8 Bizarre and Fun Facts About Horses

Why Horses Buck
Pam MacKenzie Photo

A horse is a horse, of course, right? The mammalian ancestor of today’s beautiful, majestic horses first appeared in the Eocene Epoch, or 55.8 million to 33.9 million years ago. Through the millennia of horse evolution and horses’ relationships with the world and humans, these strong, noble animals have developed unique mannerisms, personalities, and habits. Here are 8 fun and bizarre facts about horses.

1. Big Eyes

horses have big eyes

The big, beautiful eyes of horses are unique among land-dwelling mammals. Horses have the biggest eyes of any mammal living on land.

2. Horse Laughs

Horses have a special technique called “flehmen” for improving their sense of smell. If horses look like they are laughing, they are in fact engaging in this enhancement activity to better determine the nature of a scent.

3. Total Teeth

Male and female horses have different numbers of teeth. Male horses have 40 teeth, while females have 36.

4. Hooves and Nails

The protein that makes up horse hooves is the same as what makes up human fingernails and hair.

5. Sleep Habits

When horses are ready to rest, they can sleep either lying down or standing up. Just to make sure all is well, however, some horse owners buy coverage. Affordable horse insurance cost makes it possible to insure horses without breaking the bank.

6. Run Like the Wind

Generally, horses gallop around 27 miles per hour or 44 kilometers per hour. The fastest horse sprint recorded is 55 miles per hour or 88 kilometers per hour.

7. Great View

It is difficult to sneak something by a horse. Horses can see almost 360 degrees because their eyes are on the sides of their heads.

8. Loyal Look-Outs

Even if all the other horses in a group lie down, one horse always stays awake to quickly warn the others of possible threats.

Wonderful, Dignified, and Gracious

Horses have helped humans for millennia, even facing personal danger to carry soldiers onto battlefields. These horsey habits and many more show that horses are one-of-a-kind creatures. They are intelligent, complex, and magnificent, no matter what they are doing.

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