How Horses Took Over North America (Twice)

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  • Published: 15 August 2018
  • The PBSDS Annual Audience Survey: to.pbs.org/2018YTSurvey

    The ancestors of modern horses became so successful that they spread all over the world, to Europe, Asia, South America, and Africa. But in their native range of North America, they’ll vanish for 10,000 years. Until another strange mammal brings them back.

    The illustration of Equus Simplicidens--also known as the Hagerman Horse--is by Roger Hall. You can check out more of Roger's work at InkArt.net

    Produced in collaboration with PBS Digital Studios: cepnet.mobi/user/pbsdigitalstudios

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    References:
    Fossil Horses by Bruce J. MacFadden
    ajsonline.org/content/s3-12/71/401.extract
    jstor.org/stable/4522989?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents
    chem.tufts.edu/science/evolution/horseevolution.htm
    floridamuseum.ufl.edu/fhc/firstCM.htm
    link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12052-012-0394-1
    nationalgeographic.com/adventure/features/environment/wild-horses-part-one/
    sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0305440313000241
    palass.org/publications/palaeontology-journal/archive/39/3/article_pp663-680
    nature.com/articles/nature02098
    nature.com/articles/nature04604
    digitallibrary.amnh.org/bitstream/handle/2246/1476//v2/dspace/ingest/pdfSource/bul/B022a22.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y
    projects.iq.harvard.edu/spierce/news/going-monodactyl
    geolsoc.org.uk/Geoscientist/Archive/June-2014/The-Arctic-Azolla-event
    facstaff.uwa.edu/jmccall/Evolution%20of%20the%20Horse.htm
  • Science and Technology Science and Technology

Comments • 1 447

  • Squishy
    Squishy  7 hours back

    I have a book that shows and explains the entire evolution of a horse. To watch a video explaining how they took over north america is very nice. Thank you
    Without horses, we would have lost a war. Can't remember which war, but without using horses it would have been lost and some things would be very different today.

    • Brandon Flores
      Brandon Flores  1 days back

      Kinda looks like you

      • Royle Hun
        Royle Hun  2 days back

        Dammit even horses are Immigrated to noryh America

        • kamion53
          kamion53  3 days back

          Why are ancient horses like Equus simplicidens always depicted with zebra stripes ( mosttime partly)? Is stripes an ancient feature present but domant in all members of the genus Equus or is it a feature that appeared on zebra's only that lived in a tse-tse infested area? One theory states that zebra striping is closely linked to the presence of tse-tse flies against the diseases they carry in frica origanted herbivore are immune, but the later invading equines were not.

          • LaughingSeraphim
            LaughingSeraphim  4 days back

            Why five bones in mammal hands and feet?

            • Richard Jones
              Richard Jones  1 weeks back

              Imma get a Rhino and ride.

              • TheCortymast
                TheCortymast  1 weeks back

                The Eohippus is half a meter tall and its descendants grow 30 times their size? If you do the math that would make horses 15 meters tall. Interesting Image

                • BroliYTwins
                  BroliYTwins  1 weeks back

                  Mankind history would have been so much different without this precise species now I need a what if on that.

                  • Garry Mcneece
                    Garry Mcneece  2 weeks back

                    the mongollian horse is a wild and never domesticated.

                    • Le Butch
                      Le Butch  2 weeks back

                      It sure be nice to see more fossils alongside the illustrations

                      • barbarynpk 2
                        barbarynpk 2  2 weeks back

                        Damn rip the little esophagus horsey

                        • jack thunderbolt
                          jack thunderbolt  2 weeks back

                          if you havent already, how about a more in depth look of domestication of horses? (maybe a quick talk about friesians just because i cant get over them)

                          • therium Sino
                            therium Sino  2 weeks back

                            They forgot to talk about hipparion

                            • Karin Stebbins
                              Karin Stebbins  2 weeks back

                              Love your videos

                              • Alexis Flores
                                Alexis Flores  2 weeks back

                                I love you horses 🥰

                                • Russell Westbrook Fan since 2010

                                  999,868 views

                                  • Lor Bmoreflow
                                    Lor Bmoreflow  2 weeks back

                                    Theres wild horses near the shore in maryland but we were always told there invasive and Europeans brought em and it changed the natives lives forever. One thing positve eastern world brought my ancestors

                                    • Michael Colapietro
                                      Michael Colapietro  2 weeks back

                                      nature is very smart if you dont want to go extinct attach yourself to humans. Just like horses, dogs, cats, rates and flies.

                                      • most feared conflict
                                        most feared conflict  3 weeks back

                                        What beats a pack of predators nothing you can only go fast in another direction

                                      • king kyrie
                                        king kyrie  3 weeks back

                                        Now do how emus took over Australia

                                      • Nike Z7000
                                        Nike Z7000  3 weeks back

                                        I wouldn't consider a sub species the actual species, just like I would consider home erectus human

                                        • MANGESHKUMAR
                                          MANGESHKUMAR  3 weeks back

                                          kindly make a video on evolution of horse on earth including unicorn and mangolian horses.great video.

                                          • Phil B
                                            Phil B  3 weeks back

                                            Wait...how could there be global warming millions of years ago? There weren't any humans around to cause it. Maybe early mammals were driving cars and we haven't discovered them yet.

                                            • MegaJf16
                                              MegaJf16  2 weeks back

                                              you're trolling right?

                                          • Andrew Blucher
                                            Andrew Blucher  4 weeks back

                                            "One of the most numerous mammals"?
                                            That would be after mice, rats, cattle, sheep, humans, ...

                                            • John P
                                              John P  4 weeks back

                                              dude looks like he belongs on the walking dead

                                              • awakened_link
                                                awakened_link  4 weeks back

                                                I like this guy, he's attractive.

                                                • Bort Flong
                                                  Bort Flong  4 weeks back

                                                  I'mma let you finish but horses are the most wide-spread mammals of all time

                                                  • Praxy Yeah
                                                    Praxy Yeah  1 months back

                                                    I wonder how we as a species would evolve into. If we ever survive that long. Given enough time.....I wonder.

                                                    • Mike Davis
                                                      Mike Davis  1 months back

                                                      This sounds like a fictious story

                                                      • Juvenal Dominguez
                                                        Juvenal Dominguez  1 months back

                                                        Yes more videos like this love it.

                                                        • Kill Bill
                                                          Kill Bill  1 months back

                                                          So the horse didn’t land on America 😂🤦🏾‍♂️ we landed on the horse 🐎😂

                                                          • Purple Fire 28
                                                            Purple Fire 28  1 months back

                                                            These extinct versions of horses sond so cute... If resurrection biology actually becomes a thing, i want one as a pet.

                                                            • Cal Sheridan
                                                              Cal Sheridan  1 months back

                                                              "These creatures were here before us... and if we're not careful, they'll be here after us."

                                                              • mullet smith
                                                                mullet smith  1 months back

                                                                No mention of the pleistocene meteor impact on the north american ice sheet with deposits like the kt boundry with iridium and large amounts of burnt carbon. Which could be a possible reason for the missoula flood as well as alot more just checkout the Younger Dryas impact hypothesis.

                                                                • Paige Frederick
                                                                  Paige Frederick  1 months back

                                                                  Imagine a horse with pointy teeth just launching itself at you

                                                                  • V A
                                                                    V A  1 months back

                                                                    Ok ive seen how dog becsme dogs, the one on camels, this horse one. What about cats big small, where were their beginnings?

                                                                    • Na h-eich Doré
                                                                      Na h-eich Doré  1 months back

                                                                      Here's an interesting and weird fact about horses: Because of the way the esophagus is attached to the stomach, horses are unable to throw-up.

                                                                      • Evan n
                                                                        Evan n  1 months back

                                                                        How store brand horses became as good as real horses

                                                                        • Coleman Outdoors
                                                                          Coleman Outdoors  1 months back

                                                                          All this talk of climate change!!! HOW DARE YOU!

                                                                          • Dwayne
                                                                            Dwayne  2 months back

                                                                            Thanks so much for this awesome video! #horsesrule

                                                                            • Peter S
                                                                              Peter S  2 months back

                                                                              So there were no horses in North America for several thousand years, whereas Joseph Smith told his Mormon followers that civilizations in North America truly had horses during that time? Awkward...

                                                                              • Felix Philippe
                                                                                Felix Philippe  3 weeks back

                                                                                there are a lot of awkward things about mormonism, surprisingly.

                                                                            • Lars Blomdahl
                                                                              Lars Blomdahl  2 months back

                                                                              The horses in america met a predator Homo sapiens whitch they were not adapted to the horses who migrated over beringia to Asia met an predator Homo sapiens who had never met horses as prey ande they used to hunt .

                                                                              • Hambone3773
                                                                                Hambone3773  2 months back

                                                                                So Europeans gave Native Americans their horses.

                                                                              • George
                                                                                George  2 months back

                                                                                No it wasn't humans or climate change per say. The sudden melting to the
                                                                                North American Ice sheet 12,800 yr.ago (-+) . Possible comet . The Carolina Bays are one source
                                                                                of evidence plus the landscape in the plains where you can see severe flooding
                                                                                damage . All this caused an extinction event and the source
                                                                                of The Great Flood that raised the oceans 300 feet. Look up Randal Carlson , geologist .

                                                                                • SuperHigear
                                                                                  SuperHigear  2 months back

                                                                                  I enjoy these videos and the knowledge I acquire, but PLEASE ask the speaker talk a little slower. It would make the information put forth a heck of a lot easier to understand.

                                                                                  • tom tamkins
                                                                                    tom tamkins  2 months back

                                                                                    ya ya...wild horses are rounded up and sent to China to be slaughter d....humans are cruel

                                                                                    • Kenneth Terrell
                                                                                      Kenneth Terrell  2 months back

                                                                                      Maybe small, half a meter tall.

                                                                                      • Scenic Hwys
                                                                                        Scenic Hwys  2 months back

                                                                                        I think you better get your information correct before making videos.