Tuesday’s Trot – Yakutian

From page 256 in Horses of the World:

5 things to know about the Yakutian horse:

1. Very primitive, the Yakutian is recognized by its round, massive, compact physique, and its incredible winter coat, which is very long and dense, and which can reach 29 centimeters in length on top of a thick undercoat.

2. This very ancient Siberian breed probably descends from primitive ponies from the tundra and from Mongolian horses.

3. The Yakutian is known to be intelligent; it is also powerful and has great endurance.

4. Adapted to extreme climate conditions that no other breed could tolerate (long winters, temperatures reaching −70°C), there is no other horse in the world better adapted to the cold. But it also endures very hot summers.

5. Very hardy, it digs in the snow for food. It lives an exceptionally long time, which enables it to work and to reproduce late in life.

 

 

This is our final installment of Tuesday’s Trot. For more, check out the rest of the series here, or purchase Horses of the World. More information below:

Horses of the World
Élise Rousseau
Illustrated by Yann Le Bris
Translated by Teresa Lavender Fagan
Sample Entry

Horses of the World is a comprehensive, large-format overview of 570 breeds of domestic and extant wild horses, including hybrids between the two and between domestic breeds and other equids, such as zebras. This beautifully illustrated and detailed guide covers the origins of modern horses, anatomy and physiology, variation in breeds, and modern equestrian practices. The treatment of breeds is organized by country within broader geographical regions—from Eurasia through Australasia and to the Americas. Each account provides measurements (weight and height), distribution, origins and history, character and attributes, uses, and current status. Every breed is accompanied by superb color drawings—600 in total—and color photographs can be found throughout the book.

Describing and depicting every horse breed in existence, Horses of the World will be treasured by all who are interested in these gorgeous animals.

Tuesday’s Trot – Andalusian

From page 94 in Horses of the World:

5 things to know about the Andalusian horse:

1. The Andalusian has pronounced sexual dimorphism; mares are clearly more slender than males, especially in the neck.

2. Quite versatile, the Andalusian can excel in very high-level disciplines, and is a pleasant recreational horse.

3. It is known for its good nature, its courage, its calm, and its ability to learn and to adapt. Its gaits are wonderful, light, and high-stepping.

4. It is a founder of many breeds, notably in North and South America, after it was introduced by the conquistadors.

5. Andalusians are the result of crossbreeding first between native Iberian horses and Germanic horses in the fifth century following the invasion of the Vandals, then between Barb, Arabian, and Syrian horses imported by the Moors when they invaded Spain in 711.

Horses of the World
Élise Rousseau
Illustrated by Yann Le Bris
Translated by Teresa Lavender Fagan
Sample Entry

Horses of the World is a comprehensive, large-format overview of 570 breeds of domestic and extant wild horses, including hybrids between the two and between domestic breeds and other equids, such as zebras. This beautifully illustrated and detailed guide covers the origins of modern horses, anatomy and physiology, variation in breeds, and modern equestrian practices. The treatment of breeds is organized by country within broader geographical regions—from Eurasia through Australasia and to the Americas. Each account provides measurements (weight and height), distribution, origins and history, character and attributes, uses, and current status. Every breed is accompanied by superb color drawings—600 in total—and color photographs can be found throughout the book.

Describing and depicting every horse breed in existence, Horses of the World will be treasured by all who are interested in these gorgeous animals.

Tuesday’s Trot – Polish Koniks

From page 374 in Horses of the World:

5 things to know about the Polish Konik:

1. Its Polish name Konik polski means “small Polish horse.” Outside of Poland it is sometimes called a “Tarpan,” even though the breed is domesticated, whereas the Tarpan is a wild animal.

2. Polish Koniks are the direct issue of the Tarpan, whose look and unique coat they have inherited. Along with the Portuguese Sorraia, this horse has remained closest to its wild ancestor.

3. Koniks were once hunted as game. A large number of Koniks are still bred in conditions close to a wild environment.

4. The Konik is active, very intelligent, gentle and docile, but sometimes independent and assertive. It is very strong for its size, has good endurance, and is very rustic, hardy, resilient, and well adapted to a harsh climate. It is also very fertile and lives a long time.

5. Once used for farm work, it is also suited for riding and driving. Its gentleness makes it well suited to equitherapy.

Horses of the World
Élise Rousseau
Illustrated by Yann Le Bris
Translated by Teresa Lavender Fagan
Sample Entry

Horses of the World is a comprehensive, large-format overview of 570 breeds of domestic and extant wild horses, including hybrids between the two and between domestic breeds and other equids, such as zebras. This beautifully illustrated and detailed guide covers the origins of modern horses, anatomy and physiology, variation in breeds, and modern equestrian practices. The treatment of breeds is organized by country within broader geographical regions—from Eurasia through Australasia and to the Americas. Each account provides measurements (weight and height), distribution, origins and history, character and attributes, uses, and current status. Every breed is accompanied by superb color drawings—600 in total—and color photographs can be found throughout the book.

Describing and depicting every horse breed in existence, Horses of the World will be treasured by all who are interested in these gorgeous animals.

Bird Fact Friday – The spectacular Resplendent Quetzal

From page 270 in The New Neotropical Companion:

Male Resplendent Quetzal, in all its splendor. Photo by Gina Nichol.

Arguably the most spectacular member of the trogon family is the Central American Resplendent Quetzal, which is said to be the inspiration for the legendary phoenix. Guatemala’s monetary unit is the quetzal, and the bird’s image appears on all currency. Quetzals inhabit the cloud forests of Middle America, migrating to lower elevations seasonally. Most striking about the quetzal’s plumage is the brilliant green male’s elongated upper tail coverts, graceful plumes that stream down well below the actual tail, making the bird’s total length fully 61 cm (24 in). Females are a duller green and lack the elaborate tail plumes.

The New Neotropical Companion
John Kricher
Chapter One

The New Neotropical Companion is the completely revised and expanded edition of a book that has helped thousands of people to understand the complex ecology and natural history of the most species-rich area on Earth, the American tropics. Featuring stunning color photos throughout, it is a sweeping and cutting-edge account of tropical ecology that includes not only tropical rain forests but also other ecosystems such as cloud forests, rivers, savannas, and mountains. This is the only guide to the American tropics that is all-inclusive, encompassing the entire region’s ecology and the amazing relationships among species rather than focusing just on species identification.

The New Neotropical Companion is a book unlike any other. Here, you will learn how to recognize distinctive ecological patterns of rain forests and other habitats and to interpret how these remarkable ecosystems function—everything is explained in clear and engaging prose free of jargon. You will also be introduced to the region’s astonishing plant and animal life.

Bird Fact Friday – How do hummingbirds accomplish their remarkably controlled flight?

From page 277 in The New Neotropical Companion:

The Booted Racket-tail. Photo by Nancy Norman.

Hummingbirds accomplish their remarkably controlled flight both by a unique rotation of their wings through an angle of 180° and by having an extremely high metabolism. Hummingbird heart rates reach 1,260 beats per minute, and some species beat their wings approximately 80 times per second. Hummingbird metabolisms require that the birds must eat many times per day to adequately fuel their tiny bodies. Suddenly appearing at a flower, its long bill and tongue reaching deep within the blossom to sip nectar, a bird will briefly hover, move to a different flower, hover, and zoom off. The best way to see hummingbirds well is to observe at a flowering tree or shrub with the sun to your back so that the metallic, iridescent reds, greens, and blues will glow.

The New Neotropical Companion
John Kricher
Chapter One

The New Neotropical Companion is the completely revised and expanded edition of a book that has helped thousands of people to understand the complex ecology and natural history of the most species-rich area on Earth, the American tropics. Featuring stunning color photos throughout, it is a sweeping and cutting-edge account of tropical ecology that includes not only tropical rain forests but also other ecosystems such as cloud forests, rivers, savannas, and mountains. This is the only guide to the American tropics that is all-inclusive, encompassing the entire region’s ecology and the amazing relationships among species rather than focusing just on species identification.

The New Neotropical Companion is a book unlike any other. Here, you will learn how to recognize distinctive ecological patterns of rain forests and other habitats and to interpret how these remarkable ecosystems function—everything is explained in clear and engaging prose free of jargon. You will also be introduced to the region’s astonishing plant and animal life.

Tuesday’s Trot – Arabian

From page 374 in Horses of the World:

5 things to know about the Arabian horse:

1. This is one of the most ancient breeds in the world, existing probably for three thousand years and prized for its beauty and great sporting abilities.

2. It has had an extraordinary influence on a great number of horse breeds, and has been the most used “improver” in the world.

3. The Arabian is intelligent, sensitive, lively but docile, and bold. It is easily handled, can carry heavy loads, has exceptional endurance, and is fast. It is undemanding, and lives a long time.

4. An animal forged by the desert, it can withstand high temperatures.

5. This is the endurance horse par excellence, but it is versatile and suited to many equestrian disciplines, both for recreation and competition, as well as to light harness work. There are speed races especially conceived for the Arabian.

Horses of the World
Élise Rousseau
Illustrated by Yann Le Bris
Translated by Teresa Lavender Fagan
Sample Entry

Horses of the World is a comprehensive, large-format overview of 570 breeds of domestic and extant wild horses, including hybrids between the two and between domestic breeds and other equids, such as zebras. This beautifully illustrated and detailed guide covers the origins of modern horses, anatomy and physiology, variation in breeds, and modern equestrian practices. The treatment of breeds is organized by country within broader geographical regions—from Eurasia through Australasia and to the Americas. Each account provides measurements (weight and height), distribution, origins and history, character and attributes, uses, and current status. Every breed is accompanied by superb color drawings—600 in total—and color photographs can be found throughout the book.

Describing and depicting every horse breed in existence, Horses of the World will be treasured by all who are interested in these gorgeous animals.

Bird Fact Friday – Mashers and Gulpers

From page 163 in The New Neotropical Companion:

This Toco Toucan is plucking a fruit that it will then gulp down whole. Photo by John Kricher.

In dense interior rain forests where wind is attenuated, birds are essential for seed dispersal. There are two basic methods by which birds devour fruit. Some birds (mashers) mash up the fruit, dropping the seeds as they do, while others (gulpers) gulp the fruit whole, subsequently either regurgitating or defecating seeds. Mashers are mostly finches and tanagers, and gulpers are toucans, trogons, and manakins. Mashers appear more sensitive to taste than gulpers, showing a distinct preference for fruits rich in sugars. Gulpers swallow fruit whole and appear taste insensitive.

This Grayish Saltator is an obvious example of a masher. Photo by John Kricher.

The New Neotropical Companion
John Kricher
Chapter One

The New Neotropical Companion is the completely revised and expanded edition of a book that has helped thousands of people to understand the complex ecology and natural history of the most species-rich area on Earth, the American tropics. Featuring stunning color photos throughout, it is a sweeping and cutting-edge account of tropical ecology that includes not only tropical rain forests but also other ecosystems such as cloud forests, rivers, savannas, and mountains. This is the only guide to the American tropics that is all-inclusive, encompassing the entire region’s ecology and the amazing relationships among species rather than focusing just on species identification.

The New Neotropical Companion is a book unlike any other. Here, you will learn how to recognize distinctive ecological patterns of rain forests and other habitats and to interpret how these remarkable ecosystems function—everything is explained in clear and engaging prose free of jargon. You will also be introduced to the region’s astonishing plant and animal life.

Tuesday’s Trot – Shetland Pony

From page 34 in Horses of the World:

5 things to know about the Shetland Pony:

1. The Shetland Pony is one of the smallest breeds in the world, with such a particular look that it can’t be confused with any other breed. The winter coat is very thick and very long, giving it the look of a big stuffed animal.

2. Its origins are largely unknown, but it is extremely ancient, probably the direct descendant of primitive Celtic ponies.

3. Due to its isolation, it has not undergone crossbreeding. Its small size is the result of natural selection in a difficult environment, and of good adaptation to the cold and vegetation that offers little nutrition.

4. It has excellent endurance and is powerful for its size, capable of pulling and transporting heavy loads.

5. Of exceptional rusticity, this hardy pony has a tendency to get fat quickly, which is dangerous for its health.

Horses of the World
Élise Rousseau
Illustrated by Yann Le Bris
Translated by Teresa Lavender Fagan
Sample Entry

Horses of the World is a comprehensive, large-format overview of 570 breeds of domestic and extant wild horses, including hybrids between the two and between domestic breeds and other equids, such as zebras. This beautifully illustrated and detailed guide covers the origins of modern horses, anatomy and physiology, variation in breeds, and modern equestrian practices. The treatment of breeds is organized by country within broader geographical regions—from Eurasia through Australasia and to the Americas. Each account provides measurements (weight and height), distribution, origins and history, character and attributes, uses, and current status. Every breed is accompanied by superb color drawings—600 in total—and color photographs can be found throughout the book.

Describing and depicting every horse breed in existence, Horses of the World will be treasured by all who are interested in these gorgeous animals.

Bird Fact Friday – The dancing manakins

From page 166 in The New Neotropical Companion:

Photo by Jill Lapato.

The White-bearded Manakin’s name comes from its throat feathers, which are puffed outward during courtship, forming a kind of beard. Thirty or more males may occupy a lek, a single small area in the forest understory. Each male makes his own “court” by clearing an oval-shaped area of forest floor about 1 m (39 in) across. Each court must contain two or more thin vertical saplings, as these are crucial in the manakin’s courtship dance. The male begins courtship by repeatedly jumping back and forth between the two saplings, making a loud snap with each jump. In addition to the snap, the male’s short wing feathers make an insect-like buzzing when he flies, and thus active manakin leks can become a buzzing, snapping frenzy when a female visits. The intensity of the male’s jumping between saplings increases until he suddenly jumps from sapling to ground, and then appears to ricochet back to another sapling, from which he slides vertically downward, like a fireman on a pole.

 

The New Neotropical Companion
John Kricher
Chapter One

The New Neotropical Companion is the completely revised and expanded edition of a book that has helped thousands of people to understand the complex ecology and natural history of the most species-rich area on Earth, the American tropics. Featuring stunning color photos throughout, it is a sweeping and cutting-edge account of tropical ecology that includes not only tropical rain forests but also other ecosystems such as cloud forests, rivers, savannas, and mountains. This is the only guide to the American tropics that is all-inclusive, encompassing the entire region’s ecology and the amazing relationships among species rather than focusing just on species identification.

The New Neotropical Companion is a book unlike any other. Here, you will learn how to recognize distinctive ecological patterns of rain forests and other habitats and to interpret how these remarkable ecosystems function—everything is explained in clear and engaging prose free of jargon. You will also be introduced to the region’s astonishing plant and animal life.

Tuesday’s Trot – Misaki

From page 374 in Horses of the World:

5 things you should know about the Misaki:

1. The Misaki is recognized as a national natural treasure in Japan.

2. The Misaki is resilient and adapted to life in the open throughout the year in its natural environment.

3. This small horse left in the wild has become an extraordinary tourist attraction. Japanese tourists enthusiastically come all year long to take its picture, and, being used to the presence of people, it tolerates the admiring crowds.

4. In 2011 the breed suffered from equine infectious anemia and fell from 115 individuals in 2008 to 82 in 2012, but it climbed back to 91 in 2013.

5. The horses are encountering a few problems of overgrazing in the grassy zones and are tending to go into the forests to find food.

Horses of the World
Élise Rousseau
Illustrated by Yann Le Bris
Translated by Teresa Lavender Fagan
Sample Entry

Horses of the World is a comprehensive, large-format overview of 570 breeds of domestic and extant wild horses, including hybrids between the two and between domestic breeds and other equids, such as zebras. This beautifully illustrated and detailed guide covers the origins of modern horses, anatomy and physiology, variation in breeds, and modern equestrian practices. The treatment of breeds is organized by country within broader geographical regions—from Eurasia through Australasia and to the Americas. Each account provides measurements (weight and height), distribution, origins and history, character and attributes, uses, and current status. Every breed is accompanied by superb color drawings—600 in total—and color photographs can be found throughout the book.

Describing and depicting every horse breed in existence, Horses of the World will be treasured by all who are interested in these gorgeous animals.

Bird Fact Friday – Why does the Toucan have such a large, colorful bill?

From page 273 in The New Neotropical Companion:

Photo by James Adams

Perhaps more than any other kind of bird, toucans symbolize the American tropics. With a prominent boat-shaped, colorful bill almost equal in length to the body, the toucan silhouette is instantly recognizable. Toucans’ seemingly oversize bills are actually lightweight. Colorful patterns adorn most ramphastid bills; they may possibly be used for signaling in mate selection. Recent studies on the Toco Toucan have demonstrated that the birds are able to radiate excess heat from their long, vascularized bills. In a paper by Glenn Tattersall and colleagues, the researchers conclude that the toucan bill is “relative to its size, one of the largest thermal windows in the animal kingdom, rivaling elephants’ ears in its ability to radiate body heat.”

Toko Toucan. Photo by John Kricher

The New Neotropical Companion
John Kricher
Chapter One

The New Neotropical Companion is the completely revised and expanded edition of a book that has helped thousands of people to understand the complex ecology and natural history of the most species-rich area on Earth, the American tropics. Featuring stunning color photos throughout, it is a sweeping and cutting-edge account of tropical ecology that includes not only tropical rain forests but also other ecosystems such as cloud forests, rivers, savannas, and mountains. This is the only guide to the American tropics that is all-inclusive, encompassing the entire region’s ecology and the amazing relationships among species rather than focusing just on species identification.

The New Neotropical Companion is a book unlike any other. Here, you will learn how to recognize distinctive ecological patterns of rain forests and other habitats and to interpret how these remarkable ecosystems function—everything is explained in clear and engaging prose free of jargon. You will also be introduced to the region’s astonishing plant and animal life.

Tuesday’s Trot – Erlunchun

From page 346 in Horses of the World:

5 things to know about the Erlunchun—a horse capable of fighting wolves:

1. The Erlunchun is compact and strong; it has sloping, muscular shoulders; short, robust legs with close-set hocks; and wide, hard hooves. The winter coat and the mane and tail are very thick and long.

2. The Erlunchun is sensitive, has endurance, and is a good pack horse, very easygoing and capable of working hard, of adapting to life in the snow and to fighting predators (wolves, among others) thanks to a strong survival instinct.

3. The Erlunchun is very resistant to cold; living in North and Northeast China, it can withstand temperatures as low as −50°C and also drought.

4. The Erlunchun is primarily a saddle horse, and is known to be an excellent hunting horse, for which it was traditionally used.

5. The Erlunchun is endangered and urgently needs to be protected. The decline in its numbers is related to the lifestyle changes of the Oroqen people.

Horses of the World
Élise Rousseau
Illustrated by Yann Le Bris
Translated by Teresa Lavender Fagan
Sample Entry

Horses of the World is a comprehensive, large-format overview of 570 breeds of domestic and extant wild horses, including hybrids between the two and between domestic breeds and other equids, such as zebras. This beautifully illustrated and detailed guide covers the origins of modern horses, anatomy and physiology, variation in breeds, and modern equestrian practices. The treatment of breeds is organized by country within broader geographical regions—from Eurasia through Australasia and to the Americas. Each account provides measurements (weight and height), distribution, origins and history, character and attributes, uses, and current status. Every breed is accompanied by superb color drawings—600 in total—and color photographs can be found throughout the book.

Describing and depicting every horse breed in existence, Horses of the World will be treasured by all who are interested in these gorgeous animals.