Horses (lat. Equidae) are a diverse family of ungulates in which there is only one modern genus, Equus, and 41 extinct genera. This family includes animals commonly called horses, donkeys and zebras. The demarcation of certain species is still controversial today. Domestic horses and domestic donkeys, domesticated forms of wild horses and African wild donkeys, still play an important role today as riding and draft animals and are widespread throughout the world.
Horses are large domestic animals with large heads and long limbs. Size and weight vary; the length from the head to the tail is between 200 and 350 cm, the tail is from 30 to 60 cm, and the height of their shoulders is from 100 to 160 cm. Their fur is thick and usually short, and most species have longer or even long hair on the neck, scalp and tail (see mane). The color of the fur of most species is gray or brown on the upper side, and whitish-gray on the lower side. In several species, stripes can appear on the shoulders and legs, and all three species of zebras are known for their striking black and white striped fur.
Head and teeth of a horse
The horse's head is strong, noticeably elongated, and the largest part is the upper jaw. The intermaxillary bone is also elongated. The nasal bone is long and narrow, and the eye sockets are located far back and are located behind the teeth. The jaw joint is located high, and the lower jaw is also enlarged. The eyes are located laterally on the head, and their ears are long and very mobile.
Horses have three incisors in each half of the jaw, shaped like a chisel. As a rule, only males have a canine, females do not have one at all, or it is very small. Behind them they have a void, called a diastema. In each half of the jaw, horses usually have three premolars (the fourth is rarely present, and when it exists, it is always the first) and three molars. The premolars and molars are very similarly constructed and are adapted for chewing hard food.
Distribution and living space
Wild species live in eastern and southern parts of Africa and Central Asia.
During the last centuries, the areas inhabited by horses have significantly decreased. Until the end of the Pleistocene, they were widespread in large parts of Eurasia, Africa and the United States. They became extinct on the American continent for unknown reasons about 10,000 years ago. There are various reasons, the hunt for newcomers, climate change after the last year