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Icelandic horse performing the tölt
Icelandic horse performing the tölt

The Icelandic horse is a breed of horse developed in Iceland. Developed from ponies brought to Iceland by Norse settlers in the 9th and 10th centuries, the breed is mentioned in Icelandic literature and historical records. They are long-lived, hardy, and have few diseases in their country. In addition to the gaits typical of other horse breeds, many Icelandic horses can also do the tölt (pictured) and the flying pace. The only breed of horse in Iceland, sizable populations exist in Europe and North America. They are used for sheepherding work in Iceland, leisure, showing, and racing. Selective breeding and natural selection with the Icelandic climate developed them into their current form. In the 1780s, much of the breed was killed after a volcanic eruption at Laki. The first breed society for the Icelandic horse was created in Iceland in 1904; the breed is now represented by organizations in 19 nations, under the auspices of the International Federation of Icelandic Horse Associations. (Full article...)

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Sugarloaf Mountain

Sugarloaf Mountain is a peak situated in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on a peninsula that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean. Rising 396 m (1,299 ft) above the harbor, the peak is named for its resemblance to the traditional shape of concentrated refined sugarloaf. The mountain is one of several monolithic granite and quartz mountains that rise straight from the water's edge in the area, and is geologically part of a family of steep-sided rock outcroppings known as bornhardts. Sugarloaf Mountain also features the Sugarloaf Cable Car and is popular with tourists for its panoramic views of the city and beyond. This photograph shows Sugarloaf Mountain at sunrise viewed from Tijuca National Park, with the Rio neighborhood of Botafogo in the foreground.

Photograph credit: Donatas Dabravolskas

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