Excerpt “Evolution of the Horse”

From “Evolution of the Horse”

“A lot is known about horse evolution, as the equine fossil record is extensive. Most
of these early fossils have been found in North America; though this part of the world
is not where scientists believe the first domestication of the horse began. It has been a
complicated journey to ultimately reach today’s modern horse.”

 

“Phenacodus, the earliest and most primitive ancestor of the first recognized equid,
Hyracotherium, had an omnivorous diet of meat, insects, fruit and vegetables. However,
Hyracotherium had a diet of leaves and later some grass, meaning the structure of the
teeth had to change to cope with the new diet…”

“Although when standing still the horses back is straight, when in motion it allows a
springy undulating action that results in the horse’s unique way of moving with an elastic
release of energy. Other grazing creatures such as cattle and antelope, which have a
similar body shape and limbs, move in a much stiffer manner due to not having the same
internal back structure as the horse.”

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