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Thursday, September 29, 2016

Animal #1 - Horse - Science

The first talking animal I'm going to be writing is a horse. Since I am currently working on a horse scene.

Animal Horse
Classifaction Scientific nameEquus caballus
Genus – Equus (One toed hoofed animals - Horses, zebras, asses)
Family – Equidae (Odd toed hoofed animals - Horses, tapirs, Rhinos)
Order – Perissodactyla (hoofed animals)

Essencerunning, strong, graceful
Unusual traits long legs, can sleep standing up, nervous
Voice – whinnies, grunts, squeals, nickers, whistles
Relationship with nature – comfortable but limited, good
Food – grass, and other vegetation, hay, straw
Other animals – can be easily spooked, can make good friendships
Plants – grazes ecosystem down to grasslands
Habitat – social, active mostly day, some night, grasslands, some forest, semi-nomadic, some seasonal migration
Predators – occasionally wolves, coyotes, bears, pumas
Shelter - quiet valleys
Distribution – world wide except Antarctica, wild populations generally restricted to marginal habitat to limit competition with grazing livestock, formerly south west Mongolia
Populations – abundant in captivity, feral - ~ 300,000, Mongolian Wild – 1,500 reestablished (all captive bred)
Life cycle - long
Average length of life – 30 - 50 years
Average size – length - ~ 6.5- 9 ft (2 – 2.8 m), tail length - ~ 39 in (100 cm), height at shoulders - ~4.3 - 5 ft (1.3 - 1.5 m), weight - 440 – 1500 lb (200 - 680 kg)
Average gestation length - 11 months
Number of offspring – 1 foal, rarely twins, weaned 11- 23 months
Average age to maturity – 1- 4 years, males rarely breed before 5years and strong enough to defend a harem
Relationship with humans – useful, great
Domestication – Probably about 4000 BC
Uses – riding, pulling, carrying, worship
Issues – needs lots of space
Symbolic - Horse : virility, purity, strength, water, storms, thunder, wealth, power, divinity, peace, good harvest, indestructibility, loyalty
Ass : matter, body, misfortune, rampant sexual desire, ridicule, lazy, stupid, poverty

Next time I'll get into the mythology of horses. I plan to include information about unicorns, Pegasus, centaurs, hippogriffs, night mares, Slepnir and any other horse beast I can find. If you know of any other mythological horses/half horses please let me know, so I can research them.

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