Wild Facts About The Horse

These magnificent animals are built for speed. Learn little know facts about the modern horse. Emma Segal

Watch the 3-part series Equus: The Story of the Horse on The Nature of Things.

Equus: The Story of the Horse Infographic: Horse hooves are made out of the same protein as human fingernails and hair. Modern horses evolved to have only one toe on each foot. Research has shown that this is more efficient for running. Horses have the largest eyes of any land animal. Horses can practically see in 360 because they have eyes on the side of their head. They have only two blind spots: directly in front and just behind. Horse have very sensitive lips and whiskers. These help compensate for their blind spot. Horses have 17 different facial expressions. Horses are social animals. They don’t like to be alone and will mourn the passing of a companion. There is only one species of domestic horse, but around 400 breeds that specialize in different things. Horses have 16 ear muscles used to rotate them 180 degrees. Horses gallop at about 44 kph.When a horse gallops, all four hooves are off the ground at one point. There are an estimated 60 million horses in the world. The horses closest relative is a rhinoceros.