Genomes of modern horses reveal domestication secrets of ancient people

Mongolian horse standing with a traditional Yurt in the background, Arkangai District, Mongolia. (Credit: Bénédicte Lepretre / Science 2017, doi:10.1126/science.aam5298)
Children riding Mongolian horses after a storm, Egyin Gol valley, Mongolia. (Credit: Eric Crubézy / Science 2017, doi:10.1126/science.aam5298)

DNA from ancient horse fossils shows they were genetically diverse

Lab excavation of permafrost blocks sampled at Berel’ kurgan 11. (Credit: Sébastien Lepetz, CNRS / Science 2017, doi:10.1126/science.aam5298)
Figure 1A. Ancient horse sampling sites. Berel’ stallions are displayed as found on site. (Credit: Librado et al. / Science 2017, doi:10.1126/science.aam5298)
Excavated site of a royal Scythian horse tomb that was the source for two of the study’s horse genomes. (Credit: Michael Hochmuth, German Archaeological Institute, Berlin / Science 2017, doi:10.1126/science.aam5298)
Horse tomb excavated at the Alaas Ebé archaeological site, Churapchinsky District, Yakutia. (Credit: Eric Crubézy / Science 2017, doi:10.1126/science.aam5298)
A Mongolian horse breeder and several horses with different coat colors in Seer, Mongolia. (Credit: Ludovic Orlando, Natural History Museum of Denmark, CNRS / Science 2017, doi:10.1126/science.aam5298)
Woman milking a mare, north-central Kazakhstan. (Credit: Ludovic Orlando / Science 2017, doi:10.1126/science.aam5298)

Horses experienced a significant collapse in genetic diversity during the last 2,000 years

Timeline: domestication of the horse. (Credit: Science / AAAS)

The genomes of modern horses reveal the domestication secrets of ancient people

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𝐆𝐫𝐫𝐥𝐒𝐜𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐬𝐭, scientist & writer

𝐆𝐫𝐫𝐥𝐒𝐜𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐬𝐭, scientist & writer

PhD evolutionary ecology/ornithology. Psittacophile. scicomm Forbes, previously Guardian. always Ravenclaw. discarded scientist & writer, now an angry house elf