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Tarpan horses

The Tarpan is considered an ancestor of all the species of warm-blooded horses that exist today.  It is very similar in appearance to the Przewalski horse.  Unfortunately, the breed became extinct.  The last specimen in freedom died in 1879.  In 1887, the last Tarpan in captivity died in Moscow.

Though it was pursued until extinction, no skeleton or skin sample remains from this species.  This horse was impossible to tame.There were two types of Tarpans: the Step Tarpan and the Forest Tarpan.

Polish farmers reproduced a breed of pony pretty similar to the Tarpan, the "Polski Konik," from Polish ponies descending from a mix of domestic animals and Tarpans.  The Tarpan was a wild animal and ponies are accustomed to living close to man, so the breed in that aspect was not similar to its Tarpan predecessor.  Physically they got very close to the original Tarpans (with the exception of the mane, which is long and not in a comb, like the original Tarpan, also without the stripes on the limbs).

Tarpan Horses Tarpan Horses photos

Tarpans were capable of withstanding adverse temperatures, even up to twenty degrees below zero and they loved to pasture in flooded areas.  Furthermore, they were horses that grazed for twelve hours a day.  This species of horse generally measured around 130 cm.  It also had a mule stripe and stripes on its limbs.  

With a heavy, slightly flat head, the Tarpan's teeth were smaller than those of the Przewalski horse.  Its ears were long and its eyes were small.  It had a short, thick neck and an abundant mane. 

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