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Genomics and the Evolutionary History of Equids

Authors
  • Librado, Pablo
  • Orlando, Ludovic
Type
Published Article
Journal
Annual Review of Animal Biosciences
Publisher
Annual Reviews
Publication Date
Feb 15, 2021
Volume
9
Pages
81–101
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1146/annurev-animal-061220-023118
Source
Annual Reviews
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

The equid family contains only one single extant genus, Equus, including seven living species grouped into horses on the one hand and zebras and asses on the other. In contrast, the equine fossil record shows that an extraordinarily richer diversity existed in the past and provides multiple examples of a highly dynamic evolution punctuated by several waves of explosive radiations and extinctions, cross-continental migrations, and local adaptations. In recent years, genomic technologies have provided new analytical solutions that have enhanced our understanding of equine evolution, including the species radiation within Equus; the extinction dynamics of several lineages; and the domestication history of two individual species, the horse and the donkey. Here, we provide an overview of these recent developments and suggest areas for further research.

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