This week’s nature challenge was horses, and how they compare to another mostly-domesticated animal: dogs. Living in the country, the kids see horses all of the time (there aren’t any horses in our neighborhood, but we see them while driving. So of course, to get a picture for this week’s challenge, we pulled over on the side of the road and took a picture of some horses we saw while driving. LOL!)
Similarities between dogs and horses:
-Both are mammals
-Both have tails (although a difference is that dogs have bones in their tails and horses have hair for tails)
-Both can be domesticated or wild
-Both can vary in color and markings (one difference is that dogs have more of a variability in size and appearance though, due to breeding techniques.)
-Both are herd animals and can show psychological and physiological distress when isolated for long periods of time.
-Both can be used for recreational, sport, show, therapeutic, transportation, and career-based activities.
Differences between dogs and horses:
-Horses can weigh between 840-2200 lbs, and dogs weigh between 1-100ish lbs.
-Horses have 2 ‘toed’ hoof, dogs have paws. (However, both are for stabilization and locomotive purposes, verses other animals who can also pick up things with their feet/hands. Both also require all four on the ground to move efficiently instead of being able to walk on just two.)
-Horses graze, and many do not have canine teeth (stallions and geldings do have 4). Dogs generally eat meat-based foods and have teeth adapted for meat eating.
-Domesticated dogs are able to live indoors, and horses are not able to.
-Horses can sleep laying down or standing up, dogs typically sleep laying down. Horses sleep in short intervals and only need a couple minutes to a couple hours of sleep each day. Many dogs sleep several hours a day or more.
-Horses are prey animals, strong fight-or-flight instinct, and usually flee. Dogs are predatory animals.
And just for comparison’s sake…here are some pictures I took earlier this year during two of our trips to The Wilds, a nature conservation safari in central Ohio. These are other animals who, like horses, are part of the Equus genus in the Equidae family.