There are no More Wild Horses on Earth
There are no real wild horse representatives on the planet, Reuters reported.
Genetic research, published in Science, shows that the Przewalski horse, considered to be the last wild species on Earth, is in fact a descendant of the earliest domesticated horses.
For the purpose of the study, international specialists have compared the genomes of dozens of ancient and modern horses.
The results of the analysis show that Przewalski's horse, rescued from extinction in the 20th century classified as an endangered species, is a descendant of horses, domesticated about 5500 years ago by representatives of the Botai culture in Kazakhstan.
Some of the animals have escaped from the people who domesticated them and have become "wild". The study reveals that the earliest evidence of domestication of horses is associated with the culture in question.
"The discovery was surprising to us, which means there are no real wild horses on Earth, and the world has lost these beings for a long time, and we only understand it now," said Sandra Olson, a zooarchaeologist at the University of Kansas, USA. the research team.
The Przewalski's horse bears the name of a Russian explorer of Polish origin, Nikolay Przewalski, who discovered in Mongolia and described the species in the 19th century.
Its representatives are relatively small and with a strong build. Like horses depicted in cave paintings, Przewalski's horses are gray-brown in color and have a dark "stout" mane.
The current population of about 2,000 originates from 15 Przewalski horses caught about a century ago. Part of their descendants are returned to the natural environment and the rest inhabit reserves and zoos around the world.
Researchers also note that modern horses are not descendants of Przewalski's first domesticated horses, which means that answers about their origin should be sought elsewhere - for example in Ukraine, Western Russia, Hungary, Poland and the region.