FOR MOST PEOPLE, the idea of wild horses conjures up images of proud mustangs galloping across the American prairie. Yet the last truly wild horses disappeared from North America at the end of the last ice age, about 12,000 years ago. In fact, there are no wild horses left in the world today. The American mustangs, the Australian brumbies, and even the Przewalski’s horse of the Mongolian steppe are the descendants of the domesticated horse.
Regarding the possible existence of wild horses today, There are no longer any wild horses on Earth, researchers announced. A discovery based on a new DNA analysis that redraws the family tree of the family of these equines. the answer is “no” unfortunately. Researchers have just revealed that the last species of horses that were considered so far to be “wild”, in fact, came from horses domesticated more than 5000 years ago. Explanations.
Wild Horses In History
Paleontology shows that the Wild Horses come from North America, but that they died out on this continent and were absent there for several millennia until Spanish explorers reintroduced them in the XVI E century. It is generally considered that the horses acquired by the North American natives, more particularly those of the Plains, were at the origin of the propagation of horses throughout the West of the continent. The French brought horses when they came to colonize eastern Canada in the mid-1600s. It is believed that HORSES OF SAND ISLAND, the only wild horses (or more exactly feral horses, i.e. domestic animals returned to the wild) in eastern Alberta, are the descendants of horses from an unsuccessful agricultural colony.
Studies that create surprise
Thunderbolt in the equine world: in February 2018, the results of a study proved that on earth, there would no longer be any wild horse. How is it possible? Quite simply because the Przewalski horses that we thought were “wild” are not actually. They would be horses domesticated several thousand years ago, but which simply found freedom by escaping. The information appeared in the journal Science and has sparked debate in the scientific community. In the Mongolian steppes, there are still Przewalski horses. While in 1879 it was said that it was a wild animal, this information was incorrect and recent genomic comparisons are there to prove it.
Indeed, a group of researchers, some of whom come from the National Museum of Natural History and the CNRS, undertook excavations in the steppes of Central Asia, more precisely within the Botaï culture village. They carried out a sort of reconstruction of the horse’s family tree. To do this, they studied the genome sequencing of nearly twenty Botai horses. A comparison of the results with more contemporary horses was then made. It turns out that the Przewalski horses were simply derived from these Botai horses. However, these are the ancestors of all the horses domesticated on earth, but which were then scattered everywhere.
The Przewalski horse is characterized by its massive head, its long ears, its eyes placed high, its imposing body as well as its thick neck. It can weigh up to 300 kg and measure up to 1.20 m. This species cannot be tamed or mounted.
Its discovery was made for the first time in Dzoungaria by the Polish explorer Nikolai Mikhailovich Prjevalski in 1879. Before this discovery, it was believed that this species no longer existed, since it was long hunted for its meat by the Mongols. The truth is that it is not yet extinct even if its number is decreasing very quickly due to hunting activities. Besides, the rare Przewalski horses are found in different zoos.
And that, until 1990 since at that date, a foundation decided to reintroduce some species in their natural environment in Mongolia. Thanks to the numerous operations carried out in this direction, it is now possible to find around 330 Przewalski horses roaming free in the country. To know that this introduction was not easy. The horses could not defend themselves or find food and drink. Many of them did not survive. A second operation was then undertaken and offered much more favorable results.
Historians have disagreed over where the Arabian horse originated, Some believe that its origin is from the wild horse found in northern Syria.
From Domestic to Feral
So who is the ancestor of today’s domesticated horses? That’s something scientists are still searching for.
Before Botai villages came to fruition, the region was populated by nomadic hunter-gatherers. Researchers believe that, around 5,500 years ago, those people began domesticating horses and using them for food and/or transportation.
Previous archaeological research in this part of Kazakhstan has turned up artifacts that may have been used to ride horses and the remains of what might have been corrals.
The paper suggests Przewalski’s at some point escaped from early domestic herds.
Domestic horses provided a boost to early humans—helping them cultivate agriculture, provide faster movement, and serve as a food source. Previous studies have pinpointed their domestic inception to modern parts of Ukraine, Russia, and Kazakhstan.