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Somalian Wild Ass[edit]

Isn't Somalian Wild Ass (Equus somaliensis) a valid species?--Menah the Great 23:11, 30 September 2005 (UTC)

From what I know it is still a subspecies. But if someone has research that says otherwise, please comment on this. Pmaas 13:37, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Zebra Revision[edit]

I've changed this article and added some new information. Groves & Bell revised the Zebra genus Equus, subgenus Hippotigris in their 2004 publication in Mammalian Biology. Cape Mountain Zebra and Hartmann's Mountain Zebra are now seen as two separate species (Equus zebra and Equus hartmannae), and not as subspecies anymore. See the Mountain Zebra article for more information and references. And they revised the Plain Zebra's (Equus quagga) subspecies. Pmaas 13:37, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Wild Horse[edit]

The Wild Horse had some subspecies, although the total (valid for certain) number is unclear to me. I know only two certain valid subspecies at the moment, namely the Tarpan (Equus ferus ferus), and the Przewalksii Horse (Equus ferus przewalskii). They are not seen as separate species anymore. They can successfully interbreed and were once part of the historic range of the wild horse! See article for references! Pmaas 13:37, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

The actual number is unclear to everyone. The Europeans, generally speaking, claim about 5 or 6 subspecies for the Horse, whereas most American biologists claim only three: Equus ferus ferus, the Tarpan; Equus ferus przewalskii, Przewalski's Horse; and Equus ferus caballus, all domestic forms. The domestic forms are where some Europeans disagree with the Americans. From what I've read, there's a bit of a common thought in Europe (and I think well-justified) that different types of domesticated horses may have sprung from seperate subspecies and been mixed back and forth over the years. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Aunukia (talkcontribs) 11:25, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

Merge proposal[edit]

I think the Zebra page is redudant, it covers some of the same information (although incomplete (species)), and together they would make a much better article. Objections? KimvdLinde 03:25, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

I object, I don't want to have sift through horse information to find zebra.

Agreed. This article should remain separate. What sort of encyclopedia would we be if we didn't feature a page on the zebra? It's not like it's a particularly obscure animal. Michaelritchie200 11:52, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

I object as well, because there is a very well established policy that each species gets its own page. I'm going to take down the merger tags for that reason.--M@rēino 22:58, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

Equus scotti[edit]

Shouldn't Equus scotti be found somewhere on this article? Where should it be put? -- 15:57, 8 July 2006 (UTC)

Good catch. -- Kim van der Linde at venus 16:03, 8 July 2006 (UTC)


I don't know whether these are still valid or not.

The "onagers" are probably all American stilt-legged asses. Dysmorodrepanis 00:29, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

I think sourcing to something written within the last 5-10 years would avoid edit spats, I am a great fan of footnotes. Montanabw(talk) 03:56, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
Indeed, that's why I put the list here and not on the mainpage. Meaning that I got it fromPaleobiology Database (IIRC), which is not (yet) the most reliable source. Each of these horses needs to be validatedt before it is put on the mainpage. The taxonomic status of the Hagerman Horse (E. simplicidens = P. shoshonensis = Asinus pons = Equus (Plesippus) simplicidens?) needs clarification as it is already on several other pages. (As a side note, I am a fan of footnotes giving sources which are then listed, separately, in a nice clean section ordered alphabetically as per first author. Makes handling multiple refs to a single source, single refs to multiple sources, and checking refs for use and completeness so much easier, besides conforming to scientific standard... and the new Wikipedia user will break the code less easily compared to sections whose code is more footnotes than running text. ;-)) Dysmorodrepanis (talk) 16:55, 13 December 2007 (UTC)
I am no expert in taxonomy, so shall defer to those who are. I am OK with either the "ref name=" tag or your method for streamlining footnotes, though it is very important that if the bibliography method is used (which makes the most sense with books, but not for web pages, where ref name is the better option, IMHO) that the bibliography is carefully reviewed when footnotes are added to be sure the original entry was not removed by another editor.
I take no position on which of the extinct classifications are "real" or "correct," but do like to see best evidence from respected researchers on the topic (as opposed to people who sort of have their own theories). All I know is that some people are dedicated to infinite expansion of these lists to the point that every single fossil is going to be a different subspecies. (sigh) My personal tendency here is to say less is better. I also have concerns of things that are classed as two subgroups of a genetically identical species... I think the evidence is pretty spotty on Hagerman's Horse, but I also don't have the time/motivation/energy to be the one who looks into it.
So have fun. And I sympathize. I spend my time trying to keep the list of horse breeds confined to breeds and not breed subgroups, etc.; not letting the thing get cluttered up with red links, etc. There is also the question of when a horse like the Pzrewalski's horse is a species or a breed, particularly when there are tazonomy disputes. Oh lordy... Montanabw(talk) 19:16, 13 December 2007 (UTC)
Probably "real" (with that I meant: a valid taxon, not a junior synonym): it was discussed in a 2006 article in Ameghiniana -
Montanabw, you really shouldn't be commenting on horse taxonomy or evolution when you yourself admit that you don't have the time or concern to study it. Your implication that Hagerman's Horse is just Equus ferus caballus (Equus caballus) in disquise, for that is almost certainly what you are implying, is not only just plain wrong, it is manipulatively misleading. And I find your comments about 'subgroups' a bit disturbing. It seems as though you believe that subspecies are invalid taxonomic classifications. This is just laughable. If you want to talk about domestic horse breeds go do that on the Horse page. And I can't beleive I have to say this, but you should be made aware that domestic Horse breeds are not of an equal taxonomic status to ancient Horse species. Also, there's really no valid argument against Przewalski's Horse belonging to the same specy as domesticated horses at this point, despite what some zoos might say (zoological gardens, in America at least, are notorious for being slightly behind the times when it comes to proper animal taxonomy). It's pretty well-known that Przewalski's Horse is not a seperate specy. And your use of the word 'breed' to describe Przewalski's Horse proves that you are not qualified to speak on the phylogeny or taxonomy of Equids. Aunukia (talk) 21:00, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

These two references seem highly relevant:

  • Prado, J.L. y Alberdi, M.T. 1994. A quantitative review of the horses Equus from South America. Palaeontology 37: 459-481. [1]
  • Prado, J.L. y Alberdi, M.T. 1996. A cladistic analysis of the horses of the tribe Equini. Palaeontology 39: 663-680. [2]

They are (IIRC) online for free. I will go party now and when I'm back and still able to type I will check them out. Especially the latter might resolve nearly the entire list. But it has to be cite-tracked for any more recent revisions. Dysmorodrepanis (talk) 19:46, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

No such luck. The papers use only a small sample and are concerned with little else but the validity of Equus (Amerhippus) (the first) and equid genera in general (the second).
But I found others:
But most importantly, Google Books has "Fossil Horses: Systematics, Paleobiology, and Evolution of the Family Equidae" of which p.99 has a wonderful phylo-tree that only needs minor updating to replace the wretched linear sequence on the Evolution page
When I updated the classification section I relied on some of my own knowledge of the subject (scant as it was), but I relied mainly on "Pleistocene Mammals of North America", by Björn Curtén and Elaine Anderson. It's from 1980, so it's a little old, but I'm not aware of anything so concise that's better. I also think we should be working to expand this article to include extinct non-Equus species in the family. Just because they're extinct doesn't mean they shouldn't be documented here. In fact, they most certainly SHOULD be documented in order to give a better understanding of the family as a whole. And before anyone suggests adding that to the Horse evolution page, forget it. Any addition of factual information is doomed to failure on the Horse Evolution page. They're too many people who think about the European Horse, in relation to the rest of the family, the same thing that most Humans think about themselves in relation to the other primates; namely, that the European, domesticated Horse is the end of Equine evolution. This is patently false, of course, but it doesn't really matter in the long run, because too many people think it and there aren't enough people opposing such ridiculous ideas.Aunukia (talk) 20:40, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
Merychippus refers to a subfamily Equinae but it has no article and is not mentioned here. Is Equinae an obsolete taxon? And what are Equini? So confusing.-- (talk) 05:34, 12 January 2009 (UTC)


I'm wondering about some of the statements about oestrus ('estrus', in US spelling). I'm sure these are true of horses, but is it certain that they're also true of zebras? Some of them live near the equator, where the day length doesn't really change, and there is no 'winter', as such. Of course, they do have dry seasons on the savannah, so I wouldn't be surprised to learn that they synchronise breeding with those, instead. But possibly not by length of day? Anaxial (talk) 18:50, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Good point, and I don't know the answer. But, the original text was flat-out wrong to say equids were fertile only a few months of the year, so that was the problem I was fixing. If someone has info on zebras (wonder if Zebra article helps?) it would be good to note, if different. For that matter, the same question would apply to any equid living in equatorial regions, such as horses or donkeys living in Brazil. Montanabw(talk) 23:39, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Horse-centric bias?[edit]

I note that the "see also" section has now been trimmed back (ok) to include only horse-based articles (not ok). Is this a problem with links, or a problem with the titles of the other articles? (for example, perhaps the Evolution of the horse should be Evolution of the Equid). This probably also ties in with the issue immediately above. FiveRings (talk) 20:49, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

Well, while I cannot really disagree, it's a tricky one, because no one has bothered to do up any articles on reproduction in zebras or wild behavior of donkeys, etc... when those people care enough to add in appropriate material, I see no problem with increasing the balance. I haven't paid a lot of attention to how or if the evolution article explains how the modern species of zebra, ass and horse split off, though such a section is probably a good idea if someone has the expertise to add it. That said, the vast bulk of research is on horses, so while there is a lot of weight to horse stuff, that is where the source material is, too. I don't really have a solution, other than to encourage those who care to develop appropriate material with appropriate sources. May be title issues, though hard to say without a review of all the articles. I know that equine nutrition covers all domestic equids in various sections, though weighted toward horses (partly because donkeys are less fussy about feed). Montanabw(talk) 23:42, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
Oh, and on the "trimmed back" issue, what was trimmed was the list of all the species that were already listed in the section above. What remains are related articles other than those about various subspecies...and while we are at it, an argument COULD be made (I'm not making it) that the subspecies section is ass and zebra-centric in its bias because there are more ass and zebra links (I mean that makes about as much sense.) Just food for thought. Montanabw(talk) 23:44, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
In terms of reproduction, I did confirm from my sources that zebras (and asses) have the same gestation period as horses, have a foal every other year, and so on, so that much stands... I just don't know about the oestrus. I do certainly agree that this article, since its about equids in general, should strive to be general, where possible - the horse article can cope with the specifics of that species. As for Evolution of the horse, I suspect that most people who'd want to look it up would search by that title, or something like it, so that's not unreasonable. Have Evolution of the equids as a redirect, by all means, of course. It's 95% the same anyway, since the various species only branched apart in the relatively recent past, after all that interesting stuff with hooves had already happened. Anaxial (talk) 00:46, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
If you want to use the ref tags to add a bit about the every other year cycle in zebras, go for it, but DO add the footnote. (I have noticed that "my sources" need specific cites and once they do, the edit wars usually stop). As for the links to horse behavior and horse anatomy, people may be interested in more info on anatomy and herd psychology, that's why they are there, but it's not a huge deal either way. There is wisdom to perhaps redirecting or renaming them as "equine anatomy" and, maybe "equine behavior" (except that I really haven't the time to research and properly source material on wild burros or zebras, to the extent that their behavior differs). Maybe I can do a few redirects, and I will check with the editors of the anatomy article to see if anyone cares if I move it to Equine anatomy, as there aren't a lot of fundamental differences there, as far as I know... Montanabw(talk) 17:11, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
Just created a redirect named "Equine evolution" and another named "Donkey evolution." I really doubt anyone will search for "Equid evolution" or "Equidae evolution", as you have to know a bit about taxonomy to even think of that term first, but I have no objection to the creation of any logical redirects to help people find what they are looking for. It most certainly isn't a moral issue! (grin) Montanabw(talk) 17:19, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
The cite for 'every other year' is already there. Anaxial (talk) 17:41, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
Tweaked it, as it isn't accurate for some wild horse herds. Interesting. Montanabw(talk) 18:42, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

Major tweaking?[edit]

Because this page is not what the title says. It is about the genus, not the family, not even the tribe Equini. The information is strewn about here and in the evolution article and it's not really good from a systematic standpoint (if this is about Equidae, where is the redlink to Kalobatippus waiting to be done? ;-) (Is Kalobatippus still valid? Since when is it an equine?) ). In a nutshell, there is no serious taxonomic page on the entire equids before true horses. Equids are probably the only really well-known animals on Wikipedia for which no serious phylogenetic info exists at all. Not even a flimsy cladogram - which I'd advise against as it would probably be even more misleading in equids than in any other major group. The chokepoint Merychippus blasts every attempt at a clean dichotomous tree to bits, and such trees are what today's software is designed to calculate.

If this is Equidae, the first genus in the list (basal) should be Hyracotherium. For Equinae (grazing equids), Merychippus. For Equini (horses and relatives) the basal polytomy, that is Protohippus, Pliohippus, Astrohippus and whatnot, versus the Equus proper lineage and its subgenera. For these, see above. The crucial point is that what we consider "horses (+zebras, donkeys...)" is essentially the Equini (of which only a single genus survives). Plains-living grazers who stand on 4 toenails, one per leg. Most of the Equinae, let alone the Equidae, was more like a large duiker than a horse. Megahippus must have been a totally zonked out critter. (This is also very interesting)

I suggest everyone interested in horses read Bruce MacFadden's opus magnus, or at least look at pp 99-100. It is (perhaps) in dire need of updating in some crucial points but from the general style of writing MacFadden seems to be pretty careful not to claim what was really unresolved 15 years ago. he might make some honest mistakes though; I know next to nothing about horse evolution, but what I do know seems pretty much in line with this book. It might be used as a general reference for Equidae and Equinae (Equini and Hipparionini might not yet be necessary, at least not the latter). These are is then easily improved by more current sources, which can e.g. simply be found by cite-tracking on Google Scholar.

Equini might really be about Hipparionini and the Merychippus radiation, whereas the Equini would well deserve their own article for the reasons above - it contains everything that ever lived that we today would have readily recognized as horses, if we knew that donkeys and zebras were basically sorts of horses too .

Does anyone know a reliable and current (post-2005?) online source on which the species/subgenera of Equus can be completed?

An easy-to-build structure would be to list the contained (genera mostly, and subgenera in Equini) and write a brief intro: age, range, notable features. Discuss subgroups in short sections, link to proper articles (if available, e.g. Zebra). For the higher-rank articles, a paragraph noting peculiar or evolutionarily important genera (/species?) is probably all that is needed as of now.

This way, there would be the basic structure in a nice and concise way for the entire Equidae, the zebralessness of this page would be eliminated, and the Evolution page could be expanded with the new information to tie it all together nicely. Dysmorodrepanis (talk) 04:18, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

OK, so page 112 in MacFadden one should probably forget about. E. caballus and the quagga s.str. closer to each other than to any other Holocene equid? Hardly. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dysmorodrepanis (talkcontribs) 04:29, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
You lost me somewhere in there. Basically, I don't know what other articles on canine, feline, bovine, etc. cover, but the way I see this one is that we start with the modern members of the equidae family, explain all the branches of the family tree that exist in modern times, and to the extent that evolution of the horse doesn't dovetail into this article properly, build some text and links so that the two work together, whether it is text here or there. All I can say is if you know this taxonomy stuff better than I do (and I believe you do), go ahead and tweak, but stick to what can be verified with footnotes; the evolution page has had some rather fierce edit wars in the past, and I also don't think this page needs to repeat the evolution article. One problem I do see is the question of whether, say, the variety of equus caballus that became extinct in North America was a wholly different subspecies from the branch domesticated in Eurasia, and so on. (You may also want to skim domestication of the horse too, big rewrite happened there within the last month or so.) Anyway, I guess my thinking is to proceed with care but proceed... Montanabw(talk) 22:12, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
Articles on Felidae, Bovidae, and so on deal primarily with the living members of the family, so it seems to me that Equidae is in line with all of those, and follows standard Wikipedia practice. In some of those cases, there is also a discussion of fossil forms and general evolution of the group - but here we also have Evolution of the horse, so it's less needed. So I'd certainly be careful not to duplicate anything - that's why the Evolution section here is so short - and to consider which page information on fossil species would best belong on. There may be a place for some this information here, but as Montanabw says, I'd proceed with caution. Anaxial (talk) 22:49, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
Firstly, Montanabw, there is no such thing as Equus caballus. That is a domesticated animal. The proper name is Equus ferus caballus - unless domesticated Horses somehow come from Zebras or Asses... Also, there is no consensus that Equus ferus ever set foot on the North American continent (before the advent of Europeans), though I personally believe Equus lambei may be a subspecy of Equus ferus. Thirdly, and most importantly, and I hope EVERYONE is listening here when I say this, Equus ferus caballus, the domesticated Horse IS NO MORE native to the North American west than Chihuahuas are to the Canadian tundra. Domestic forms are native NOWHERE. Period. The domestic Horse is RADICALLY different from it's wild ancestor. And Dysmorodrepanis, the reason all the Equine articles are so Horse-centric is because a very large number of vociferous (and outright foolish) people are unhealthily obsessed with horses. Unfortunately, many of these people also think themselves expert enough to declare a domestic animal native to a continent it never inhabited simply because they like to watch them run. Seriously, that's all it is. They like looking at them. It's certainly not an environmental issue. Horses are wildly destructive to their surroundings. They eat more than cattle! And an obscene amount more than the native Pronghorn (which, by the way doesn't trample its food to death like the Mustangs do with they're enormous, heavy-stepping hooves). The only argument the Mustang and Burro worshippers have to use (and they milk it good, let me tell ya) is the similarity of Equus lambei to Equus ferus. But, Equus lambei has not been proven to be synonymous with Equus ferus (though it is a possibility), and even if it were it would be more closely related, by far, to Przewalski's Horse than to Mustangs! E. lambei was tiny! It was like four feet tall at the shoulders! And all the other North American Equids are pretty well-known to not be synonymous with Equus ferus (including E. caballus). Not by a long shot. This is why the Horse Evolution page (and every other page dealing with equines) has been changed back and forth so many times. The people who know what the heck they're talking about try to add useful information and correct blatant lies or grievous mistakes and the people who like pretty ponies go back and try to convince the world that Spanish horses have roamed every continent including Antarctica, Mars and the Sun since before Dinosaurs walked on two feet. I made the ridiculous mistake of trying to add factual information to the Mustang article and, if I remember correctly, it was changed WITHIN THE HOUR. The person doing the changing even removed the scientific names I inserted! The Mustang article has absolutely no indication of what specy the Mustang belongs to now! I swear this endless struggle between the My Little Ponyites and REAL BIOLOGISTS is like the Evolution vs. creationism argument, only dumber. Like I said, these people aren't calling for us to turn our rotweillers loose into the nearest forest, but why not? I mean, it's the same specy as the Gray Wolf. Domestication doesn't matter, if you listen to these people. If that's the case then why aren't we restocking mature Oak forests with farm raised white turkeys? I mean, it's the same specy, after all. Oh. And this is my favourite. Where Wild Asses are actually native they're critically endangered. But I have not read ONE WORD from the Cult of the Mustang and Burro about saving them from ACTUAL extinction, but get this, they want to have the Mustangs and Burros in America declared endangered species. How's that for mentally inept and savagely hypocritical? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Aunukia (talkcontribs) 12:32, 29 January 2008 (UTC)


I don't know how to do it, but I think this article could use a pronunciation at the beginning, see as the -ae suffix is not one commonly encountered in modern life. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:02, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

Equidae vs. Equus[edit]

It makes sense that most articles about extant taxa are deal with extant members of the taxon primarily, and extinct members later. But since all extant equids seem to belong to the single genus Equus, wouldn't it make sense to rename this article "Equus" because of its great detail about modern horses, and reserve the "Equidae" article for a discussion of the entire family? Equidae has lost most of its former diversity, and I think an article about this taxon should reflect its entire history. - Cheers, Cephal-odd (talk) 01:02, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

Yes, good idea. Ucucha 05:53, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
Equus already exists as a disambiguation page. This would create less specificity, not more.FiveRings (talk) 15:29, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
In that case, Equus (genus) should be changed from a redirect into a full article. I do not see how that would creat less specificity. Ucucha 15:40, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
Sigh. I think if you check the article history, this exact same debate occurred a couple years ago with a consensus to change it to Equidae. We also have requests for "Equine." I honestly don't care, I"m fine with it as it is, just that there are probably a couple hundred articles someone will have to disambiguate if you switch this - aqain- and I ain't gonna be the one who does it. Montanabw(talk) 06:13, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

Per Cephal-odd and Ucucha, I made Equus (genus) into an article and moved there the text that was relevant only to the extant species. --Una Smith (talk) 05:01, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

Thanks Una Smith for the revamp --Kevmin (talk) 05:14, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
Welcome. It was long overdue. Over on Evolution of the horse, I have tried to disambiguate "equid" into Equidae, Equus, and horse. I might have missed some. I noticed a lot of loose ends and bloopers, but did not stop to fix most of them. It should not be necessary to disambiguate links here, because the article content now merely matches the page name. --Una Smith (talk) 05:46, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
OK, I won't argue about taxonomy, because it is not an area where I have expertise, but we have a BIG organizational problem now. With this move, you have probably messed up hundreds of links. So now who is going to go and change over the links in all the horse articles that link to this article? Some still need to go here, others to Equus (genus), so a simple copy and paste won't work, the other articles will have to be individually examined. The person fixing this mess is not going to be me, I do not have the time. And now we also have basically two evolution articles, one just a glorified list and nothing more. I really, really wish this move would have gone to WPEQ for discussion first. What a disaster. There was no need to split this article, a simple restructuring of the extinct from modern sections would have been enough. Boldness is fine and all that, but community input is also a good idea on moves this massive and extensive. Montanabw(talk) 06:06, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Actually I think you are overreacting a bit, this is not a "disaster", but a long overdue split of content. I just took a look at a random selection of links found on the what links here page and only found two pages out of ~15 that I needed to change the link direction, from Equidae to Equus (genus) in the taxobox. Regarding the difference between the two articles, they shoud be diferent there scope is different. Evolution of the horse should be refined to specifics regarding the transition from "Hyracotherium" (Eohippus) to The Modern Equus. This article should rightly look at the broader relationships in the Equidae family as a whole, and between the other members of the Perissodactyla, both extant and extinct. You yourself state you do not know anything regarding taxonomy, while this articles main focus is in many ways all about taxonomy. --Kevmin (talk) 08:16, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
After exploring further many of the links to this article are from the Template placed on many of the horse articles. My proposal on the template talkpage to move the template will rectify this and reveal just how many link actually have to be dealt with--Kevmin (talk) 11:49, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Kevmin. Furthermore, if there are messed-up links that situation can only be due to misusing the term "equid" to refer erroneously to Equus or even to horse. The solution to messed-up links is to fix them, not to stuff the target article with content that by rights does not belong there. --Una Smith (talk) 15:56, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
I can accept that there clearly is confusion over "Equine", "Equid," "Equus," "Equidae" and all the various sub-classifications. There have been spats here and elsewhere over all this. I am more than glad to leave that to folks who have studied the topic to sort out, but what we basically have now is just a list that probably belongs merged into the Evolution article, leaving only the new Equus article. My problem is basically that I fear that we could change all these links and then six months later, some other taxonomy person is going to come in, say you guys have it all wrong, propose a re-merge, and we re-do it all over again. I would like to see sources from Kevmin and a layperson's explanation of how this all works. I'm fine with doing it right, it's doing it over that stinks. I don't want to revisit this article every six months when some editor comes in with a restructure. Let's fix it ONCE, fix it right, and THEN clean up the links. If it's done properly, with sourcing to the right materials, then maybe it can remain relatively stable for years to come. That would be really, really nice. Montanabw(talk) 21:29, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Okay, an outside view (that Montanabw solicited). It is ordinary and proper for taxonomic families to have their own articles. When a family has a single genus, the family name may redirect to the genus. But Equidae has many genera, and the fact that all but one are extinct is immaterial. The current situation is as it should be, and we should hope that it remains. (As a side note, I feed my dogs Canidae; I'm sure I could feed it to my foxes or maned wolves as well.)--Curtis Clark (talk) 21:47, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
OK, help me understand this in lay terms. Are you saying that the Equidae/Equus split is a good approach? If so, are we safe saying "Equus (genus)" to reference all the horse, mule, zebra, quagga, and whatever articles about living species? I just don't want to redo this again, ever! LOL!

Follow up': There are well over 600 or 700 articles linking to this article, and not just those transcluded from the Equidae template. If this fix is the way it needs to go, then SOMEONE needs to fix most of them and figure out which stay linked here and which should go to the new Equus genus article. Kevmin and Una, you guys probably just volunteered yourselves... Montanabw(talk) 21:58, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

It's the only approach. Whatever the cost of fixing links, it's worth it, to put Equidae on a par with all the other families of mammals. (My overo asks, "Is this Hypohippus like a miniature horse? I hope it doesn't smell funny like those donkeys.")
I think you are underestimating the impact of hte template. I just looked at the ladt 40 pages in the "What links here" list and tallied up all the instances of Equidae links in he pages. Here are the results: 40 pages = 41 links. This breaks down to 23 links from the template only, 13 valid links to Equidae (eg taxoboxes, taxonomies, ref to the entire family etc.), 1 link which I redirected to "Equus (genus)", and 4 "misc." (Eg. comments on talk pages, 1 DYK). Thus 56% are template links, 31% are valid, 9 are misc., and 2% are needing fixing. Translating this to , say 600 article links: 336 template links, 186 valid, 54 misc, and 12 that need fixing. I think we should see what the decision is for the template first as that seems to constitute the vast majority of the links to this page.--Kevmin (talk) 23:37, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
For what it's worth, I do quite a lot of disambiguating links. Whenever a template is involved in a disambiguation problem, the first thing to do is fix the template. Then wait a while (lately, a while means weeks) for internal indexing to catch up. Then disambiguate the remaining incoming links. This isn't a huge job and it will have to be done only once. --Una Smith (talk) 00:27, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
Even though I disagree with some of Una's views about disambiguation pages, she is really quite good at it.--Curtis Clark (talk) 02:36, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
Thanks Curtis and Kevmin for your explanations. And thanks to anyone who wants to do the work to fix the links. The template discussion goes over to the template article, it appears. I am placated by your reasoned argument and solid explanations. (Smile). I am also very well aware that Una does a lot of disambiguation work, often without achieving real consensus from all involved editors. That was one reason, I wanted to hear from other parties. Montanabw(talk) 01:11, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

general comments[edit]

Overall, this article has greatly improved, kudos to the editors. The sources and citations definitely move this out of start-class. While mostly a well-written article, my only real complaint is the level of jargon/unexplained scientific terms.

  • "Their legs are slender and end in a single, unguligrade toe, protected by a horny hoof."
    • The link goes to the ungulate article which doesn't exactly explain how the term, unguligrade is being used here. Is this just an adjective form of ungulate, does it mean that it's "protected by a horny hoof," or does it mean something else specific?
  • "The dental formula for equids is:


    • umm... for those of use who aren't dentists, this needs a little more description.
  • "Equids who are not in foal..."
    • To the uninitiated this could mean either pregnant or rearing.

Other than this, perhaps some different links in the "See also" section, moving more links from out of "Sources" and into footnoted "References", and expansion of "Cross-breeds" - more prose to fill out the list. -ΖαππερΝαππερ BabelAlexandria 08:44, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Classification section[edit]

I would propose to update the classification section to better reflect the relationships between the taxa, format the section a little better, and remove some false staements eg "vernacular names" for taxa which have been extinct for over a million years and are not commonly known. (Who here has heard of the "Brother horse" = Equus fraternus)

Here is the revamp I have worked up. As aside not this shows why Equidae should be a seperate article from Equus. Two other subfamilies from Equidae, another Tribe and a genus not in Equini, and 7! other genera in the tribe itself that are not Equus. None of which is adressed in this article. --Kevmin (talk) 02:51, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

Full taxonomy now in article, collapsed for page navigation ease click show to see
This classification is to genus, except Equus is expanded to subspecies. I fixed that by moving the Equus part to Equus (genus). --Una Smith (talk) 15:50, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Comment on reorg[edit]

Hi Kevmin and all. First off I'll say from the get-go that I know next to squat about taxonomy, but I also know that those who care, seem to care a LOT and argue vehemently, and what's in there now seems to be the creature of considerable consensus, so please oh please, I strongly recommend that you talk to some of the others who have worked on this article or the taxonomy articles in general and be sure that you can source all your changes to the best recent research (I find overall that footnotes solve most edit wars) And, if there is debate over taxonomy, just explain how the different groups have different classification schemes or something. See also what goes on at evolution of the horse, as I think there is overlap -- I think that article covers many of the extinct groups, and those were deliberately removed here after some earlier debate that I only peripherally followed...As for article names, "Equus" goes to a disambiguation page that covers everything from the play to the magazine. "Equus (genus)" redirects here. Equus Caballus, I think redirects to the Horse article. All of these, I think, occurred after considerable debate and arrival at consensus. I'd hesitate to upset that apple cart without a real pressing need for it. Montanabw(talk) 06:13, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

In Regards to to your comment that there has been considerable debate about the taxonomy in the article. I have read both pages (here and a ev. of horses) and unless there are archives which I have missed, there actually is not that much. But to be on the safe side I posted the proposed change here first for comment. You have mentioned several times that debate occurred as to where the redirects pointed but I have not not been able to find any records, could you point me to the appropriate pages so I may see what was said up to this point? --Kevmin (talk) 06:36, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
I think the spat was more at the evolution page, but I honestly can't remember and lack the time to look (and also don't care that deeply, all I want are accurate articles). All I will say here is that in the reorg scheme, if you DO add in the evolutionary forms, just be really careful to distinguish the extinct ancestral forms from the modern forms because what is above is confusing and has too many red links. Also, try not to contradict the structure of the evolution article (if they are wrong, then both articles need tweaks, the info should dovetail). Like I say, taxonomy is not my area so I have to trust that you who are working on this also read WP:V and use recent research. Maybe stop over at wikiproject Mammals to see if there is anyone there who wants to comment, also. Montanabw(talk) 23:34, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
"FOLLOW UP': I think some of the spat was over Przewalski's horse and is at that page. There is this big shitstorm (for lack of a better word) over whether those are equus caballus or equus ferus or equus ferus caballus or equus ferus ferus, or whatever. Again, not being a taxonomist, I don't care which it is and wouldn't know the correct form if it bit me in the asinus, but it needs to be either the most recent, most official version or else "teach the controversy," stating something like "Expert X says it's this because a,b,c, but expert Y says it's that because of d, e and f," All I know is that it's a PITA (pain in the...) to deal with people fighting over this stuff and given that it's science, there must be a current "official" version out there and then, likely, a respected minority faction with a different view... But anyway, proceed with caution when dealing with the true "wild horse" groups. Please. Also maybe contact Latebird, who watches the Pzrewalski article pretty closely... Montanabw(talk) 23:39, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
I have looked of the talk page for Przewalski's Horse and there wasnt much there either beyond a question by one editor about whether this is E. ferus or E. caballus. As regards the Evolution of the horse page, I agree with the editors who state that the linear time line presented in the article is quite outdated. Re taxonomy in general there isn't such a thing as an "official" version, rather there are hypothesis' put forth which gets debated. For some groups the the hypothesis is accepted and becomes stable, in others it isn't and the debate continues with several different hypothesis competing. Regarding this particular edit, I have not changed anything except adding the accepted subfamilies and tribes in to show the relations between the taxa better. I dint change any of the extant taxa at all just plugged the whole section unchanged in the the Tribe Equini, thus the E. ferus vrs E. caballus isn't even touched. Im going to add the new taxonomy into the article and see if there is any more response.--Kevmin (talk) 22:06, 13 January 2009 (UTC)
Maybe check also tarpan and wild horse. I just remember the equus ferus versus equus caballus spat, not where it was. Your changes seem OK to me, but I don't know what other taxonomists on wiki would say. I guess for now it's "proceed until apprehended." (grin) Watchlist the article for awhile and we shall see what shakes out. Montanabw(talk) 06:49, 14 January 2009 (UTC)


FWIW, I haven't been able to pinpoint what taxonomic source is used for the order Perissodactyla (admittedly, I have not researched the WP articles too much). The rest of the mammal articles follow the taxonomy of MSW3 as per consensus at WP:MAMMAL, except for Perissodactyla, including the family Equidae. Note, MSW3 only deals with extant and recently extinct mammals, so it excludes prehistoric mammals. Here is the taxonomy for the family Equidae per MSW3:

  • FAMILY Equidae
    • GENUS Equus
      • SPECIES asinus – Ass
        • SUBSPECIES asinus
        • SUBSPECIES africanus
        • SUBSPECIES somalicus
      • SPECIES burchellii – Burchell's Zebra
        • SUBSPECIES burchellii
        • SUBSPECIES antiquorum
        • SUBSPECIES boehmi
        • SUBSPECIES crawshaii
        • SUBSPECIES kaokensis
        • SUBSPECIES zambeziensis
      • SPECIES caballus – Horse
        • SUBSPECIES caballus
        • SUBSPECIES ferus
        • SUBSPECIES przewalskii
      • SPECIES grevyi – Grévy's Zebra
      • SPECIES hemionus – Onager
        • SUBSPECIES hemionus
        • SUBSPECIES blanfordi
        • SUBSPECIES hemippus
        • SUBSPECIES khur
        • SUBSPECIES kulan
        • SUBSPECIES luteus
        • SUBSPECIES onager
      • SPECIES kiang – Kiang
        • SUBSPECIES kiang
        • SUBSPECIES holdereri
        • SUBSPECIES polyodon
      • SPECIES quagga – Quagga
      • SPECIES zebra – Mountain Zebra
        • SUBSPECIES zebra
        • SUBSPECIES hartmannae

Therefore, I would propose using the MSW3 taxonomy to become consistent with the remainder of the mammal articles on Wikipedia. Note, MSW3 was last revised in 2005, so any new research is not reflective in the above; if there is a deviation from the above, a reliable source should be quoted (and probably a consensus should be reached). Thoughts? Rgrds. --Tombstone (talk) 14:36, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Unlike many mammal families, this family has a very extensive fossil record, so for it I would not use MSW3. The MSW3 classification might be appropriate to use on Equus (genus). --Una Smith (talk) 15:48, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
I have to agree with Una Smith here. This article only covers down too Genus level, with the subgenera and species info having been moved to Equus (genus). This Family is composed of almost entirely extinct taxa and thus not even covered in MSW3. I think you will find that similar situations exist with the other Perissodactyla which are also largely composed of extinct taxa. --Kevmin (talk) 18:46, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
The article move and breakout may need to be reexamined in consultation with WP Mammals and WP:V. If there is a consensus out there on how these articles are handled, I'm for using it. I lack the expertise to know which sources on all this are considered the most modern and reliable, but whatever they are, that's what should be used. Just do it right, and if there is more than one "right" on this, then teach the controversy and explain both/all of the different approaches. Montanabw(talk) 21:46, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Ummm there is not controversy what Tombstone is referring to in his post is just the section that was moved to Equus verbatim from this article. MSW3 doesn't cover the upper levels of Equid taxonomy because it doesn't cover taxa that are not Recently extinct, thus it skips directly to the genus Equus. This doesn't in any way mean that these levels are in debate, it just mean they are not covered. --Kevmin (talk) 01:03, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Article a bit terse IMO[edit]

I came here looking for when the horse (in whatever variety) disappeared from the Western Hemisphere, presumably during a relatively recent ice age. But not here. Lots of arguments above, but no corresponding information in the article. Student7 (talk) 15:54, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

It's in the horse article, since its more relevant to that particular species than to the family as a whole. Anaxial (talk) 16:46, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

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Equus when[edit]

When did Equus evolve to be our modern horse, distinct from the other six extant species? The article says it was during the Pleistocene but that's a range of "about 2,588,000 to 11,700 years ago....". A range within a 10,000-30,000 years would be great. I read the articles on Equus and Evolution of the Horse last February and again today but I still can't figure this out. Thank you. Rissa, Guild of Copy Editors (talk) 04:20, 15 July 2015 (UTC)

That's all in evolution of the horse and/or equus (genus). This article is more on the stuff the other two articles don't cover.. Montanabw(talk) 05:37, 16 July 2015 (UTC)
Thank you. I've read those. That's why I ended up here, because I couldn't find anything there.
The people who have worked on these three articles have done a magnificent job, but there is a striking lack information about when things happened. Rissa, Guild of Copy Editors (talk) 04:42, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
Then you haven't read the articles very carefully; evolution doesn't work that fast. Montanabw(talk) 06:46, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
FWIW, Horse#Taxonomy_and_evolution says it pretty simply: "By about 5 million years ago, the modern Equus had evolved...By about 15,000 years ago, Equus ferus was a widespread holarctic species." Montanabw(talk) 06:51, 22 July 2015 (UTC)