Talk:Equus (genus)

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"Latin equus, "horse",[1] cognate with Greek "ἴκκος"[edit]

I've tentatively changed this to say it is cognate with ἵππος, as this is the more usual version (used in all dialects except Ionic) and added a ref for the LSJ entry for ἵππος, while retaining the ref for ἵκκος in the appropriate place, although that ref's utility is limited as the LSJ merely defines it as "=ἵππος". Additionally, I've retained the previous version by noting it as the Ionic variant. I imagine the Ionic variant was used here to make the relation to Latin equus more clear, although, as far as I am aware, this is not the usual practice on Wikipedia or elsewhere. I have also added a ref noting that ἴκκος is the Ionic variant of ἵππος.

One more thing, I changed it to say that the Mycenaean form is the earliest attested, since the ancestor word of equus and i-qo is, of course, in unattested PIE.

If this is disagreeable to anyone, feel free to revert it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:13, 11 March 2012 (UTC)

I agree; it is standard to also include PIE.zzz (talk) 12:14, 26 September 2014 (UTC)

Mongolian Wild Ass[edit]

Why are the Mongolian Wild Ass and the Dzeggetai listed as separate subspecies? Links from both refer to the same page where the subspieces name of each is said to be synonymous. It seems to me that that means that they are not separate subspecies. Caeruleancentaur (talk) 19:48, 30 July 2010 (UTC)

I don't know. Check with User:KimvdLinde she's the resident taxonomist. Montanabw(talk) 20:33, 30 July 2010 (UTC)

Hind gut digestion of cellulose?[edit]

As a point of clarification--well, I am not 100% sure of the information and have no documented source, but I recall reading from numerous sources that horses and other equines have no ability to digest cellulose in the hind-gut, and the "heavy lifting," biochemically speaking, is done by bacterial fermentation of cellulose in the hind-gut, the bacteria in question having a symbiotic relationship with their hosts and producing useful amounts of protein as byproducts. Is this an appropriate detail to add, assuming it can be verified, or would it be excessively pedantic? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:30, 16 February 2012 (UTC)


I separated into a subsection the seven living species of Equus. I came to this article to look for that information, and found it difficult and tedious to extract it from the extinct species and the subspecies in the complete table. I left in the subgenus labels as that gives an idea of how the seven species are grouped, and I do not think it impedes legibility. Nick Beeson (talk) 21:42, 6 December 2012 (UTC)

I think there are multiple articles on the genus and a need for some general cleanup... Montanabw(talk) 01:30, 8 December 2012 (UTC)

is the Temporal Range still right?[edit]

Evolution_of_the_horse#Genome_sequencing now suggests that the last common ancestor of modern horses, donkeys, and zebras existed 4 to 4.5 million years ago. So I think that means this article needs updating in that regard. EdwardLane (talk) 07:00, 29 June 2013 (UTC)

True, the Hagerman Horse which is listed in the article as one of the oldest known members of the genus originated around that time as well, mid-Pliocene, which seems well attested. Somebody's been using outdated info in the infobox, or mistaking "range of the genus" as meaning "time range of modern-type horses". (talk) 18:34, 3 April 2015 (UTC)


Perhaps this is a horse literature convention, but anyway: usually when the ending "ine" is used, it denotes a sort of common version of the subfamily name. "Equinae" in this case. But if so, the use here is wrong, equine would not refer to Equus, but to a higher taxon which includes other (extinct) genera. Of course members of Equus are equines as well, but in this article, it is used exclusively for members of one particular genus. Similarly, we wouldn't refer to cats as "felines" throughout the Felis article, since this also refers to other members of the subfamily. FunkMonk (talk) 23:53, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

It IS a "horse literature convention" as most people aren't that well-versed in scientific terminology (just like everyone confuses theory and hypothesis!) In practical terms, people say "equine" as an easy way to say "horse, pony, donkey, or mule and maybe zebra! It's even embedded in the law: [1], [2] (I've always felt that the language that it is unlawful to allow a "jackass" to run on the oopen range to be open to an amusing double meaning! LOL!) Montanabw(talk) 22:55, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

Composite pic[edit]

Hey gang, I like the new composite image but you have two zebras and not one single domestic horse? c'mon! e.ferus caballus is feeling left out! Montanabw(talk) 23:24, 10 August 2014 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Equus (genus)/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: FunkMonk (talk · contribs) 18:13, 13 August 2014 (UTC)

  • Hi there, I think I have sufficient experience with horses now to review this one... FunkMonk (talk) 18:13, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
  • "Horses only returned to the Americas with the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1493." Needs a source.
Done. LittleJerry (talk) 23:03, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
  • End of first paragraph under ecology needs a source.
This is well known fact. LittleJerry (talk) 23:03, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
Well, as far as I know, any statement needs a source on Wikipedia, however obvious it may seem. FunkMonk (talk) 23:20, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
Done. LittleJerry (talk) 03:09, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
  • "The term equine refers to any member of this genus, including horses." That is the common language definition that only refers to extant species, but technically, it also refers to everything within the equinae. Like how canine commonly refers to dogs, but actually refers to all of caninae.
Fixed. LittleJerry (talk) 23:03, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
  • There are a couple of words linked twice in the lead.
Fixed. LittleJerry (talk) 23:03, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
  • "Equus ferus ferus Tarpan (historically extinct)" What does "historically extinct" mean? A date would be better.
Fixed. LittleJerry (talk) 23:03, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Likewise, there is quite some inconsistency in that taxon list, some places distribution info is mentioned, some have alternate names, some have scientific authority etc. Should be consistent. FunkMonk (talk) 23:20, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
Fixed. LittleJerry (talk) 03:09, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Side comment: I've been in the background on this article because I am neither a taxonomist nor a palentologist. But I may pop in here a wee bit with a couple comments that Little Jerry or Funk Monk may want to factor in. A few for now:
  1. An earlier version of the article contained the alternative names for several subspecies, they got deleted (I think by an anon IP) and I think this article would be stronger if they were restored.
    See FunkMonk's last task above. LittleJerry (talk) 14:01, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
  2. The Pzrewalski horse in the composite lead photo is mislabled as e. ferus when actually ALL horses (at least all extant ones are e. ferus ________ i.e. Equus ferus caballus, Equus ferus Pzrewalski and so on. The Tarpan is e. ferus ferus. This was a huge editing discussion when we took horse to GA and we had one of the taxonomy experts (sadly, now retired) review all this.
  3. I whined a little bit about this at article talk, but the very cool composite photo leading this article also has three different zebra photos but not a single one of a domestic horse. The Przewalski is NOT the wild ancestor of the modern domestic horse. Montanabw(talk) 07:28, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
    Well I originally labelled it the wild horse of which the Pzrewalski and domestic horse are both subspecies. The Pzrewalski photo represented the species. I can't represent every subspecies in the montage. LittleJerry (talk) 14:15, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
Changed montage. LittleJerry (talk) 18:00, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
You're of course always welcome to chime in, Montana. FunkMonk (talk) 18:04, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Now some of the common names are capitalised, should be consistent.
Fixed. LittleJerry (talk) 19:05, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
  • I'm happier now. I only am at the evolution section where I clarified some stuff that FunkMonk may want to review, as I added some sources. I also added a bit on the digestion stuff, as I was the creator of the utterly fascinating article hindgut fermentation (lol). Hope it helped, but I won't be deeply wounded if something gets tossed. I'm not considering myself a reviewer here as I contributed to this article from time to time, only a second eye for both reviewer and lead editor. Montanabw(talk) 21:26, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
  • "The word comes from Latin equus, "horse"," The word is Equus (it doesn't "come from" it), so it would probably make more sense to write "The word Equus is the Latin word for "horse"."
Fixed. LittleJerry (talk) 20:23, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
  • "It is the only recognized extant genus in the family Equidae." The article seems incomplete without some mention of the various subgenera that the extant genera are placed in.
Done. LittleJerry (talk) 20:44, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
  • You mention three stages of equid evolution, maybe mention some exemplary genera in parenthesis?
Done. LittleJerry (talk) 23:20, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
  • "traditionally referred to as Hippidion, originally believed to be descended from Pliohippus, was shown to be a third species in the genus Equus" That is an over interpretation, the paper simply states the status of Hippidion is unresolved and needs further evaluation.
Fixed. LittleJerry (talk) 20:23, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
Maybe better to remove the part about Hippidion entirely, doesn't add much,and I'm sure there are other similar cases that have been arbitrarily left out. FunkMonk (talk) 19:32, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
Done. LittleJerry (talk) 20:44, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
  • It seems a bit odd that there is no list of fossil species as well. I know that would be a long list, but being a genus article, not a higher level with much more content, I think it would be appropriate.
It was there, but I figured it would be a problem since most species were red and uncited. Plus it gave the article a dry look. LittleJerry (talk) 23:14, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
I must say I don't like to see important information like that go, maybe you can include it, hidden in the taxobox, see for example what I did here to prevent a huge list: Paraceratherium FunkMonk (talk) 19:32, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
Done. LittleJerry (talk) 20:44, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
  • "Equines may be medium to large in size" This means little without some numbers. You could give the height of the smallest and largest species, for example.
Fixed. LittleJerry (talk) 00:49, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
  • "As odd-toed ungulates, their slender legs support their weight on one digit" Supporting weight on one toe is what makes them unique within odd toed ungulates, this sentence makes it seem as if it is a trait for odd toed ungulates in general.
Fixed. LittleJerry (talk) 20:23, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
  • "The other species tend to occupy more arid environments with more scattered vegetation." What other species? Zebras? Horse?
Fixed. LittleJerry (talk) 20:23, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
  • "They regularly rub against trees, rocks and other objects and roll in around in dust." Why?
Fixed. LittleJerry (talk) 20:23, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
  • "Ecology and activates" What is meant? Activities?
Fixed. LittleJerry (talk) 20:23, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Some places you write "mountains zebras", other places "mountain zebras", should be consistent.
Fixed. LittleJerry (talk) 23:19, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
  • A picture of juveniles or mating would make more sense under Reproduction and parenting.
Fixed. LittleJerry (talk) 20:23, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
  • "and the stallion will attack predators that come too close." How?
Fixed. LittleJerry (talk) 22:14, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
  • "Evans Horse Breeding and Management p.56" What is this publication?
Fixed. LittleJerry (talk) 22:14, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
  • "Two subspecies, the quagga and the tarpan, became extinct in recent history." This would make more sense after the first couple of sentences in the paragraph, and does need a source, though it seems obvious.
Done. LittleJerry (talk) 22:14, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
  • "Thus, it is debated if the tarpan is identical to the original wild ancestor or an independent subspecies that may have interbred at times with some caballus populations during the domestication process." Needs a source.
Removed. LittleJerry (talk) 22:14, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
  • OK, I have been called to swing by and help, though I notice that there have been extensive changes since I last popped by. So, right now, what's left? By the way, some material can probably find sources at horse (already a GA) and horse behavior. FWIW, my expertise is confined to the caballene subspecies and, to a lesser extent, domestic donkeys. I don't know didlly-squat about zebras, so you guys are on your own there. Montanabw(talk) 01:32, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Could you please add in information on the conservation/management issues of feral horses in the conservation subsection? LittleJerry (talk) 10:56, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
  • "This article deals primarily with the seven extant species." I've never seen a "disclaimer" like this in nay other promoted article, is it really necessary? FunkMonk (talk) 23:16, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Changed. LittleJerry (talk) 23:24, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
  • I don't have much more to add, the lead seems a bit short, but I guess it's ok. But I'll wait and see if Montana has more to add after next reading. FunkMonk (talk) 18:03, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Something's wrong with ref 56. FunkMonk (talk) 00:45, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
    • Bracket typo. Fixed it. Not sure what to do about the lead, LittleJerry probably should do some expansion out to about three paras given the article length, I can help copyedit some. Montanabw(talk) 04:40, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
What do you suggest? I won't have much time for wiki soon, so I'd rather give this done with soon. LittleJerry (talk) 15:33, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
If Funk Monk is OK with it as is, I'm not going to raise a stink either, I'm not particularly motivated about it. But if it were "my" article, I'd expand it out to about three paragraphs, or at least make the two there a bit more comprehensive as summaries, for example add a sentence or so on evolution, clarify the "medium or large" size thing now that we did so in the body text, add a touch on hybrids and maybe a few words on feral animals, and a bit more on the biology section (a touch from sections 3.3, 3.4, & 3.5). When I do a GA review, I usually like to see each topic in the TOC at least lightly touched upon in the lead unless the article is totally huge... Montanabw(talk) 05:18, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
Sounds good to me, the intro is supposed to be a summary of the entire article after all. Any suggestions for the article body? FunkMonk (talk) 07:24, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
I added some more sentences to make the lede more reflective of the body. LittleJerry (talk) 14:38, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Alright. I will pass this. But if there are more remarks, just place them under here. FunkMonk (talk) 15:10, 21 August 2014 (UTC)


Think it should be "caballoids"... AnonMoos (talk) 04:38, 26 September 2014 (UTC)

Yup. FunkMonk (talk) 12:18, 26 September 2014 (UTC)

"Human relations"[edit]

This section states "The earliest archaeological evidence for the domestication of the horse comes from sites in Ukraine and Kazakhstan, dating to approximately 3500–4000 BC" and yet the cave-painting of a man riding a horse is dated "8th millennium BC". I have tagged it for self-contradiction. zzz (talk) 12:00, 26 September 2014 (UTC)

I'll double-check the cave painting material, possibly a typo. Montanabw(talk) 02:22, 27 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. Out of 605 identifiable cave-paintings of animals at Lascaux (17,000 years old), 364 were of equines. Intriguingly. zzz (talk) 09:05, 28 September 2014 (UTC)
Horses have fascinated humans through time, indeed. HIghly likely that someone tried riding horses long before the "official" date of domestication, Self-nomination for a Darwin award or the famous "hey Bubba, hold my beer and watch this" probably has existed from whenever we first figured out fire and the spear. We just can't prove it! Montanabw(talk) 19:42, 28 September 2014 (UTC)


>Molecular evidence supports the division of Equus species into stenoids ...."

What does "stenoid" mean? There isn't any information here at Wikipedia about it. Goggle thinks it has something to do with either poker rankings or lumbar spinal stenoid. I think it probably has more to do with the latter than the former but maybe it means something else entirely. Could someone please substitute a different word for "stenoid" to make it easier for our readers to understand what is being described here? Rissa, Guild of Copy Editors (talk) 04:04, 15 July 2015 (UTC)

I'll take a look at it. Looks like some corrections are needed. Thanks. Montanabw(talk) 05:48, 16 July 2015 (UTC)

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Equus ovodovi[edit]

The cladogram features E. ovodovi, but this (extinct) species is missing from the section All species and subspecies. I'd add it if I knew where, but I don't see where it fits in, taxonomically.  --Lambiam 16:38, 26 January 2016 (UTC)

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