DNA study finds that Przewalski’s horses had a tame ancestor
When it comes to wild claims, hold your horses.
Free-roaming Przewalski’s horses of Central Asia are often called the last of the wild horses, the only living equines never domesticated. But a new genetic analysis of ancient horse bones suggests that these horses have a tamed ancestor after all, making them feral rather than wild.
The findings also debunk the idea that these domesticated ancestors — known as Botai horses —gave rise to all other modern horses. That leaves the progenitors of today’s domesticated horses a mystery, researchers report online February 22 in Science.
The earliest known domesticated horses were those of the ancient Botai people in northern Kazakhstan (SN: 3/28/09, p. 15). Botai sites dating