongolia, including in Central Asian hot and cold deserts of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and China Equus kiang Tibetan Plateau HippotigrisEquus gravy Gravy's zebra Kenya and Ethiopia Equus quanta Plains zebra south of Ethiopia through East Africa to as far south as Botswana and eastern South Africa Equus zebra Mountain zebra south-western Angola, Namibia and South Africa.
A mule (horse and donkey hybrid) Equine species can crossbreed with each other. The most common hybrid is the mule, a cross between a male donkey and a female horse.
With rare exceptions, these hybrids are sterile and cannot reproduce. A related hybrid, a Ginny, is a cross between a male horse and a female donkey.
Gravy's zebra is the largest wild species, standing up to 13.2 hands (54 inches, 137 cm) and weighing up to 405 kg (890 lb). Heavy or draft horses are usually at least 16 hands (64 inches, 163 cm) high and can be as tall as 18 hands (72 inches, 183 cm) and weigh from about 700 to 1,000 kg (1,500 to 2,200 lb).
Some miniature horses are no taller than 30 inches (76 cm) in adulthood. The penis of the male is vascular and lacks a bone (vacuum).
Equines are adapted for running and traveling over long distances. Their dentition is adapted for grazing ; they have large incisors that clip grass blades and highly crowned, ridged molars well suited for grinding.
Males have spade-shaped canines (“tushes”), which can be used as weapons in fighting. Equines have fairly good senses, particularly their eyesight.
Their moderately long, erect ears are movable and can locate the source of a sound. A dun -colored coat with primitive markings that include a dorsal stripe and often leg striping and transverse shoulder stripes reflect the wild type coat and are observed in most wild extant equine species.
Only the mountain zebra lacks a dorsal stripe. In domestic horses, dun color and primitive markings exist in some animals across many breeds.
The purpose of the bold black-and-white striping of zebras has been a subject of debate among biologists for over a century, but 2014 evidence supports the theory that they are a form of protection from biting flies. These insects appear to be less attracted to striped coats, and compared to other wild equines, zebras live in areas with the highest fly activity.
Except the domestic horses, which have long manes that lay over the neck and long tail hair growing from the top of the tail head or dock, most equines have erect manes and long tails ending in a tuft of hair. The coats of some equine species undergo shedding in certain parts of their range and are thick in the winter.
Extant wild equines have scattered ranges across Africa and Asia. The plains' zebra lives in lush grasslands and savannas of Eastern and Southern Africa, while the mountain zebra inhabits mountainous areas of southwest Africa.
The other equine species tend to occupy more arid environments with more scattered vegetation. Gravy's zebra is found in thorny scrub land of East Africa, while the African wild ass inhabits rocky deserts of North Africa.
The two Asian wild ass species live in the dry deserts of the Near East and Central Asia and Przwelski's wild horse's habitat is the deserts of Mongolia. In addition to wild populations, domesticated horses and donkeys are widespread due to humans.
In certain parts of the world, populations of feral horses and feral donkeys exist, which are descended from domesticated animals that were released or escaped into the wild. They prefer to eat grasses and edges, but may also consume bark, leaves, buds, fruits, and roots if their favored foods are scarce, particularly asses.
Compared to ruminants, equines have a simpler and less efficient digestive system. After food is passed through the stomach, it enters the sac-like cecum, where cellulose is broken down by micro-organisms.
Equines may spend 60–80% of their time feeding, depending on the availability and quality of vegetation. In the African savannas, the plains zebra is a pioneer grazer, mowing down the upper, less nutritious grass canopy and preparing the way for more specialized grazers such as blue wildebeests and Thomson's gazelles, which depend on shorter and more nutritious grasses below.
Wild equines may spend seven hours a day sleeping. During the day, they sleep standing up, while at night they lie down.
They regularly rub against trees, rocks, and other objects and roll in around in dust for protection against flies and irritation. Except the mountain zebra, wild equines can roll over completely.
Horses, plains zebras, and mountain zebras live in stable, closed family groups or harems consisting of one adult male, several females, and their offspring. These groups have their own home ranges, which overlap, and they tend to be nomadic.
The stability of the group remains even when the family stallion dies or is displaced. Plains zebra groups gather into large herds and may create temporarily stable subgroups within a herd, allowing individuals to interact with those outside their group.
Among harem-holding species, this behavior has only otherwise been observed in primates such as the Nevada and the Madras baboon. Females of harem species benefit as males give them more time for feeding, protection for their young, and protection from predators and harassment by outside males.
Among females in a harem, a linear dominance hierarchy exists based on the time at which they join the group. Harems travel in a consistent filing order with the high-ranking mares and their offspring leading the groups followed by the next-highest ranking mare and her offspring, and so on.
Social grooming (which involves individuals rubbing their heads against each other and nipping with the incisors and lips) is important for easing aggression and maintaining social bonds and status. Young of both sexes leave their natal groups as they mature; females are usually abducted by outside males to be included as permanent members of their harems.
In Gravy's zebras and the wild ass species, adults have more fluid associations and adult males establish large territories and monopolize the females that enter them. These species live in habitats with sparser resources and standing water, and grazing areas may be separated.
The most dominant males establish territories near watering holes, where more sexually receptive females gather. Subdominant have territories farther away, near foraging areas.
Staying in a territory offers a female protection from harassment by outside males, as well as access to a renewable resource. Some feral populations of horses exhibit features of both the harem and territorial social systems.
In both equine social systems, excess males gather in bachelor groups. These are typically young males that are not yet ready to establish a harem or territory.
With the plains' zebra, the males in a bachelor group have strong bonds and have a linear dominance hierarchy. Fights between males usually occur over estrous females and involve biting and kicking.
Przewalski's horses interactingWhen meeting for the first time or after they have separated, individuals may greet each other by rubbing and sniffing their noses followed by rubbing their cheeks, moving their noses along their bodies and sniffing each other's genitals. They then may rub and press their shoulders against each other and rest their heads on one another.
Equines produce a number of vocalizations and noises. The contact calls of equines vary from the whinnying and nickering of the horse and the barking of plains zebras to the braying of asses, Gravy's zebras, and donkeys.
Equines also communicate with visual displays, and the flexibility of their lips allows them to make complex facial expressions. Visual displays also incorporate the positions of the head, ears, and tail.
An equine may signal an intention to kick by laying back its ears and sometimes lashing the tail. Flattened ears, bared teeth, and abrupt movement of the heads may be used as threatening gestures, particularly among stallions.
Among harem-holding species, the adult females mate only with their harem stallion, while in other species, mating is more promiscuous and the males have larger testes for sperm competition. Estrus in female equines lasts 5–10 days; physical signs include frequent urination, flowing mucus, and swollen, reverted labia.
In addition, estrous females will stand with their hind legs spread and raise their tails when in the presence of a male. Length of gestation varies by species; it is roughly 11–13 months, and most mares come into estrus again within a few days after foaling, depending on conditions.
Usually, only a single foal is born, which is capable of running within an hour. Within a few weeks, foals attempt to graze, but may continue to nurse for 8–13 months.
Species in arid habitats, like Gravy's zebra, have longer nursing intervals and do not drink water until they are three months old. Among harem-holding species, foals are cared for mostly by their mothers, but if threatened by predators, the entire group works together to protect all the young.
The group forms a protective front with the foals in the center and the stallion will rush at predators that come too close. In territory-holding species, mothers may gather into small groups and leave their young in kindergartens under the guard of a territorial male while searching for water.
Gravy's zebra stallions may look after a foal in his territory to ensure that the mother stays, though it may not be his. The earliest archaeological evidence for the domestication of the horse comes from sites in Ukraine and Kazakhstan, dating to around 4000-3500 BCE.
By 3000 BCE, the horse was completely domesticated, and by 2000 BCE, a sharp increase occurred in the number of horse bones found in human settlements in northwestern Europe, indicating the spread of domesticated horses throughout the continent. The most recent, but most irrefutable, evidence of domestication comes from sites where horse remains were buried with chariots in graves of the Sintashta and Petrov cultures c. 2100 BCE.
Studies of variation in genetic material shows that very few wild stallions, possibly all from a single haplotype, contributed to the domestic horse, while many mares were part of early domesticated herds. The split between Przewalskii's horse and E. ferns Catullus is estimated to have occurred 120,000–240,000 years ago, long before domestication.
In addition, tartans that lived into modern times may have been hybridized with domestic horses. Archaeological, biogeographical, and linguistic evidence suggests that the donkey was first domesticated by nomadic pastoral people in North Africa over 5,000 years ago.
The animals were used to help cope with the increased aridity of the Sahara and the Horn of Africa. Genetic evidence finds that the donkey was domesticated twice based on two distinct mitochondrial DNAhaplogroups.
It also points to a single ancestor, the Nubian wild ass. Attempts to domesticate zebras were largely unsuccessful, though Walter Rothschild trained some to draw a carriage in England.
Captive Przewalski's horseman have had a great impact on the populations of wild equines. Threats to wild equines include habitat destruction and conflicts with local people and livestock.
Since the 20th century, wild equines have been decimated over many of their former ranges and their populations scattered. In recent centuries, two subspecies, the quanta and the Tarzan, became extinct.
The IUCN lists the African wild ass as critically endangered, Gravy's zebra, the mountain zebra, and Przewalski's horse as endangered, the Onsager as vulnerable, the plains' zebra as near threatened, and the King as least concern. Feral horses vary in degree of protection and generate considerable controversy.
In the United States, feral horses and burros are generally considered an introduced species because they are descendants from domestic horses brought to the Americas from Europe. While they are viewed as pests by many livestock producers, conversely, a view also exists that E. f. Catullus is a reintroduced once-native species returned to the Americas that should be granted endangered species protection.
At present, certain free-roaming horses and burros have federal protection as “living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West” under the Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, and in Steppe v. New Mexico, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the animals so designated were, as a matter of law, wildlife. ^ a b c d Airstrip JT, Seguin-Orlando A, Stiller M, Minolta A, Madhavan M, Nielsen SC, et al. (2013).
“Mitochondrial phylogenetic of modern and ancient equips”. “Ascent and decline of monodactyl equips: a case for prehistoric overkill” (PDF).
^ Orlando L, Minolta A, Zhang G, Free D, Albrecht A, Stiller M, et al. (July 2013). “Recalibrating Equus evolution using the genome sequence of an early Middle Pleistocene horse”.
“MitochondrialDNA timetable and the evolution of Equus : of molecular and pale ontological evidence” (PDF). “Sussemionus, a new subgenus of Equus (Perissodactyla, Mammalian)”.
^ Yuan, Jun-Xia; You, Finding; Barlow, Axel; Track, Michaela; Aaron, Ulrike H.; Albert, Federico; Baler, Nikolas; Deng, Tao; Lie, Furlong; Forfeited, Michael; Sheng, Gillian (2019-05-16). “Molecular identification of late and terminal Pleistocene Equus voodoo from northeastern China”.
^ Druzhkova, Anna S.; Bakunin, Alexey I.; Vorobieva, Nadella V.; Vasiliy, Sergey K.; Volvo, Nikolai D.; Zhukov, Mikhail V.; Triton, Vladimir A.; Graphodatsky, Alexander S. (January 2017). “Complete mitochondrial genome of an extinct Equus (Sussemionus) voodoo specimen from Denis ova cave (Altai, Russia)”.
^ Orlando L, Male D, Albert MT, Prado Jr, Print A, Cooper A, Hanna C (May 2008). “Ancient DNA clarifies the evolutionary history of American Late Pleistocene equips”.
Winston J, Wellesley E, Her A, Tong W, Ho SY, Rubinstein D, et al. (August 2005). “Evolution, systematic, and paleogeography of Pleistocene horses in the new world: a molecular perspective”.
^ Hartman PD, Paula GD, Machete R, Scott E, Cahill JA, Choose BK, et al. (November 2017). ^ Barron-Ortiz CI, Villa LD, Mass CN, Bravo-Cuevas VM, Machado H, Mother D (2019-09-12).
^ Her Parisian C, Airstrip JT, Schubert M, Seguin-Orlando A, EME D, Winston J, et al. (March 2015). “Mitochondrial genomes reveal the extinct Hippidion as an out group to all living equips”.
“Rapid body size decline in Alaskan Pleistocene horses before extinction”. “A calendar chronology for Pleistocene mammoth and horse extinction in North America based on Bayesian radiocarbon calibration”.
“A mysterious zebra-donkey hybrid (Zedong or monkey) produced under natural mating: A case report from Born, southern Ethiopia”. ^ Accordingly JE, Hungarian SR, Kirchhoff IR, Shapiro B, Runway J, Rubinstein DI (2009).
“Is the endangered Gravy's zebra threatened by hybridization?” ^ a b Car T, Izzy A, Racer RC, Walker H, Sandwich T (April 2014).
“Aerial survey of feral horses in the Australian Alps”. “The roles of large herbivores in ecosystem nutrient cycles”.
^ Outran, A.K., Stare, N.A., Kendra, R., Olsen, S., Kasparov, A., Albert, V., Thorpe, N. and Ever shed, R.P. 323(5919): 1332–1335 ^ Malaysian Shaping World History p. 43 See also: “Horsey-aeology, Binary Black Holes, Tracking Red Tides, Fish Re-evolution, Walk Like a Man, Fact or Fiction”.
Quirks and Quarks Podcast with Bob Macdonald. ^ Evans, James Warren, (1992) Horse Breeding and Management, Elsevier Science, p.56 Kuznets PF (2006).
“The emergence of Bronze Age chariots in Eastern Europe”. ^ LAU AN, Peng L, Got H, Chem nick L, Ryder OA, Dakota KD (January 2009).
Lindgren G, Backstroke N, Swinburne J, Hellebore L, Einarsson A, Sandberg K, et al. (April 2004). ^ Lira J, Linderholm A, Solaria C, Angstrom During M, Gilbert MT, Allergen H, et al. (January 2010).
“Ancient DNA reveals traces of Iberian Neolithic and Bronze Age lineages in modern Iberian horses (PDF). ^ Vila C, Leonard JA, Gotherstrom A, Maryland S, Sandberg K, Laden K, et al. (January 2001).
^ CAI D, Tang Z, Han L, Speller CF, Yang DY, Ma X, AHU H, Zhou H (2009). “Ancient DNA provides new insights into the origin of the Chinese domestic horse” (PDF).
^ Defend E, Akasha Y, Han Jr, Rosenbaum S, Hail A, Jessie T, Beja-Pereira A (2012). “Discordance between morphological systematic and molecular taxonomy in the stem line of equips: A review of the case of taxonomy of genus Equus “.
^ Timur B, Marshall FB, Chen S, Rosenbaum S, Lehman PD, Across N, et al. (January 2011). “Ancient DNA from Nubian and Somali wild ass provides insights into donkey ancestry and domestication”.
CS1 main: ref=hard (link) ^ “Australia Government Department of the Environment and Heritage. (Equus sinus): Invasive species fact sheet”.
“Is America's wild horse an invasive species, or a reintroduced native?” Horizontal Yellow: Nature and History in the Near Southwest.
Scientific classification Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Mammalian Order: Perissodactyla Family: Equine Genus: Equus Species: Subspecies: Trinomial name Equus ferns przewalskii Przewalski's horse range(reintroduced) Synonyms A Przewalski's horse in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone Przewalski's horse (pronounced or ; Polish: ), Equus przewalskii or Equus ferns przewalskii, also called the take, Mongolian wild horse or Dzungaria horse, is a rare and endangered horse native to the steppes of Central Asia. At one time extinct in the wild, it has been reintroduced to its native habitat since the 1990s in Mongolia at the Sustain Nurse National Park, Taken Tail Nature Reserve, and Khomeini Tail.
It is named after the Russian geographer and explorer Mikoaj Przewalski. Most wild horses today, such as the American mustang or the Australian crumby, are actually feral horses descended from domesticated animals that escaped and adapted to life in the wild.
Przewalski's horse was described as a novel species in 1881 by Ivan Semyonovich Poyarkov, although the taxonomic position of Przewalski's horse remains controversial and no consensus exists whether it is a full species (Equus przewalskii), a subspecies of the wild horse (Equus ferns przewalskii, along with two other subspecies, the domesticated horse E. f. Catullus, and the extinct Tarzan E. f. ferns), or even a subpopulation of the domestic horse. The evolutionary divergence of the two populations was estimated to have occurred about 45,000 GBP, while the archaeological record places the first horse domestication about 5,500 GBP by the ancient central-Asian Bowie culture.
The two lineages thus split well before domestication, most likely due to climate, topography, or other environmental changes. Several subsequent DNA studies produced partially contradictory results.
A 2009 molecular analysis using ancient DNA recovered from archaeological sites placed Przewalski's horse in the middle of the domesticated horses. However, a 2011 mitochondrial DNA analysis suggested that Przewalski's and modern domestic horses diverged some 160,000 years ago.
An analysis based on whole genome sequencing and calibration with DNA from old horse bones gave a divergence date of 38-72 thousand years ago. In 2018, a new analysis involved genomic sequencing of ancient DNA from mid-fourth-millennium BCE Bowie domestic horses, as well as domestic horses from more recent archaeological sites.
This allowed for the comparison of these genomes with those of modern domestic and Przewalski's horses. The study revealed that Przewalski's horses not only belonged to the same genetic lineage as those from the Bowie culture, but may be the feral descendants of these ancient domestic animals, rather than representing a surviving population of never-domesticated horses.
Typical height is about 12–14 hands (48–56 inches, 122–142 cm), length is about 2.1 m (6 ft 11 in). The coat is generally dun with hangar features, varying from dark brown around the mane to pale brown on the flanks and yellowish-white on the belly and around the muzzle.
The legs of Przewalski's horse are often faintly striped, also typical of primitive markings. The mane stands erect and does not extend as far forward, while the tail is about 90 cm (35.43 in) long, with a longer dock and shorter hair than seen in domesticated horses.
This is beneficial, as it improves the performance of the hooves on their terrain. Many smaller inversions, insertions and other rearrangements were observed between the chromosomes of domestic and Przewalski's horses, while there was much lower hetero bogosity in Przewalski's horses, with extensive segments devoid of genetic diversity, a consequence of the recent severe bottleneck of the captive Przewalski's horse population.
In comparison, the chromosomal differences between domestic horses and zebras include numerous large-scale translocation, fusions, inversions, and centromere repositioning. Przewalski's horse has the highest diploid chromosome number among all equine species.
They can interbreed with the domestic horse and produce fertile offspring (65 chromosomes). Przewalski reported the horses forming troops of between five and fifteen members, consisting of an old stallion, his mares and foals.
Modern reintroduced populations similarly form family groups of one adult stallion, one to three mares, and their common offspring. Offspring stay in the family group until they are no longer dependent, usually at two or three years old.
Family groups can join together to form a herd that moves together. Stallions and mares stay with their preferred partners for years.
Horses maintain visual contact with their family and herd at all times, and have a host of ways to communicate with one another, including vocalizations, scent marking, and a wide range of visual and tactile signals. Each kick, groom, tilt of the ear, or other contact with another horse is a means of communicating.
This constant communication leads to complex social behaviors among Przewalski's horses. The historic population was said to have lived in the “wildest parts of the desert” with a preference for “especially saline districts”.
They were observed mostly during spring and summer at natural wells, migrating to them by crossing valleys rather than by way of higher mountains. Przewalski horse's diet consists mostly of vegetation.
Many plant species are in a typical Przewalski's horse environment, including: Olympus repent, Care SPP., Panacea, and Asteraceae. In the springtime, they favor Olympus repent, Corynephorus cancers, Fistula Valeria, and Chenopodium album.
In winter, for example, the horses eat Sal ix SPP., Cyrus communist, Males salvation, Minus Sylvester, Rosa SPP., and Anus SPP. Additionally, Przewalski's horses may dig for Fistula SPP., Bro mus INERIS, and E. repent that grow beneath the ice and snow.
Their winter diet is very similar to the diet of domestic horses, but differs from that revealed by isotope analysis of the historical (receptivity) population, which switched in winter to browsing shrubs, though the difference may be due to the extreme habitat pressure the historical population was under. In the wintertime, Przewalski's horses experience hypodermis, a condition in which their metabolic rate slows down.
Looking at the species' diet overall, however, Przewalski's horses most often eat E. repent, Trillium pretense, Via crack, POA trivial is, Dactylic agglomerate, and Bro mus INERIS. Mating occurs in late spring or early summer.
Females are able to give birth at the age of three and have a gestation period of 11–12 months. The rate of infant mortality among foals is 25%, with 83.3% of these deaths resulting from leading stallion infanticide.
Foals begin grazing within a few weeks but are not weaned for 8–13 months after birth. There are sporadic reports of Przewalski's horse in the historical record prior to its formal characterization.
The Buddhist monk Bogota wrote a description of what is thought to have been Przewalski's horse about AD 900 In the fifteenth century, Johann Schiltberger recorded one of the first European sightings of the horses in the journal recounting his trip to Mongolia as a prisoner of the Mongol Khan. John Bell, a Scottish doctor in service to Peter the Great from 1719 to 1722, observed a horse in Russia's Tomsk Oblast that was apparently this species, and a few decades later in 1750, a large hunt with thousands of beaters organized by the Manchurian emperor killed between two and three hundred of these horses.
An explorer and naturalist, he obtained a skull and hide from an animal shot in 1878 in the Gobi near what is today's China-Mongolia border, and he would make an expedition into the Dzungaria Basin to observe it in the wild. In 1881, the horse received a formal scientific description and was named Equus przevalskii by Ivan Semyonovich Poyarkov, based on Przewalski's collection and description, while in 1884, the sole exemplar of the horse in Europe was a preserved specimen in the Museum of the Russian Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg.
This was supplemented in 1894 when the brothers Grum-Grzhimailo returned several hides and skulls to St. Petersburg and provided a description of the horse's behavior in the wild. A number of these horses were captured around 1900 by Carl Heisenberg and placed in zoos, and these, along with one later captive, reproduced to give rise to today's population.
Headshot, showing convex profileAfter 1903, there were no reports of the wild population until 1947, when several isolated groups were observed and a lone filly captured. Although local herdsmen reported seeing as many as 50 to 100 this grazing in small groups at that time, there were only sporadic sightings of single groups of two or three animals thereafter, mostly near natural wells.
Two scientific expeditions in 1955 and 1962 failed to find any, and after herders and naturalists reported single harem groups in 1966 and 1967, the last observation of the wild horse in its native habitat was of a single stallion in 1969. Expeditions after this failed to locate any horses, and the species would be designated extinct in the wild for over 30 years.
Competition with livestock, hunting, capture of foals for zoological collections, military activities, and harsh winters recorded in 1945, 1948, and 1956 are considered to be main causes of the decline in Przewalski's horse population. The wild population was already rare at the time of its first scientific characterization.
Przewalski reported seeing them only from a distance and may actually have instead sighted herds of local Mongolian asses, and he was only able to obtain the type specimen from Kirghiz hunters. The range of Przewalski's horse was limited to the arid in the Gobi Desert.
It has been suggested that this was not their natural habitat, but that instead they were like the local populations of Onsager, a steppe animal driven to this inhospitable last refuge by the dual pressures of hunting and habitat loss to agricultural grazing. There were two distinct populations recognized by local Mongolians, a lighter steppe variety and a darker mountain one, and this distinction is seen in early twentieth-century descriptions.
In their last decades in the wild, the remnant population was limited to the small region between the Tahini Star Nurse and Bajtag-Bogdo mountain ridges. Attempts to obtain specimens for exhibit and captive breeding were largely unsuccessful until 1902, when 28 captured foals were brought to Europe.
These, along with a few additional captives, would be distributed among zoos and breeding centers in Europe and the United States. Many facilities failed in their attempts at captive breeding, but a few programs were established.
In addition, in at least one instance the progeny of interbreeding with a domestic horse was bred back into the captive Przewalski's horse population, though recent studies have shown only minimal genetic contribution of this domestic horse to the captive population. The situation was improved when the exchange of breeding animals among facilities increased genetic diversity and there was a consequent improvement in fertility, but the population experienced another genetic bottleneck when many of the horses failed to survive World War II.
The most valuable group, in Albania Nova, Ukraine, was shot by German soldiers during World War II occupation, and the group in the United States had died out. Only two captive populations in zoos remained, in Munich and in Prague, and of the 31 remaining horses at war's end, only 9 became ancestors of the subsequent captive population.
By the end of the 1950s, only 12 individual horses were left in the world's zoos. In 1957, a wild -caught mare captured as a foal a decade earlier was introduced into the Ukrainian captive population.
This would prove the last wild -caught horse, and with the presumed extinction of wild population, last sighted in Mongolia in the late 1960s, the captive population became the sole representatives of Przewalski's horse. Genetic diversity received a much-needed boost from this new source, the spread of her bloodline through the inbred captive groups leading to their increased reproductive success, and by 1965 there were more than 130 animals spread among thirty-two zoos and parks.
Va ska, a Przewalski's horse trained to be ridden. In 1977, the Foundation for the Preservation and Protection of the Przewalski Horse was founded in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, by Jan and Inge Bowman. The foundation started a program of exchange between captive populations in zoos throughout the world to reduce inbreeding, and later began a breeding program of its own.
By 1979, when this concerted program of population management to maximize genetic diversity was begun, there were almost four hundred horses in sixteen facilities, a number that had grown by the early 1990s to over 1,500. While dozens of zoos worldwide have Przewalski's horses in small numbers, specialized reserves are also dedicated primarily to the species.
The world's largest captive-breeding program for Przewalski's horses is at the Albania Nova preserve in Ukraine. From 1998, thirty-one horses were also released in the unenclosed Chernobyl Exclusion Zone in Ukraine and Belarus, evacuated after the Chernobyl accident, which now serves as a deserted de facto nature reserve.
Le Village, located in the Revenues National Park in southern France and run by the Association Take, is a breeding site for Przewalski's horses that was created to allow the free expression of natural Przewalski's horse behaviors. In 1993, eleven zoo-born horses were brought to Le Village.
Such a unique breeding site was necessary to produce the individuals that were reintroduced to Mongolia in 2004 and 2005. An intensely researched population of free-ranging animals was also introduced to the Horology National Park pasta in Hungary; data on social structure, behavior, and diseases gathered from these animals are used to improve the Mongolian conservation effort.
Reintroduction organized by Western European countries started in the 1990s. In 2011, Prague Zoo started a new project, Return of the Wildfires.
With the support of public and many strategic partners, these yearly transports of captive-bred horses into the Great Gobi B Strictly Protected Area continue today. Since 2004, there is also a program to reintroduce Przewalski's horses that were bred in France into Mongolia.
A cooperative venture between the Zoological Society of London and Mongolian scientists has resulted in successful reintroduction of these horses from zoos into their natural habitat in Mongolia. In 1992, 16 horses were released into the wild in Mongolia, followed by additional animals later on.
One of the areas to which they were reintroduced became Sustain Nurse National Park in 1998. Lastly, in 2004 and 2005, 22 horses were released by the Association Take to a third reintroduction site in the buffer zone of the Khan Us Four National Park, in the northern edge of the Gobi bioregion.
The population of Przewalski's horse in the Great Gobi B SPA was drastically affected, providing clear evidence of the risks associated with reintroducing small and sequestered species in unpredictable and unfamiliar environments. As of 2011 , an estimated total of almost 400 horses existed in three free-ranging populations in the wild.
Since 2011, Prague Zoo has transported 35 horses to Mongolia in eight rounds, in cooperation with partners (Czech Air Force, European Breeding Program for Przewalski's Horses, Association pour DE coeval Du Przewalski: Take, Czech Development Agency, Czech Embassy in Mongolia and others) and it plans to continue to return horses to the wild in the future. In the framework of the project Return of the Wildfires, it sustains its activities by supporting local inhabitants.
The zoo has the longest uninterrupted history of breeding Przewalski's horses in the world and keeps the studbook of this species. In 2001, Przewalski's horses were reintroduced into the Kalamazoo Nature Reserve in Xinjiang, China.
The Przewalski's Horse Reintroduction Project of China was initiated in 1985 when 11 wild horses were imported from overseas. After more than two decades of effort, the Xinjiang Wild Horse Breeding Center has bred many the horses, 55 of which were released into the Lamely Mountain area.
Several American zoos also collaborated in breeding E. f. przewalskii from 1979 to 1982. Recent advances in equine reproductive science in the United States also have potential to further preserve and expand the gene pool.
The first birth by artificial insemination occurred on 27 July 2013, at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute. The somatic cell donor was a Przewalski’s horse named Kuporovic, born in the UK in 1975 and relocated three years later to the US, where he died in 1998.
Due to concerns over the loss of genetic variation in the captive Przewalski’s horse population, and in anticipation of the development of new cloning techniques, tissue from the stallion was cryopreserved at the San Diego Zoo's Frozen Zoo. Breeding of this individual in the 1980s had already substantially increased the genetic diversity of the captive population, after he was discovered to have more unique alleles than any other horse living at the time, including otherwise-lost genetic material from two of the original captive founders.
To produce the clone, frozen skin fibroblasts were thawed and grown in cell culture. An oocyte was collected from a domestic horse, its nucleus replaced by a nucleus collected from a cultured Przewalski's horse fibroblast.
The resulting embryo was induced to begin division, and was cultured until it reached the blastocyst stage, then implanted into a domestic horse surrogate mare, which carried the embryo to term and delivered a foal with the Przewalski's horse DNA of the long-deceased stallion. The cloned horse was named Kurt, after Dr. Kurt Benirschke, a geneticist who developed the idea of cryopreserving genetic material from species considered to be endangered.
His ideas led to the creation of the Frozen Zoo as a genetic library. Once the foal matures, he will be relocated to the San Diego Zoo and bred, to pass Kuporovic's genes into the larger captive Przewalski's horse population and thereby increase the genetic variation of the species.
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