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Origins of horses

Species: Horse; Scientific name: Equus caballus.

The horse is a mammal of the Perissodactyla order, an herbivore that belongs to the Equidae family.  This family consists of three different groups: zebras, originating from Africa, donkeys, which normally live in Asia, and horses themselves.

The first varieties of horses, such as we know them today, appeared on the African plains, approximately four million years ago.  There exists the theory that horse and man evolved in parallel, in part to avoid the common predators of the species.

Origins of Horses

For millions of years, the horse was just one more prey animal to feed the prehistoric man.  The speed of its gallop in the chase did not make hunting easy, especially considering the rudimentary means of those times.  Later, however, by ambushing them, they were able to make out with some specimen.

There is data of a possible danger of extinction among horses when humans successfully became their predators, but agriculture facilitated the integration and cooperation of both species for the common good.  The horse is one of the most beautiful domestic animals and it has, at the same time, contributed most to the development of man, making life easier.

One fact to point out is that in its origins, it had four digits on its front paws and three on the back, but in its evolution it lost them until it only had one digit, that is to say it has become a monodactyl.

Origins of Horses: Donkey Origins of Horses: zebra

In the development of the horse in Spain, the appearance of the donkey as a domestic and burden animal has special significance.  There is evidence that horses were domesticated five or six thousand years ago.  The first to domesticate horses were the nomadic tribes, because they traveled to different regions.

The Roman civilization also was one that gave the most importance to breeding horses, especially mules, which were very useful for transporting goods and for agricultural tasks at the time.



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