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Scientific classification
Kingdom Information
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Information
Phylum Chordata
Sub-phylum Vertebrata
Class Information
Class Mammalia
Order Information
Order Perissodactyla
Sub-order Hippomorpha
Family Information
Family Equidae
Genus Information
Genus Equus
Species Information
Species E. caballus (Domestic Horse)
E. ferus przewalskii (Wild Horse)
Population statistics

Horses are large mammals known for their beauty and usefulness to humans. They provide a source of rapid transportation for hunting and travel and can pull wagons and carts. The mule is the offspring of a male horse and a female donkey. Before they were replaced by tractors and trucks, horses and mules were invaluable to farmers who used them to plough fields and haul heavy loads.

Horses have been bred since antiquity. Their use for transportation was curtailed in the early 1900s as automobiles (then called "horseless carriages") replaced them. In imperial measurements, motors are still measured in terms of horsepower.

The height of a horse is usually measured in "hands", with one hand corresponding to to approximately four inches or ten centimetres.

Young Earth Creationist view of origins

Creationary biologists believe that the horse baramin is one of the kinds taken by Noah aboard the Ark. Therefore all horse-like animals (including zebras and donkeys) are descended from the fourteen horses taken on board by Noah.[1]

Creationists reject that Hyracotherium is a horse at all (it was named by Richard Owen as being similar to a hyrax, not a horse,[2] and consider the rest of the so-called horse series as simply variations within the horse baramin, and not evidence of evolution at all. Modern horses have considerable variation, with height varying between four hands and 20 hands, the number of ribs varying between 17 and 19, and some horses having three toes, like some supposed evolutionary ancestors.[2]

Evolutionary view of origins

Evolutionary biologists believe that the modern horse has slowly evolved into its present form over the course of about 60 million years, from Hyracotherium (60 million years ago) to our "modern-day horse," Equus (1 million years ago). This claim is based on various pieces of fossil evidence arranged in an apparent evolutionary pattern, such as the change from five toes on Hyracotherium (some vestigial) to three toes on Mesohippus and then to the single toe of Equus along with the progressing development of hooves. The skulls also shows an evolutionary trend from fossil to fossil, as do the teeth changing from a browser to a grazer.[3]

Related trivia

Medical school professors routinely tell their students, "If you hear hoof beats in Texas, think horses not zebras." This is to illustrate that when diagnosing a patient think of the more common diseases rather than rare exotic ones.

See also


  1. Sarfati, Jonathan, How did all the animals fit on Noah's Ark?, Creation 19(2):16–19, March 1997.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Sarfati, Jonathan, The non-evolution of the horse, Creation 21(3):28–31, June 1999.
  3. Horse Evolution from Tufts University