Understand the Principles of Horse Behaviour and Welfare Essay

1234 WordsAug 20, 20145 Pages
Understand the principles of horse behaviour and welfare Assignment 309 Task Ai The evolution of the horse Introduction There have been many different stages of evolution that have brought us to the modern day horse we have today. The five main stages are; Eohippus, Miohippus, Merychippus, Pliohippus and finally Equus, the animal we know of today as the horse. The earliest ancestor of the horse is thought to be Hyracotherium which was around about 70 million years ago. Evolution has taken place over 55 million years. They started off as small dog like animals and now they are large powerful creatures so a lot of changes have happened over time in the evolution of the horse which have all made the horse more capable of surviving every day challenges they face. At first primitive men hunted the horse for meat and clothing, horses were then used for work, Transport, farming and even in military battles however now we use horses for pleasure so therefor even the purpose of the animal has changed over time. Eohippus Eohippus also known as hyracotherium or the ‘dawn horse’ was around about 70 million years ago and is the first known ancestor of the modern day horse. It was found in North America and it lived in the woodlands. It was the size of a small dog at around 3.2HH. It was a periodic browser and it ate mostly foliage, fruit, herbs and berries. The eohippus branched off into three sub species; orohippus, propalaeotherium and pachynolophus. The feet of the eohippus had pads more like dogs not like the hooves horses have today. They had four toes on the front feet and 3 on the back. They had a short neck and their back was raised in a slight arch. The eohippus’s teeth were made up of three incisors, one canine, four pre molars and three grinding molars on each side of the jaw. This animal was not successful due to its teeth and its diet and also due to

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