Friday, 25 August 2017

Why modern horses have only one toe

By Giorgia GuglielmiAug. 22, 2017 , 7:01 PM

How horses—whose ancestors were dog-sized animals with three or four toes—ended up with a single hoof has long been a matter of debate among scientists. Now, a new study suggests that as horses became larger, one big toe provided more resistance to bone stress than many smaller toes. To trace the evolution of the horse toe, researchers first examined 13 fossilized horse leg bones, from those of the 50-million-year-old, dog-sized Hyracotherium (which had three toes on its hind feet and four on its forefeet) to those of modern horses. They measured features like bone length and area using 3D scanning, which revealed the bones’ resistance to stresses such as squeezing or bending.

No comments:

Post a comment

You only need to enter your comment once! Comments will appear once they have been moderated. This is so as to stop the would-be comedian who has been spamming the comments here with inane and often offensive remarks. You know who you are!

Related Posts with Thumbnails