Weird horse anatomy stuff – miscellaneous edition!
Why are horses so weird? Once again, the amazing horse continues to amaze us. Here are some generally interesting facts about weird horse anatomy things which you may or may not choose to wow your friends with.
- You may have noticed that stallions are usually mega shiny – and this is due to the hormones that stallions have. Specifically, androgens, which influence a greater production of sebum – the natural oil on a horse’s coat.
The horse’s eye sees a lot of green salad.
- Horses are not color blind – but they definitely see some colors better than others. Purple and violet colors are hardly seen, but yellows and green are easily discernible. Makes sense that horses can see the color of pasture salad very well.
- Stallions and geldings have 40-44 teeth, whereas mares have 36 to 40 teeth. Also, only about 25% of mares have canine teeth, the tusk-like teeth that sit alone between the incisors (front teeth) and the molars (along the jaw). There’s a big bad wolf joke in there somewhere. Canine teeth appear later in life and can be anywhere from 2-4 in number, which accounts for the range of teeth present.
Mare for sure!
- The same substance, keratin, makes up human hair, human nails, and horse hooves. Pretty spiffy. The keratin in horse hooves gives structure and takes roughly nine months to grow from the coronary band to the edge of the hoof. Alpha keratins make up hair, wool, horns, nails, and claw. Beta keratins are a bit harder and build scales, shells, feathers, beaks, and quills.
- The only living wild horses in the world are the Przewalski horses. Mustangs are actually feral. Feral dogs, cats, and horses are animals that are descended from domesticated animals but live as wild animals. ALTHOUGH….there’s some new research on this topic that suggests all wild horses are extinct and the Przewalski horse is actually feral.
- Horses don’t have collarbones. In creatures that do have collarbones, the collarbone serves to literally connect the arm to the body. The horse’s front legs are “attached” to the spinal column with soft tissues – muscles, tendons, ligaments. This increases the range of motion for a horse!