Why horses have one hoof

NZ Lifestyle Block - - Notebook - www.sci­encemag.org/news/2017/08/ why-mod­ern-horses-have-only-one-toe

A horses’ hoof is es­sen­tially a sin­gle, gi­ant in­flex­i­ble toe, quite dif­fer­ent to their an­ces­tors which were dog-sized crea­tures with three toes.

This comes from new re­search, show­ing how the horse adapted to liv­ing in grass­lands and be­came the an­i­mal we know to­day.

The sin­gle hoof used to be a mid­dle toe of three, which ex­panded and be­came rigid while the side toes dwin­dled to noth­ing. The re­searchers used 3D imag­ing of fos­silised horse legs to show how the mid­dle toe be­came stronger to cope with big­ger body sizes.

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