"Nature" Explores the Story of the Horse
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Nature: Equus – Story of the Horse, a new two-part special from Nature that profiles the history of the horse and explores the relationship between horses and humans, premieres Wednesdays, January 16 and January 23, at 8pm on ThinkTV16 and CET.
The relationship between man and his noble steed is almost as old as civilization itself. Ever since the mysterious beginning of our extraordinary partnership, horses helped shape the human world. At the speed of a horse, our ancestors conquered distances and built empires. Together, humans and horses flourished side by side. But what makes us so perfect for each other?
Join anthropologist Dr. Niobe Thompson and equine experts on an adventure around the world and throughout time to discover the origins of the horse. In a stunning 3D reconstruction, see the earliest member of the horse family rise from a fossil bed and begin a transformation into the magnificent animal we know today. Discover why horses have 360-degree vision and gallop on a single toe. Explore the science of speed with renowned racehorse trainers. Uncover the emotional intelligence of horses and their deep connection with humans. Encounter extraordinary horse breeds from Saudi Arabia to Kentucky to Siberia, and meet the horses of Sable Island that are truly returning to the wild ways of their ancestors.
Nature: Equus – Story of the Horse was filmed over 18 months across 3 continents, featuring drone and helicopter-mounted RED aerials, extensive Phantom slow-motion footage, and a live-recorded symphonic score. Here are a few moments to look out for:
- The series presents the first realistic animation of the 45 million-year-old ancestor of the horse, the Dawn horse. A fossil of the Dawn horse shows that it had toes instead of hooves, large canine teeth, and a flexible spine. Compared to horses today, it was tiny and did not gallop.
- In Mongolia’s Gobi Desert, a wild group of Przewalski stallions play-fight to help prepare for eventual encounters with predators. The Przewalski horse is extremely rare, but their numbers are returning thanks to conservation biologist Claudia Feh, who fought to bring them out of captivity and back to their native habitat.
- Horses are intensely social animals, evolved to live in herds and family groups. Animal psychologist Karen McComb creates a series of tests to uncover how horses use non-verbal signals to communicate with each other. Her team discovers that horses use 17 different facial expressions, not only to communicate their own feelings, but to understand human expressions as well. In a test, it’s revealed that horses can distinguish between friendly and hostile human expressions.