Monday, March 28, 2016

Colors of the Icelandic Horse and the Development of the Modern Horse

The staff at Iceland Magazine, December 24, 1915, published a summary of research from Journal of Nature Genetics (which requires money to read the full article) in which the wide range of color of the Icelandic horse was used to investigate the development of prehistoric horses.  Over half of the 1800 horses used
Dun horse from Lascaux painted about 17,300
years ago--Wikipedia
were Icelandics.

Per the article, "Freyja Imsland, who participated in the research, tells the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service that the scientists believe the colouring of early horses was dominated by the dun-gene. A classic dun is a grey-gold or tan, with a body colour which is between sand yellow and reddish brown, a darker stripe down the back, a darker mane and tail and a darker face and legs. Other colour variations are believed to have emerged only after humans tamed horses.
Freyja argues their research shows early colouring of horses was probably more diverse than previously believed. 'And the Icelandic horse helped a lot, due to the great variation which we find in the colouring of the Icelandic horse.'"
Scientists hope that this research will also contribute to research on melanomas among humans.

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