A new study revealed how ancient horses became the tamed horses we have today. The study actually shows how humans succeeded in taming the wild horses. There are 125 genes responsible for horses’ domestication, scientists say. These genes are related to skeletal muscles, coordination, balance and cardiac strength. All these genes led to the taming of wild horses.
The researchers discovered that some of the genes found in the modern horse did not exist in ancient ones. Some of the modern genes arose from mutations. The study revealed that one of those genes is actually responsible for how fast the modern horse can run.
Throughout history, the horse has been one of man’s favorite companions. The man domesticated the horse approximately 5,500 years ago, which revolutionized civilization and helped with the progress of human societies.
Horses helped make transportation easier, which contributed to the circulation of languages, ideas and even religions. Geneticists have tried to figure out how the genetic changes have led to the domestication of the ancient horse. They believe that it all started with the wild horses from the wild steppes of Eurasia, about 5,500 years ago. This particular moment in time is crucial in the development of the human civilization.
Researchers say that there are 125 genes responsible for horses’ domestication. The recent findings were published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. These genes made it easier for the ancient horse trainers to work with the animals and tame them for various purposes. Ludovic Orlando, one of the researchers involved in the study said that the mutations led to a new generation of horses, horses adapted for pulling plows, chariots and racing. There have been some mutations with the brain genes, as well. The genes linked to learning, social behavior, response and fear underwent some changes that transformed the ancient horses into the ones we have today.
Orlando said that these 125 genes are responsible for turning wild horses into docile ones. His team of researchers examined DNA samples from the bones of 29 horses discovered in the Siberian permafrost. These bones are 16,000 and 43,000 years old and scientists used them to compare the DNA with the ones from five species of modern horses.
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