Explore the fascinating evolutionary journey of the horse, from its tiny forest-dwelling ancestor called the Dawn Horse to the modern steed. Encounter scientists unlocking the genetic basis of horsepower and decoding their emotional intelligence.
- A horse can gallop twice the speed of humans.
- Horses have the biggest eyes of any animal on land and have almost 360° vision. Their only two blind spots are just behind and directly in front of them.
- When a horse runs, it must breathe out when its front legs hit the ground and can only breathe in when up in the air. The ability to run on very little oxygen is one of the main reasons horses are able to outrun their predators and race for long distances.
- A horse’s hooves create minimal friction and serve as shock absorbers, helping them run at an incredible pace.
- The series presents the first realistic animation of the 45 million-year-old ancestor of the horse, the Dawn horse. A fossil of the Dawn horse shows that it had toes instead of hooves, large canine teeth, and a flexible spine. Compared to horses today, it was tiny and did not gallop.
- In Mongolia’s Gobi Desert, a wild group of Przewalski stallions play-fight to help prepare for eventual encounters with predators. The Przewalski horse is extremely rare, but their numbers are returning thanks to conservation biologist Claudia Feh, who fought to bring them out of captivity and back to their native habitat.
- Horses are intensely social animals, evolved to live in herds and family groups. Animal psychologist Karen McComb creates a series of tests to uncover how horses use non-verbal signals to communicate with each other. Her team discovers that horses use 17 different facial expressions, not only to communicate their own feelings, but to understand human expressions as well. In a test, it’s revealed that horses can distinguish between friendly and hostile human expressions.