The domestication of the horse, believed to have first been accomplished by the Botai people of the Kazakh steppe around 3500 BC, changed human civilization dramatically. Horses made it possible to move much more quickly, connected previously far-flung places, and revolutionized war. Horse power was instrumental even to city life until the rise of the internal combustion engine in the early 20th century.
As horses changed us, so did we change them. A new analysis of the genomes of 16 ancient horses, found in tombs like the one shown above, has revealed the transformation brought about by the selective pressures imposed by human breeders.
Curated content from the editorial staff at Cosmos Magazine.
Read science facts, not fiction...
There’s never been a more important time to explain the facts, cherish evidence-based knowledge and to showcase the latest scientific, technological and engineering breakthroughs. Cosmos is published by The Royal Institution of Australia, a charity dedicated to connecting people with the world of science. Financial contributions, however big or small, help us provide access to trusted science information at a time when the world needs it most. Please support us by making a donation or purchasing a subscription today.