Monday, August 18, 2014

Before There Were Men

Indigenous modern horses died out in the New World at the end of the Pleistocene, about 12,000 years ago, and thus were absent until the Spanish brought domestic horses from Europe, beginning in 1493.

The evolution of the horse occurred over a period of 50 million years, transforming the small, dog-sized, forest-dwelling Eohippus ("dawn horse") into the modern horse. Paleozoologists have been able to piece together a more complete outline of the modern horse's evolutionary lineage than that of any other animal.

Horses share a common ancestry with tapirs and rhinoceroses. The perissodactyls (the group of animals that include horses) arose in the late Paleocene, less than 10 million years after the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event.

Before There Were Men
(The North American Plains)

I run with horses
across the plains with matched gait.

I nudge them, call them
forth with plaintive cry
for all that once was, before
we were to ripen
on the vine of time.

You were busy elsewhere then,
dreaming Asian dreams.

September 22, 2010 11:00 AM

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