2004 report from E. Gus Cothran, Ph.D., Director Animal Genetics Lab at Texas A & M
by Blake de Pastino, Nov 19,2013
The frozen remains of a horse more than half a million years old have reluctantly given up their genetic secrets, providing scientists with the oldest DNA ever sequenced.
The horse was discovered in 2003 in the ancient permafrost of Canada’s west-central Yukon Territory, not far from the Alaskan border.
The Przewalski’s Horse, which lives on the steppes of central Asia, likely deviated from the lineage leading to modern domesticated horses some 50,000 years ago. (Photo: Joe Ravi)
And although the animal was dated to between 560,000 and 780,000 years old, an international team of researchers was able to use a new combination of techniques to decipher its genetic code.
Among the team’s findings is that the genus Equus — which includes all horses, donkeys, and zebras — dates back more than 4 million years, twice as long ago as scientists had previously believed.
“When we started the project, everyone — including us, to be honest — thought it was impossible,” said Dr. Ludovic Orlando of the University of Copenhagen, who coordinated the research, in a statement to Western Digs.
Read the complete article here:
Cross-posted from Western Digs: http://westerndigs.org/700000-year-old-horse-found-in-yukon-permafrost-yields-oldest-dna-ever-decoded/
For immediate release:
More than 40 international protests today to stop the roundups and stop horse slaughter
OAKLAND, Ca. (April 27, 2013)–Protect Mustangs™, the Bay Area-based native wild horse conservation group, is holding protests today in Oakland and Rock Springs, Wyoming to save indigenous wild horses from roundups, abuse, slaughter and pass the SAFE Act. The Oakland rally is held outside the Rockridge BART station from 3:30 to 6 p.m. The Rock Springs rally is held at 70 Gateway Blvd at 2 p.m. The group wants all the wild horses in government funded holding to be returned to the range to help reduce wildfires. More than 40 international protests, spearheaded by Nevada’s Patty Bumgarner on Facebook, are being held to save the horses. Protect Mustangs™ requests Congress stop the cruelty, the slaughter and save taxpayer dollars–especially during the Sequester.
“We are united across the country to say no to slaughter, roundups and cruel overectomies in the field,” states Anne Novak, executive director of Protect Mustangs™. “We want our wild horses to be protected. Did you know America’s wild horses are indigenous? Are you aware that CalTrans found ancient horse fossils while digging the fourth bore of the Caldecott Tunnel?”
The horse, E. caballus, originated in America over a million years ago and returned with the Conquistadors if it ever went extinct in the first place. With history written by the Inquisition, one must read between the lines. It was heresy for Old World animals, such as the horse, to have originated in the heathen Americas.
Novak points out,”Recent DNA testing proves our iconic wild horses are the same species as E. caballus–the original horse.”
Esteemed scientists Kirkpatrick, J.F., and P.M. Fazio explained the following in Wild Horses as Native North American Wildlife (Revised January 2010). The Science and Conservation Center, ZooMontana, Billings:
‘The key element in describing an animal as a native species is (1) where it originated; and (2) whether or not it co‐evolved with its habitat. Clearly, E. 6 caballus did both, here in North American. There might be arguments about ‘breeds,’ but there are no scientific grounds for arguments about ‘species.’
The non‐native, feral, and exotic designations given by agencies are not merely reflections of their failure to understand modern science but also a reflection of their desire to preserve old ways of thinking to keep alive the conflict between a species (wild horses), with no economic value anymore (by law), and the economic value of commercial livestock.’
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) received $78 million last year to run the Wild Horse and Burro Program. Two-thirds of the expenses went towards caring for the equids in captivity. Despite the federal budget crisis, the program received a $2 million increase in funding for their 2014 fiscal budget–including $6 million for the helicopter contractor.
California’s Senator Feinstein chairs Energy and Water subcommittee as well as rules on Interior issues within the Committee on Appropriations. The Committee gives taxpayer dollars to fiscally irresponsible and cruel wild horse and burro roundups despite public outcry.
Roundups and removals are linked to mining and toxic fracking in the West. It appears native horses are being removed to fast track the extractive industry’s use of public land for private profit yet the public and the environment are hit with the costs.
Native wild horses will soon be zeroed out from Wyoming’s “checkerboard” public-private land–allegedly in preparation for the largest natural gas field in the country. The conservation group has requested a $50 million fund be created to mitigate environmental distress from fracking on the range.
“Tourists love to come to Wyoming to see our wild horses,” states Melissa Maser, outreach coordinator for Protect Mustangs™ in Wyoming and Texas. “We’d like to see native wild horses protected for future generations.”
Advocates are documenting wild horses being removed throughout the West as healthy and with fewer foals. The starving and overpopulation myths from BLM spin doctors are fabricated to sway Congress to fund roundups and removals.
“We’d like to find a win-win for wild horses in the West,” explains Novak. “Native horses will help reduce wildfires that cost insurance companies billions of dollars annually and contribute to global warming. We have requested the BLM put a freeze on roundups and return the 50,000 wild horses stockpiled in holding to public land. This will take the burden off the taxpayer and help to reduce wildfires.”
Protect Mustangs™ is devoted to protecting native wild horses. Their mission is to educate the public about the indigenous wild horse, protect and research American wild horses on the range and help those who have lost their freedom.
# # #
Anne Novak, 415.531.8454 Anne@Protect Mustangs.org
Kerry Becklund, 510.502.1913 Kerry@ProtectMustangs.org
Photos, video and interviews available upon request
Links of interest:
Gone viral~ The Associated Press, February 10, 2013: Wild-horse advocates split over interior nominee http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2020332496_apnvwildhorses1stldwritethru.html
US property exposed to wildfire valued at $136 billion says report: http://www.artemis.bm/blog/2012/09/17/u-s-property-exposed-to-wildfire-valued-at-136-billion-says-report/
KQED Horse fossil found in Caldecott Tunnel: http://science.kqed.org/quest/2011/05/26/new-fossils-from-the-caldecott-tunnel/
Gone viral~ The Associated Press, March 24, 2013: Budget axe nicks BLM wild-horse adoption center http://www.denverpost.com/colorado/ci_22862206
Horseback Magazine: Sequester prompts call for wild horses and burros to be returned to the wild http://horsebackmagazine.com/hb/archives/21568
Horseback Magazine, March 8, 2013: Protect Mustangs calls for fund for Wyoming wild horses http://horsebackmagazine.com/hb/archives/20979
Horseback Magazine: Group takes umbridge at use of the word “feral” http://horsebackmagazine.com/hb/archives/19392
Ruby pipeline and wild horse roundups? http://www.8newsnow.com/story/12769788/i-team-bp-connected-to-wild-horse-roundups
BLM’s 2014 Budget: http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/info/newsroom/2013/april/04_10_2013.html
Why are the wild horses being removed? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCWWgOugF2U
Wyoming Tourism’s video of wild horses: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0tRZkBXkbyY
Protect Mustangs™: www.ProtectMustangs.org
Protect Mustangs™ on Facebook
Protect Mustangs™ on Twitter
Protect Mustangs™ on YouTube
Protect Mustangs™ in the News
Information on native wild horses: http://protectmustangs.org/?page_id=562