Wild_Horses01_High_ResThousands years ago horses were more distributed on the European lands, than in modern times. It was, particularly, wild horses, which nowadays is considered an extinct species. Their habitat embraced the areas of steppes and semi-steppes of Europe, Central and Northern Asia, the main difference between modern and glacial era horses is in lower height and dark belt on the back horses had. Herds of these animals roamed the steppes, making an annual migration path passing hundreds of kilometers. However, climate change, as a common factor of animal evolution, contributed to their extinction. In particular, the reason they disappeared is that forests significantly replaced steppes and wild horses were left without favorable pastures.

Four thousand years ago wild horses could be called prehistoric species, but lately some individuals were revealed. It is related to Tarpan in Russia and Przhevalski’s horse in Mongolia. Probably, it is appropriate to make some overview of main wild horses’ species.

1. Tarpan (Equus caballus ferus) takes roots from Eastern Europe and European part of Russia. Tarpans are considered vanished species since the 19th century, since the last representative was killed in Ascania-Nova nearly 100 years ago. Alongside wide-spread hunting, plowing of the steppes also facilitated a decline of horses’ population. On the contrary, there are some claims that the last one died in 1919. At the end of the 19th century one could see a cross between Tarpan and domestic horse in the Moscow Zoo.

2. Przhevalski’s horse is acknowledged to be the ancestor of contemporary domestic horses, which differed with dun appearance with light end of the muzzle and dark mane and tail. It was called after its discoverer (the horse found in China in 1858). Among advantages of such wild horses are: minimum food requirements and strong persistence of temperature drops. Some individuals might still be observed in world Zoos.

3. In 1925 many people thought that population of Mustangs counts millions, but their number crucially decreased and nowadays their residence is limited by grasslands of Nevada, Montana, Wyoming and other states. In 1973 zoologists stated that their population is about 17 thousand wild horses. Crucial difference! In Europe their role is played by Camargo horses, white horses from French valleys.

4. Brambies are wild horses of Australia, which emerged here after the golden rush period. They live in northern and central areas of the continent and, in fact, appear to be the decedents of horses exported by the immigrants.

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