Domestic horses – Akhal Teke http://akhalteke.org/ Sun, 28 Nov 2021 18:50:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 https://akhalteke.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/icon-15-1-150x150.png Domestic horses – Akhal Teke http://akhalteke.org/ 32 32 Were there domestic horses in ancient India? https://akhalteke.org/were-there-domestic-horses-in-ancient-india/ Sat, 27 Nov 2021 15:05:00 +0000 https://akhalteke.org/were-there-domestic-horses-in-ancient-india/ A recent report in Nature by Ludovic Orlando and his group from Paul Sabatier University in Toulouse, France (P. Librado et al., Nature 598, 636-642; 2021) was able to collect bone and tooth samples from more than 2,000 ancient specimens from those regions where domestic horses may have originated, namely in the Iberian Peninsula in […]]]>

A recent report in Nature by Ludovic Orlando and his group from Paul Sabatier University in Toulouse, France (P. Librado et al., Nature 598, 636-642; 2021) was able to collect bone and tooth samples from more than 2,000 ancient specimens from those regions where domestic horses may have originated, namely in the Iberian Peninsula in the southwest corner of Europe, or in the far west of Eurasia (Spain and its neighbors), Anatolia (which is modern Turkey) and the steppes of Western Eurasia and Central Asia. As Tosin Thompson writes in his commentary on Nature From October 28, 2021, Dr. Orlando’s team analyzed the complete genome sequences of approximately 270 samples from these regions, and also gathered information from archeology. In addition, they also dated the radioactive carbon-14, which decays at a fixed rate, to determine the age of these horse samples. These collective data led them to decide that until around 4,200 BCE, many distinct horse populations inhabited various parts of Eurasia.

Equestrian trail

Similar genetic analysis also revealed that horses with the modern domestic DNA profile lived in the western Eurasian steppes, particularly in the Volga-Don region.

Around 2200-2000 BC. These horses were bred by breeders from these countries to sell them to countries that demanded them. Horseback riding became popular in these countries around 3300 BCE, and armies were built using them, for example, in Mesopotamia, Iran, Kuwait and the “Fertile Crescent” or Palestine. Thompson notes that the first wire-wheeled chariots appeared around 2000-1800 BC.

indian history

Now, when did the horses come to India, and were they nationals or foreigners? Was the horse from India? The answer seems to be no ‘. The “World Atlas” says that the only animals native to India are the Asian elephant, the snow leopard, the rhinoceros, the Bengal tiger, the sloth bear, the Himalayan wolf, the Gaur bison, red panda, crocodile and peacock and flamingo birds. The ThoughtCo site quotes, in the article ’11 domestic animals native to Asia’, lists the antelope, the Nilgiri tahr, the elephant, the langur, the macaque monkey, the rhino, the dolphin, the Garial crocodile, the leopard, bear, tiger, bustard (heaviest flying bird), squirrel, cobra and peacock. So, it seems clear from these sources that the horse is not originally from India. Horses must be entered into India through interregional exchanges between countries. The Indians may have traded their elephants, tigers, monkeys, birds to their neighbors and imported horses for our use.

So when did India get its horses? Wikipedia points out that remains and artifacts related to horses have been found in late Harappan sites (1900-1300 BCE) and that horses did not appear to have played a critical role in Harappan civilization. This contrasts with the Vedic period, which is somewhat later (1500-500 BCE). (The Sanskrit word for horse is Ashwa, which is mentioned in the Vedas and the Hindu scriptures). These are around the end of the Bronze Age.

Literature debate

It should also be noted that two recent scholarly books, one by Tony Joseph, titled “Early Indians: The Story of our Ancestors and Where we Came From”, and the other by Yashaswini Chandra, titled “The Tale of the Horse “. Dr. Joseph’s recent article in December 2018 in First post examines the evidence for “Aryan” migration to India. This would suggest that the horses found in India were from the “Stans” mentioned above.

And Dr Yashaswini Chandra’s post in The imprint of January 17, 2021 suggests that native Indian horses disappeared around 8000 BCE.

Perhaps the clearest analysis of the debate comes from an article by historian Michel Danino of IIT Gandhinagar. He writes in his article entitled “The horse and the Aryan debate”, in the Journal of Indian History and Culture, 2006, 13: 33-59 September, and in the book “History of Ancient India” in 2014, that archaeologist Sandor Bokonyi studied samples of horse teeth from Balochistan dating from the pre-Harappan era of Allahabad ( 2265-1480 BCE), in the Chambal Valley (2450-2000 BCE) and the upper molar specimen from Kalibangan, and concluded that they were from real domesticated horses. These articles by Professor Danino put an end to several conflicting claims regarding domestic horses in India, and we are grateful to him for that.

Harappan remains

Given this background, it will be interesting to check whether there are any remains of horse bones, teeth or skulls in the Harappan sites, and perform DNA sequencing on them, just like the Orlando group did it in their Nature article on Eurasian samples.

dbala@lvpei.org


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Ancient DNA points to the origins of modern domestic horses https://akhalteke.org/ancient-dna-points-to-the-origins-of-modern-domestic-horses/ https://akhalteke.org/ancient-dna-points-to-the-origins-of-modern-domestic-horses/#respond Fri, 22 Oct 2021 11:40:51 +0000 https://akhalteke.org/ancient-dna-points-to-the-origins-of-modern-domestic-horses/ A herd of horses in the steppes of Inner Mongolia.Credit: Ludovic Orlando Archaeologists have used ancient DNA samples to identify the genetic homeland of modern horses, where animals were first domesticated about 4,200 years ago. According to a study published in Nature October 201, modern domestic horses probably originated in the steppes around the Volga […]]]>

A herd of horses in the steppes of Inner Mongolia.Credit: Ludovic Orlando

Archaeologists have used ancient DNA samples to identify the genetic homeland of modern horses, where animals were first domesticated about 4,200 years ago. According to a study published in Nature October 201, modern domestic horses probably originated in the steppes around the Volga and Don rivers, which are now part of Russia, before spreading across Eurasia, eventually replacing all pre-existing horse lineages.

“This study solved a huge mystery and also fundamentally altered our view of some of the most important human migrations in prehistory,” says Alan Outram, bioarchaeologist at the University of Exeter, UK, and co-author of the book.

Horses have shaped much of human development, revolutionizing transportation, communications, and warfare. But the origins of domestic horses have long been debated because, unlike other farm animals, such as cattle, it is difficult to say whether the bones and other remains belong to domestic or wild horses. “Previous work had to be built on circumstantial evidence, such as killing patterns, tooth damage, traces of mare’s milk consumption, symbolic evidence and more,” says lead author Ludovic Orlando , molecular archaeologist at Paul Sabatier University in Toulouse, France.

Over the past 5 years, Orlando and his team have collected pieces of bone and teeth from ancient horses – amassing over 2,000 samples from places where domestic horses might have originated, including the Iberian Peninsula, the Anatolia, the steppes of Western Eurasia and Central Asia.

The researchers were able to obtain complete genome sequences from a subset of about 270 samples. They used radiocarbon dating to determine the age of the samples and collected information from field archeology for cultural context. This allowed them to track various populations of horses before, during and after domestication. They discovered that until about 4,200 years ago, many distinct horse populations inhabited various parts of Eurasia.

“As these populations were genetically differentiated, we could then identify the line from which the genetic variation present in modern domestic horses developed,” says Orlando.

The analysis revealed that horses with the modern domestic DNA profile lived in the western Eurasian steppes, particularly the Volga-Don region, from the sixth to the third millennium. Before Christ. “Modern-ancestry domestic horse populations were marginal at best elsewhere,” says Orlando.

Around 2200-2000 Before Christ, these horses had appeared outside the western Eurasian steppes – first reaching Anatolia, the Lower Danube, Bohemia and Central Asia, then spreading through Eurasia, replacing all other local horse populations with about 1500 to 1000 Before Christ. “We discovered that about 4,200 years ago, horses’ breeding grounds had enlarged considerably, indicating that this is when ancient breeders began to breed these horses in large numbers. to meet the growing demand for horse-based mobility, ”says Orlando. Humans probably rode on horseback before the invention of horse-drawn vehicles: the first chariots with spoked wheels emerged around 2000-1800 Before Christ.

Human migration

The results also challenge popular beliefs about the role of horses in some early human migrations. Analyzes of ancient human genomes have revealed massive migrations from the western Eurasian steppes to Europe during the third millennium Before Christ, associated with a culture known as Yamnaya. These people are believed to have helped spread Indo-European languages ​​to Europe and were often believed to have ridden horses. “If these many people came with so many horses, then we should expect an equivalent change in the pedigree profile of the horses,” said Orlando. But analysis suggests that at that time there were few ancestors of domestic horses outside of the steppes of Western Eurasia. This would exclude scenarios in which horses played a role in the Yamnaya migration and the initial spread of Indo-European languages.

“It radically changes our understanding of mass human movements from the steppe to Western Europe in the Bronze Age,” Outram explains. “It appears that these migrations were not, as it was commonly believed, facilitated by domestic horses.”

The research “addresses long-standing controversies regarding the role of the domestic horse in the human expansions of the Bronze Age,” says Eske Willerslev, an evolutionary geneticist at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

The Orlando team also studied genetic variants that became common in modern domesticated horses from the end of the third millennium. Before Christ. The remarkable gene was GSDMC, which in humans may have mutations associated with hardening of the spinal discs – a condition that can cause chronic back pain and pain when walking. Another important gene was ZFPM1, which is essential for the development of neurons involved in regulating mood and aggressiveness. Inactivation of ZFPM1 in mice causes anxiety and fear.

“Two variants of GSDMC and ZFPM1 the genes were selected early in the domestication process, probably making taming easier, increasing resistance to stress and giving horses a stronger back, ”says Orlando. “These qualities may explain why the new type of horse has been so successful around the world.”


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The mysterious origins of domestic horses could finally be revealed https://akhalteke.org/the-mysterious-origins-of-domestic-horses-could-finally-be-revealed/ https://akhalteke.org/the-mysterious-origins-of-domestic-horses-could-finally-be-revealed/#respond Wed, 20 Oct 2021 15:00:49 +0000 https://akhalteke.org/the-mysterious-origins-of-domestic-horses-could-finally-be-revealed/ For thousands of years, horses have played a vital role in human societies around the world. These equines helped early farmers plow their fields, transported people further and faster, and gave warriors a competitive edge in battle. But experts have long wondered the deceptively simple question of the real origin of domestic horses. It took […]]]>

For thousands of years, horses have played a vital role in human societies around the world. These equines helped early farmers plow their fields, transported people further and faster, and gave warriors a competitive edge in battle. But experts have long wondered the deceptively simple question of the real origin of domestic horses.

It took a collaboration on two continents between more than a hundred scientists to find the answer: southern Russia.

The find provides strong evidence that at three main vying sites – Anatolia, the Iberian Peninsula, and the Western Eurasian Steppes – the latter is likely the birthplace of modern domestic horses, Equus caballus.

Study leader Ludovic Orlando, molecular archaeologist at Paul Sabatier University in Toulouse, France, and his colleagues reconstructed ancient horse genomes from ancient horse skeletons found at sites ranging from Portugal to Mongolia.

A region in southern Russia, near the intersection of the Volga and Don, stood out. The cattle ranching area already had indirect archaeological evidence of the domestication of the horse, but new DNA research now shows that modern domestic horses can be traced to equines living here between 4,700 and 4,200 years ago.

Because the inhabitants of the Volga-Don region bred horses for domestication and quickly began to migrate to new places with them, this new line of horses quickly spread from Western Europe to Asia. eastern and beyond.

The migration “happened almost overnight,” says Orlando, whose study was published on October 20 in Nature. “It’s not something that’s been built over thousands of years.”

“As they expanded, they replaced all the previous lineages that roamed Eurasia,” he says. The domestic horse we know today “is the winner, the one you see everywhere, and the other guys are kind of the losers.” (Learn how horses communicate with each other.)

Additionally, horsemanship and horse-drawn war chariots, which were common a few hundred years after the domestication of equines, changed the power dynamics between societies and likely further stimulated the spread of the new horse.

Build a better horse

During the Bronze Age in Europe and Asia, around 5,000 to 4,200 years ago, people probably domesticated horses. E. caballus evolved from small horse-like grazers that roamed the North American prairies as early as the Eocene epoch (which began about 56 million years ago) and crossed the Bering Land Bridge in the later period glacial.

Archaeological and historical records suggest that suddenly, around 4,200 years ago, horse populations mysteriously increased across Eurasia. Has climate change enlarged grasslands and given more habitat to horses? Were people all over the world herding herds at the same time? Or did these domesticated horses share a common source?

It wasn’t until the last decade or so that the technology for testing ancient DNA from preserved materials such as bone and hair has been refined enough to investigate such broad questions.

For their research, Orlando and an international team of bone collectors scoured museums and archaeological sites, ultimately collecting enough material to test 273 individual genomes of horse remains found in Europe and Central Asia. By comparing the overall composition of genomes over time and space, they were able to determine when and where horse gene pools evolved. (Read about wild horses and their dwindling populations in the American West.)

Genetic maps have revealed a great diversity among horses domesticated about 5,000 years ago, which rapidly diminished when humans began to selectively breed animals for characteristics such as endurance, docility, and ability. to support human weight, thus creating genetic changes that led to the horse we know today.

The study “finally provides genetic evidence from horses that lived in [time frame] and the right region, ”says Vera Warmuth, a biologist at Ludwig-Maximillans University in Munich, Germany, whose research models identified Volga-Don as a potential source of domestication of horses over a decade ago.

“Our own work has predicted a rapid spread of this area, and this is what this article suggests as well,” Warmuth wrote in an email.

A shared story

Eurasian communities already familiar with horses could have accelerated the expansion of the Volga-Don horse, says Kate Kanne, an archaeologist at the British University of Exeter who was not involved in the study.

“I think it happened quickly because this infrastructure was already in place and at least some people were familiar with horse breeding,” says Kanne.

As domesticated horses spread after the Bronze Age, humans traveled longer distances than ever before, resulting in an increase in trade and knowledge transfer between societies, as well as mobility. And when people moved, they took their horses with them, says Orlando. (Read how horses and dogs share a play language.)

He calls it “the first experience of globalization.” The world just got smaller because we had the horse.

For example, some of the earliest evidence for the domestication of horses comes from the Bronze Age Sintashta culture in southern Russia, where the discovery of horse remains, with ancient wheels, alludes to the importance of equines for transport. Not only that, but the timeline of human genomic evolution in parts of Eurasia closely mirrors that of horses.

“The history of humans is wrapped in the DNA of the horse,” says Kanne. The relationship between people and their horses is “really interesting to me … it tells the story of our two species in DNA.”


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Domestic horses are probably not native to Anatolia https://akhalteke.org/domestic-horses-are-probably-not-native-to-anatolia/ https://akhalteke.org/domestic-horses-are-probably-not-native-to-anatolia/#respond Fri, 21 May 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://akhalteke.org/domestic-horses-are-probably-not-native-to-anatolia/ Domestic horses are probably not native to Anatolia as previously suspected, according to a new study of ancient horse remains dating as far back as 9000 BCE. Instead, they may have been introduced to the peninsula – which makes up most of modern-day Turkey – and the neighboring Caucasus region from the Eurasian steppe around […]]]>

Domestic horses are probably not native to Anatolia as previously suspected, according to a new study of ancient horse remains dating as far back as 9000 BCE. Instead, they may have been introduced to the peninsula – which makes up most of modern-day Turkey – and the neighboring Caucasus region from the Eurasian steppe around 2000 BCE, during the Bronze Age.

The results also suggest that imported domestic horses were bred with local Anatolian wild horses and donkeys and provide the first genomic evidence of a mule in Southwest Asia, dating to between 1100 and 800 BCE. The domestication of horses about 5,500 years ago forever changed transport, commerce, warfare and migration. But despite their transformative role in human history, it is still not clear where, when and how many times horses were domesticated. In recent years, the careful recovery of horse remains from well-preserved archaeological sites in Anatolia and neighboring regions as well as advances in paleogenetic approaches have made it possible to specifically address the processes responsible for the origin of domestic horses in this part of the world. Western Asia.

To determine if Anatolia could have been this mysterious point of origin, Silvia Guimaraes and her colleagues analyzed more than 100 equine remains from 8 sites in central Anatolia and 6 sites in the Caucasus dating mostly from the Neolithic era. ancient in the Iron Age (9000-500 BCE).

The researchers performed morphological and paleogenetic analyzes, scrutinizing mitochondrial DNA, Y chromosome DNA, and DNA markers related to coat color. They found that the non-local genetic lines still present in domestic horses arose suddenly around 2000 BCE rather than developing gradually over time, as one would expect if these changes were to appear in Anatolia. This draws attention to the neighboring Black Sea regions as a more likely origin for domesticated horses, according to the authors.


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New clues to the origin of domestic horses https://akhalteke.org/new-clues-to-the-origin-of-domestic-horses/ https://akhalteke.org/new-clues-to-the-origin-of-domestic-horses/#respond Fri, 18 Sep 2020 07:00:00 +0000 https://akhalteke.org/new-clues-to-the-origin-of-domestic-horses/ Domestic horses are probably not native to Anatolia as previously suspected, according to a new study of ancient remains dating as far back as 9,000 BCE. Instead, they may have been introduced to the peninsula – which makes up most of modern-day Turkey – and the neighboring Caucasus region from the Eurasian steppe around 2000 […]]]>

Domestic horses are probably not native to Anatolia as previously suspected, according to a new study of ancient remains dating as far back as 9,000 BCE.

Instead, they may have been introduced to the peninsula – which makes up most of modern-day Turkey – and the neighboring Caucasus region from the Eurasian steppe around 2000 BCE, during the Bronze Age.

The results, presented in an article in the journal Scientists progress, also suggest that imported domestic horses were bred with local wild Anatolian horses and donkeys, and provide the earliest genomic evidence of a mule in Southwest Asia, dating to between 1100 and 800 BCE.

The research was led by Silvia Guimaraes of the Jacques Monod Institute, Paris, and brought together scientists from France, Germany, the United States, the Netherlands and Armenia.

The domestication of horses some 5,500 years ago changed transport, trade, war and migration forever, but despite their transformative role in human history, it is still unclear where, when and how many times have horses been domesticated.

Anatolian wild horse tooth. Credit: Benjamin S. Arbuckle, Chapel Hill University

In particular, write Guimaraes and his colleagues, the origin of the domestic horse in Anatolia, and more generally in South-West Asia, “continues to represent a complex archaeological puzzle”.

In recent years, however, the recovery of horse remains from archaeological sites in Anatolia and neighboring regions, coupled with new technologies, has made it possible to specifically address the processes responsible for the origin of domestic horses in this part of the world. ‘Asia.

In 2018, a study published in Science upset conventional thinking by suggesting that the horses of the Botai culture of Kazakhstan were not the ancestors of our modern equine companions.

To go further, Guimaraes and his colleagues analyzed 111 equine remains from eight sites in central Anatolia and six in the Caucasus, mostly dating from the Early Neolithic to the Iron Age (9000-500 BCE). .

They performed morphological and paleogenetic analyzes, scrutinizing mitochondrial DNA, Y chromosome DNA, and DNA markers related to coat color.

They found, they say, that the non-local genetic lines still present in domestic horses appeared suddenly around 2000 BCE rather than developing gradually over time, as one would expect if these changes did appear. in Anatolia.

“We were able to identify mitotypes characteristic of local Anatolian wild horses, which were regularly exploited in the early and mid-Holocene,” they write in their article.

“However, we have identified a pattern of genetic change that does not reflect a gradual process involving the local population, but rather a sudden appearance ~ 2000 BCE of non-local lines which are still present in domestic horses.”

Their findings, they suggest, draw attention to neighboring Black Sea regions as a more likely origin for domesticated horses.

Credit: Eva-Maria Geigl, CNRS, and Institute of Horse and Riding ifce, France




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Research collaboration examines the spread of domestic horses: UNM Newsroom https://akhalteke.org/research-collaboration-examines-the-spread-of-domestic-horses-unm-newsroom/ https://akhalteke.org/research-collaboration-examines-the-spread-of-domestic-horses-unm-newsroom/#respond Wed, 25 Mar 2020 07:00:00 +0000 https://akhalteke.org/research-collaboration-examines-the-spread-of-domestic-horses-unm-newsroom/ A researcher at the University of New Mexico is part of a collaboration studying one of the most significant socio-environmental changes in human history: the dispersal of the domestic horse in the Americas in the 16th and 17th centuries centuries. Anthropology Associate Professor Emily L. Jones is part of the collaboration between the University of […]]]>

A researcher at the University of New Mexico is part of a collaboration studying one of the most significant socio-environmental changes in human history: the dispersal of the domestic horse in the Americas in the 16th and 17th centuries centuries.

Anthropology Associate Professor Emily L. Jones is part of the collaboration between the University of Colorado Boulder, UNM, and the University of Oklahoma that just received a $ 300,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to study the propagation of horses.

Jones is part of a collaborative team studying the spread of horses around the world. The domestication of the horse is widely recognized as a key transformative event in human prehistory. The initial domestication of horses has been linked to major changes in human mobility and social organization. Some of the team’s research focused on Eastern Eurasian horses was published earlier this year in Nature: Scientific Reports.

Domestic horses revolutionized life on the plains and deserts of western North America, Jones said. Horses made high-speed transport over long distances possible and created raiding-based economies, a transformation that had profound impacts on societies and environments.

“We hope to understand how the great Aboriginal ‘equestrian nations’ of the 18th and 19th centuries, such as the Apaches, Comanches and Lakota, came into being. They were and are an integral part of American history, but at this point little is known about the process by which the horse became so central to their cultures, ”explained Jones, director of the Department of Zooarchaeology laboratory. anthropology of UNM. as well as director of the graduate program in public archeology.

“By studying the remains of horses from archaeological sites dating from the early 16th and 17th centuries, we will be able to answer these questions. Our preliminary results suggest that horses became an integral part of some Indigenous societies much earlier than previously suggested, ”she added.

Researchers seeking to understand the complex interactions between current environmental and cultural changes are increasingly turning to historical data sets, which allow examining such interactions over the long term. This project uses historical and archaeological data to model human responses to the dispersion of the domestic horse in the Americas in the 15th and 16th centuries.

“We visit museums across the American West, here in New Mexico, Arizona, Wyoming, Montana, California and others to study the remains of domestic horses from 16th and 17th century archaeological sites. . We examine the bones to identify changes to these bones that suggest how horses were used by humans, for example, whether they were ridden and, if so, with or not. Specific changes in the bones can answer these questions for us, ”Jones said, noting a photo of a horse mandible with teeth showing signs of wear from a bit, part of the equipment. riding that goes into a horse’s mouth to control movement.

Some of the collaborating researchers will chat with Native Americans to incorporate their views on the history of the horses, Jones said, while others will date the remains using radiocarbon dating and use isotope analysis to tell them what the horses ate, whether they were “fed,” or given additional food by people to help them through the winter months, as well as how they moved through the landscape throughout The information will help produce a scientific model for when and how domestic horses dispersed across the continent, and thus explain the impact of horses on life in early historic America.

The results of the project are to be disseminated through scientific literature, popular media and a museum exhibit, as well as a series of seminars bringing together academics and indigenous leaders. In doing so, this project establishes an analytical framework for understanding the complex interplay between species dispersal, environmental changes, ecological factors, and cultural transformations that have shaped the modern world.


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Not just for domestic horses – The horse https://akhalteke.org/not-just-for-domestic-horses-the-horse/ https://akhalteke.org/not-just-for-domestic-horses-the-horse/#respond Thu, 20 Dec 2018 08:00:00 +0000 https://akhalteke.org/not-just-for-domestic-horses-the-horse/ If you think pituitary pars intermedia (PPID), also known as equine Cushing’s disease, is unique to our modern domestic horses and ponies, think again. Recent study results suggest that even wild equines can develop a debilitating metabolic disorder. Plains zebras, Przewalski’s horses and even evening primrose are susceptible to PPID, at least in captivity, said […]]]>

If you think pituitary pars intermedia (PPID), also known as equine Cushing’s disease, is unique to our modern domestic horses and ponies, think again. Recent study results suggest that even wild equines can develop a debilitating metabolic disorder.

Plains zebras, Przewalski’s horses and even evening primrose are susceptible to PPID, at least in captivity, said Justine Shotton, BSc, BVSc, MSc, MRCVS, head of veterinary services and zoo veterinarian at Marwell Wildlife in Winchester. , UK.

While scientists had previously reported a case of PPID in a captive evening primrose in 2009, Shotton and his colleagues identified six other cases in two equine species in captivity. These included five Przewalski’s horses aged 7 to 29 and a 17-year-old Chapman’s zebra (a subspecies of plains zebra), living at Marwell Zoo in Hampshire, UK . All six animals had excessively high plasma levels of ACTH, the hormone responsible for the disorder, which can cause abnormal hair growth, poor body condition, and laminitis, among other problems.

Five of the six animals died or were euthanized during the study, at least two of which – and possibly three – were due to the progression of PPID, Shotton said. One was euthanized for unspecified unrelated reasons and the other, Przewalski’s 7-year-old mare, was euthanized after injury and before she showed signs of PPID. Out of curiosity and given the scope of their study, Shotton said she asked for ACTH levels on the deceased mare and found them 10 times higher than normal. Histological (microscopic) examination of its pituitary pars intermedia (the brain tissue involved in PPID abnormalities) showed changes consistent with the onset of PPID.

“I didn’t expect to find anything, but it was surprising that she also had pathological and blood changes reflecting the development of PPID,” Shotton said. “PPID is now quite often diagnosed in young horses (under 10 years of age), so it may start earlier in life than we previously thought. “

It is important to study PPID in captive wild equines in order to treat them early and thus improve their health as well as their well-being, she added.

“The treatment of PPID itself is non-invasive and relatively easy; it can be given in a handful of pony nuts (feed) for example, ”she said. “The treatment for laminitis is obviously much more intensive. At the zoo, our management of laminitis must be balanced with the welfare needs of the equine. For example, we would limit movement from a large enclosure but not isolate a herd of equines to rest as this could be very stressful for the individual. We can give oral pain relief and other medications, but the possibility of regular conscious farriering and corrective shoeing is much less practical in a zoo environment.

“One of the main reasons I posted this was to educate the zoo vets about this disease, so they can test it early and treat it if necessary, before laminitis develops, thus dramatically increasing the disease. well-being, ”she continued.

It remains to be seen whether the disease would occur in free-range equines, Shotton said.

“I think it’s hard to say if this is something that all equines have (and always have) or if it is related to domestication or captivity,” she said. “I doubt anyone has looked for it in wild equines yet, although it would be fascinating research.

“It is also likely that even if this was a ‘natural’ disease process, wild equines could be predated or die of something else before they are old enough to develop this disease. It would be great to study older wild equines and see if PPID is present in those populations. “

The study, “Pituitary gland dysfunction pars intermedia (equine Cushing’s disease) in non-domestic equines at Marwell Wildlife: a case series.” A Chapman’s zebra (Equus quagga chapmani) and five Prewalksi horses (Equus ferus przewalksii) ”, Was published in the Zoo Journal and Wildlife Medicine.


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Domestic horses deserve care and respect, not neglect – High Country News – Know the West https://akhalteke.org/domestic-horses-deserve-care-and-respect-not-neglect-high-country-news-know-the-west/ https://akhalteke.org/domestic-horses-deserve-care-and-respect-not-neglect-high-country-news-know-the-west/#respond Fri, 17 Aug 2018 07:00:00 +0000 https://akhalteke.org/domestic-horses-deserve-care-and-respect-not-neglect-high-country-news-know-the-west/ In Ashland, Oregon, an equine sanctuary fills the void left by irresponsible owners. Hilde and Michael Baughman contribute to Writers on the Range, the opinion service of High Country News. They live in Ashland, Oregon. A horse is the projection of people’s dreams on themselves – strong, powerful, beautiful – and it has the ability […]]]>

In Ashland, Oregon, an equine sanctuary fills the void left by irresponsible owners.

Hilde and Michael Baughman contribute to Writers on the Range, the opinion service of High Country News. They live in Ashland, Oregon.


A horse is the projection of people’s dreams on themselves – strong, powerful, beautiful – and it has the ability to allow us to escape from our mundane existence. —Pam Brown

Every morning at breakfast time, through our dining room window, down the hill and across the road, in fog, rain, snow or sun , we watch six horses come out of their stable. Immediately after stepping through a narrow gate, they run through a tree-lined pasture, and it seems clear that these animals are well aware of their strength and power, perhaps even of their beauty, and that once freed, they gallop happily just because they can. Pam Brown, quoted above, is right when she says that horses have qualities that many humans envy, and their mere presence can somehow provide us with an escape from our daily lives.

For decades, we have run and walked along the rural roads of southern Oregon and have seen plenty of evidence to support Brown’s claim. A remarkable number of 21st-century Americans who live in pastoral settings and can afford to build fences keep horses, often for no apparent reason.

Horses enjoying the grass on an Oregon ranch.

Even though the iron horse began to replace the four-legged horse a long time ago and cowboys on horseback have all but disappeared, and despite the fact that industrialization has made draft animals almost obsolete, many people still want to own their own horses. Unfortunately, too many of these horse owners end up neglecting their responsibilities, resulting in the abuse and neglect of tens of thousands of strong, powerful and beautiful animals.

The half-dozen horses we love to watch from our breakfast table, along with dozens more, reside at Equamore Horse Sanctuary, a non-profit organization located a few miles east of Ashland, in Oregon. Equamore, which is funded by donations, has a mission “to provide a safety net for unwanted, abused, abandoned, neglected and aged horses who have no alternative for their care, while encouraging compassion and responsibility towards horses through education, awareness and intervention. “

In 2016, the county sheriff was called to a notorious property in southern Oregon, where horses were kept in poorly fenced pens, homeless, and often without food or water. The owner was persuaded to transfer a horse named Arlo to Equamore. Arlo was on the verge of death when he arrived at the shrine, weighing at least 300 pounds, with a concave rump, visible spine, and a mantle falling in patches.

But he survived to become what the Equamore newsletter, NeighSaver, described as “a magnificent black thoroughbred gelding with a regal allure and sweet personality”. Since 2016, four of the six horses that have remained on the infamous southern Oregon property have died, and so far the owner has not suffered any consequences from his negligence.

Another horse, Gandalf, was named after the mighty wizard of The Lord of the Rings. As a young stallion he joined a herd of untrained and unmanageable stallions and mares on private property in Northern California. By the time his owner agreed to hand him over to Equamore, Gandalf had been living his entire life doing his best to defend himself against the dominant stallion in the herd. Once he was safe at the sanctuary and the severe wounds inflicted by the domineering stallion had healed, Gandalf was castrated and grew into a healthy and happy animal.

The day we called to set up a meeting with Linda Davis and Ruth Kennedy, Executive Director and President of Equamore, they had just slaughtered a horse named Sara. “She was literally hungry when we took her in,” Davis said. “It’s always heartbreaking to see them go, they’re all like family, but we were happy to be able to give him 10 good years.”

“We have 56 horses here now,” Kennedy explained. “We used to adopt some of our horses, but the success rate was too low.” More often than not, he explained, they ended up with owners who were at least as irresponsible as the ones they came from. The estimate is that there are around 170,000 abused or neglected horses in America. Law enforcement agencies rarely offer much help. They have tight budgets and other priorities. A big problem is that horses are classified as cattle. Dogs and cats are so-called pets, so they are much more protected by law.

“There is no easy fix,” Davis added. “Our need to raise funds is relentless. But we’ve been doing what we can here for 27 years.

We took a slow walk in the barn before heading home. It was mealtime, and the only noise was that of satisfied horses chewing alfalfa hay.


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Classic polar: the first domestic horses could have appeared outside Central Asia https://akhalteke.org/classic-polar-the-first-domestic-horses-could-have-appeared-outside-central-asia/ https://akhalteke.org/classic-polar-the-first-domestic-horses-could-have-appeared-outside-central-asia/#respond Thu, 01 Mar 2018 08:00:00 +0000 https://akhalteke.org/classic-polar-the-first-domestic-horses-could-have-appeared-outside-central-asia/ The researchers who turned the history of horse domestication upside down by results published last week do not rule out the possibility that modern domestic animals originated outside of Central Asia. The first credible evidence of the domestication of horses dates back to the Botai culture, which is said to have tamed horses in northern […]]]>

The researchers who turned the history of horse domestication upside down by results published last week do not rule out the possibility that modern domestic animals originated outside of Central Asia.

The first credible evidence of the domestication of horses dates back to the Botai culture, which is said to have tamed horses in northern Kazakhstan around 3500 BC.

Until last week, models suggested that all modern domesticated horses descended from those first tamed by the Botai people.

But scientist Ludovic Orlando and his colleagues, writing in the journal Science, reversed that belief last week.

Their DNA tests revealed that Botai horses did not give birth to today’s domesticated horses, but were in fact the direct ancestors of Przewalski’s horses.

Surprisingly, Przewalski’s horse, commonly considered to be the last true wild horse in existence, is in fact the descendant of the first horses ever to be domesticated.

Przewalski’s horses (Equus ferus przewalskii) are a different species from the modern domestic horse (Equus caballus), with a different number of chromosomes.

Thus, the site of the first domestication of E. Caballus, which we all know, remains shrouded in mystery.

“With the genomic data we currently have, it is impossible to locate the source that gave birth to the modern horse,” says Orlando, professor of molecular archeology at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, and research director at the ‘French National Institute. Scientific research center.

What is clear, however, is that none of the ancient Eurasian horses the team has analyzed so far over the past 4,100 years relate to Botai.

Models of mitochondrial DNA variation also indicate that the horse population expanded dramatically around 4,100 to 5,000 years ago.

So it appears that humans encountered and developed a new type of domesticated horse around this time, and this horse became extremely popular and perhaps even facilitated the expansion of human populations.

Ludovic Orlando samples the remains of Botai horses in Kazakhstan in August 2016. Photo: © Daron Donahue & Niobe Thompson.  Clearwater Documentary
Ludovic Orlando samples the remains of Botai horses in Kazakhstan in August 2016. Photo: © Daron Donahue & Niobe Thompson. Clearwater Documentary

“We are looking at a series of candidate locations that are known sources of major human expansions in the third millennium BCE,” Orlando said.

Interestingly, the earliest currently sequenced fossils of this new type of horse come from Hungary, Romania, and the Pontic Caspian Steppe. The team therefore does not rule out a possible origin outside Central Asia.

Antoine Fages, a doctoral student in the Orlando team who carried out the experimental work for the study, said: “This work clearly illustrates the power of harnessing the sequencing of the old genome. This really allows us to uncover a series of key evolutionary processes that have left little signature in the genomes of living populations.

Orlando continues, “Ancient genomics has just rejected Botai as the ancestor of modern domestic animals. We are confident that ancient genomics will soon help identify the tempo and location of the domestication of horses. “

This is an important area of ​​research, given that the domestication of the horse is one of the major transformative changes that have revolutionized human history.

Horseback riding has allowed us to travel well above our own speed, spreading our genes, diseases and culture over vast geographic areas.

The development of the cavalry was also essential on the battlefield until the mechanization of weaponry. Many conquerors are considered exceptional horse masters, notes Orlando.

Perhaps the most famous are Alexander the Great and Genghis Kahn. Some of their horses, like Bucephalus, are no less legendary.

“Horse breeders have transformed the horse dramatically throughout history, especially over the past few centuries with the development of intensive selective breeding,” says Orlando.

“It is therefore almost impossible to reconstruct the early stages of horse domestication by examining the genome of modern horses. “

In recent work, his team reconstructed the genomes of Scythian horses and clearly established that the animal’s genome has been altered significantly over the past 2,000 years.

By targeting the Botai horses, the team aimed for a deeper time journey, 5,500 years ago.

Excavations at a Botai site in northern Kazakhstan in 2017. Photo: © Alan Outram / University of Exeter
Excavations at a Botai site in northern Kazakhstan in 2017. Photo: © Alan Outram / University of Exeter

“Sequencing the genomes of the first domestic horses would make it possible to catch evolution in the act when we first tamed wild horses. This would reveal the biological changes underlying the process of domestication of animals in the beginning, ”says Orlando.

However, the results were a remarkable ball of curve. Rather than being the source of modern domestic animals, the Botai horses appeared to be the direct ancestors of another group of horses that lived in Kazakhstan around 5,000 years ago and the Przewalski horses, long considered to be the last truly wild.

“Our findings literally upset current original population patterns of horses: what we used to understand as the last wild horse on earth is actually the descendant of the first domestic horses, who simply escaped the pressure. human and have gone wild in recent years. millennia, ”says Orlando.

The study takes advantage of the large genomic dataset produced to identify the genomic changes underlying this process of feralization.

One of these changes affects a variant of the TRPM1 gene involved in leopard spots, which was once present in Botai horses but was removed from Przwewalski’s horse gene pool. As such a variant is also associated with color blindness, it is likely that it could only have been maintained artificially by human breeders, but was quickly lost by natural selection after the horse went wild.

PhD student Charleen Gaunitz, who also worked on the study with the Orlando team, said: “Ironically, we believed that the endangered population of Przewalski’s horses should be preserved as the last wild horses in the world. planet. We now find that they must be preserved as the closest offspring of the first domestic horses. “

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Why it’s so hard to unravel the mysterious origins of domestic horses https://akhalteke.org/why-its-so-hard-to-unravel-the-mysterious-origins-of-domestic-horses/ https://akhalteke.org/why-its-so-hard-to-unravel-the-mysterious-origins-of-domestic-horses/#respond Sat, 24 Feb 2018 08:00:00 +0000 https://akhalteke.org/why-its-so-hard-to-unravel-the-mysterious-origins-of-domestic-horses/ Scientists – and horse owners – often wonder how exactly horses were domesticated. Photo: Infomaster / Flickr, CC BY-SA Many questions remain about the domestication of horses, writes Jan Hoole, lecturer in biology at Keele University In England. There is still a lot we don’t know about how and where horses were first domesticated. Experts […]]]>

Scientists – and horse owners – often wonder how exactly horses were domesticated. Photo: Infomaster / Flickr, CC BY-SA

Many questions remain about the domestication of horses, writes Jan Hoole, lecturer in biology at Keele University In England.

There is still a lot we don’t know about how and where horses were first domesticated. Experts have long believed that all modern horses probably descended from a group of animals belonging to the Botai culture, which flourished in Kazakhstan about 5,500 years ago.

But now, a new study published in Science suggests that Botai horses were not the ancestors of our modern equine companions – and questions what we thought we knew about one of the only species of “wild” horses today: Przewalski’s horse.

There are now very few, if any, truly wild horse species that have never been domesticated. Scientists know that Przewalski’s horse is not an ancestor modern domestic horses, since studies were carried out on equine mitochondrial DNA in 2002. But it now seems that far from being the last vestiges of a truly wild horse species, Przewalski’s horse is the wild descendant of the domesticated Botai horses.

The study's authors imagine what Przewalski's ancient ancestors would have looked like.  Image: Ludovic Orlando, Seas Goddard, Alan Outram, CC BY
The study’s authors imagine what Przewalski’s ancient ancestors would have looked like. Image: Ludovic Orlando, Seas Goddard, Alan Outram, CC BY 4.0

Let’s take a look at the science.

Born wild?

Directed by Charleen gaunitz from the Danish Museum of Natural History, the 47 study authors sequenced the genomes of 42 ancient horses from Kazakhstan and various sites in Eurasia, and compared them to published data from 46 ancient and modern horses.

Their analysis showed that Przewalski’s horse and the oldest horses in Eurasia were not genetically similar, as one would expect. In fact, Przewalski’s horse was found to be most closely related to Botai horses, while all modern domesticated horses belong to a separate group. If that’s true, it upsets what we thought we knew about wild and domestic horses.

But one of the difficulties in drawing conclusions from the DNA of a modern Przewalski horse is that the species suffered a massive decline in the first half of the 20th century. The last seen in the wild has been spotted back to the 60s, and it has been declared extinct in the wild. A captive breeding program has started, and all today’s Przewalski horses trace their ancestry to 13 individuals, who were in zoos around the world at the time. Equus ferus przewalskii was reintroduced to nature at the end of the 20th century.

Back in their place: Przewalski's horses in the Mongolian wilderness.  Photo: gsz / Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND
Back in their place: Przewalski’s horses in the Mongolian wilderness. Photo: gsz / Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND

Gaunitz and his colleagues suggest that there has been a considerable invasion of modern horse genes into the species. But the team was fortunate to have DNA from a specimen dating back to the 19th century, before the population collapsed. This allowed them to show that the Botai horses were the direct ancestors of another breed of horse from the early Bronze Age called Borly4, and that these Borly4 horses were the direct ancestors of the pre-collapse Przewalski horse.

What nose?  RPatts / Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND
What nose? Photo: RPatts / Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND

Unsolved mysteries

This leaves the origins of modern horses shrouded in mystery. It appears that they are descended from a completely different group of horses, but genomic analysis suggests that they were successful in interbreeding with Botai horses to a small extent as the population spread across the landmass. The study’s authors suggest that Hungary, in Eastern Europe, may be one of the many places where modern horse ancestors were first domesticated, as the oldest horse remains have been found there. been recovered.

Previous studies have suggested Iberia, North Africa and Eurasia as possible sites of domestication. And it seems likely that horses – like dogs – have been domesticated independently in a number of different places and over a long period of time.

Scientists – and horse owners – often wonder how exactly horses were domesticated. It has been suggested that they were originally prey animals that humans began to protect and reproduce to ensure a constant supply of meat. Over time, their keepers began to use them for milk, hides, and transportation. Alternatively, they may have been deliberately placed under human control to help hunt herds of wild horses.

Catch us if you can.  Photo: Brian395 / Flickr, CC BY
Catch us if you can. Photo: Brian395 / Flickr, CC BY

Regardless of the method, it now seems likely that the very hardy horses of the Botai were not the ultimate ancestors of the delicate modern thoroughbred racehorse, nor the heavy draft horses that were the core workforce. of agriculture in many parts of the world until the beginning. of the 20th century.The conversation

The genes of the Botai horse are only preserved in the small and precarious populations of the Przewalski horse, which struggle to survive in the regions of the Gobi desert and the mountainous steppe regions of Mongolia where they have been reintroduced. All the more reason then, to continue to ensure the survival of this species – perhaps the last repository of the horse’s ancient DNA.

Jan Hoole, lecturer in biology, Keele University
This article originally appeared on The Conversation. Read the original article.


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