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New discovery: fossilised giant zebra tracks found in South Africa

Still Waters

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Tens of thousands of years ago, a huge horse species walked, trotted and galloped across the shifting sands of what is today South Africa's Cape south coast.

The Giant Cape Zebra (Equus capensis) weighed an estimated 450 kg. Its extant relatives in southern Africa are far smaller: the plains zebra weighs between 250 and 300 kg and the Cape mountain zebra is the smallest of all zebra species, with a mass of between 230 and 260 kg.

The Giant Cape Zebra became extinct just over 10,000 years ago. This may have been partly because of the loss of its preferred habitat of extensive grasslands, as rising sea levels flooded the vast Palaeo-Agulhas Plain. But until now it hasn't been clear how common the species was on the Cape south coast because its body fossils are predominantly from southern Africa's west coast.



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Usually the giant species of horses were forest dwellers, like the ones that once inhabited Florida during the Eocene and the larger domestic breeds used for working. 

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4 hours ago, Piney said:

and the larger domestic breeds used for working. 

These were bred that way.

They were bred to carry/pull tree trunks. They did not evolve that way from living in forests.

And these large domestic horses were once originally bred to carry knights with all their heavy armor.

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