How Horses Took Over North America (Twice)

  • Published: 15 August 2018
  • The PBSDS Annual Audience Survey:

    The ancestors of modern horses became so successful that they spread all over the world, to Europe, Asia, South America, and Africa. But in their native range of North America, they’ll vanish for 10,000 years. Until another strange mammal brings them back.

    The illustration of Equus Simplicidens--also known as the Hagerman Horse--is by Roger Hall. You can check out more of Roger's work at

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    Fossil Horses by Bruce J. MacFadden
  • Science and Technology Science and Technology

Comments • 1 479

  • Truth Decay
    Truth Decay  2 hours back

    None of this is mentioned in the Quran, how am I supposed to believe it?

    • SupahFans Streetwear
      SupahFans Streetwear  7 hours back

      Dude's well spoken

      • Yola Montalvan
        Yola Montalvan  7 hours back

        Visiting South America I saw the Peruvian Horses. What are they? They look like horses but they don’t run like horses.

        • Dockito Informa
          Dockito Informa  9 hours back

          How can you NOT like something that teaches you stuff?

          • mark Washburn
            mark Washburn  12 hours back

            Nothing about how the BLM is rounding up the mustangs mercilessly to the point where soon there will be none left

            • Connor P
              Connor P  18 hours back

              the younger dryas impact theory evidence is pretty substantial

              • SUDHIR PATEL
                SUDHIR PATEL  1 days back

                Nature goes on forever for everyone and everything to return as everyone and everything an infinite number of times through evolutionary processes.😢 😢 😢

                • SUDHIR PATEL
                  SUDHIR PATEL  1 days back

                  The car replace the horse and the airplane the ship.

                  • jerricho11
                    jerricho11  2 days back

                    what about deer, elk and moose? Why didn't they die out or are they related to the og American horses?

                    • Craig Ryan
                      Craig Ryan  2 days back

                      Expected a horse army. Truly Disappointed. 1/10, would not recommend.

                      • Rebirth Resurrection
                        Rebirth Resurrection  2 days back

                        Communal animal

                        • Greg Pearcey
                          Greg Pearcey  2 days back

                          Historic extinction events were frequently preceded by the incursion of homo sapiens and their ancestors.

                          • Scott Andrews
                            Scott Andrews  2 days back

                            So cool, I love PBS!

                            • Lukas Aurelius
                              Lukas Aurelius  2 days back

                              The Spanish didn't just bring one or two stallions. They had over a hundred knights to support, and they knew they were colonists needing to breed more, so they also brought brood mares. A ship would carry 6 or 8, or even more horses, and they had lots of ships. Plus, this didn't happen only once.

                              Read the history of Cortez' venture into Florida and across the south of North America. They reported losing dozens of horses, escaping and stolen.

                              Columbus set up a home base for exploration on the island of Hispaniola, and in the next wave, they were definitely breeding horses there. Since it was already obvious that there were none here, they knew that horses would be a military advantage.

                              • j.ruiz_650
                                j.ruiz_650  3 days back

                                A lot of “hipiz”

                                • V
                                  V  4 days back

                                  The only thing I was taught in school was the Spanish brought them over on ships lmao

                                  • Mark Randall
                                    Mark Randall  4 days back

                                    The Appaloosa horse actually came over with the Native Americans from Asia and was here long long before the Spanish and European people brought their horses to the Americas. This video needs to be updated with this information.

                                    • Shaun Budd
                                      Shaun Budd  5 days back

                                      I love this show

                                      • Squishy
                                        Squishy  6 days back

                                        I have a book that shows and explains the entire evolution of a horse. To watch a video explaining how they took over north america is very nice. Thank you
                                        Without horses, we would have lost a war. Can't remember which war, but without using horses it would have been lost and some things would be very different today.

                                        • Brandon Flores
                                          Brandon Flores  1 weeks back

                                          Kinda looks like you

                                          • Royle Hun
                                            Royle Hun  1 weeks back

                                            Dammit even horses are Immigrated to noryh America

                                            • kamion53
                                              kamion53  1 weeks back

                                              Why are ancient horses like Equus simplicidens always depicted with zebra stripes ( mosttime partly)? Is stripes an ancient feature present but domant in all members of the genus Equus or is it a feature that appeared on zebra's only that lived in a tse-tse infested area? One theory states that zebra striping is closely linked to the presence of tse-tse flies against the diseases they carry in frica origanted herbivore are immune, but the later invading equines were not.

                                              • LaughingSeraphim
                                                LaughingSeraphim  1 weeks back

                                                Why five bones in mammal hands and feet?

                                                • Richard Jones
                                                  Richard Jones  2 weeks back

                                                  Imma get a Rhino and ride.

                                                  • TheCortymast
                                                    TheCortymast  2 weeks back

                                                    The Eohippus is half a meter tall and its descendants grow 30 times their size? If you do the math that would make horses 15 meters tall. Interesting Image

                                                    • BroliYTwins
                                                      BroliYTwins  2 weeks back

                                                      Mankind history would have been so much different without this precise species now I need a what if on that.

                                                      • Garry Mcneece
                                                        Garry Mcneece  2 weeks back

                                                        the mongollian horse is a wild and never domesticated.

                                                        • Le Butch
                                                          Le Butch  3 weeks back

                                                          It sure be nice to see more fossils alongside the illustrations

                                                          • barbarynpk 2
                                                            barbarynpk 2  3 weeks back

                                                            Damn rip the little esophagus horsey

                                                            • jack thunderbolt
                                                              jack thunderbolt  3 weeks back

                                                              if you havent already, how about a more in depth look of domestication of horses? (maybe a quick talk about friesians just because i cant get over them)

                                                              • therium Sino
                                                                therium Sino  3 weeks back

                                                                They forgot to talk about hipparion

                                                                • Karin Stebbins
                                                                  Karin Stebbins  3 weeks back

                                                                  Love your videos

                                                                  • Alexis Flores
                                                                    Alexis Flores  3 weeks back

                                                                    I love you horses 🥰

                                                                    • Russell Westbrook Fan since 2010


                                                                      • Lor Bmoreflow
                                                                        Lor Bmoreflow  3 weeks back

                                                                        Theres wild horses near the shore in maryland but we were always told there invasive and Europeans brought em and it changed the natives lives forever. One thing positve eastern world brought my ancestors

                                                                        • Michael Colapietro
                                                                          Michael Colapietro  3 weeks back

                                                                          nature is very smart if you dont want to go extinct attach yourself to humans. Just like horses, dogs, cats, rates and flies.

                                                                          • most feared conflict
                                                                            most feared conflict  4 weeks back

                                                                            What beats a pack of predators nothing you can only go fast in another direction

                                                                          • king kyrie
                                                                            king kyrie  4 weeks back

                                                                            Now do how emus took over Australia

                                                                          • Nike Z7000
                                                                            Nike Z7000  4 weeks back

                                                                            I wouldn't consider a sub species the actual species, just like I would consider home erectus human

                                                                            • MANGESHKUMAR
                                                                              MANGESHKUMAR  4 weeks back

                                                                              kindly make a video on evolution of horse on earth including unicorn and mangolian horses.great video.

                                                                              • Phil B
                                                                                Phil B  4 weeks back

                                                                       could there be global warming millions of years ago? There weren't any humans around to cause it. Maybe early mammals were driving cars and we haven't discovered them yet.

                                                                                • MegaJf16
                                                                                  MegaJf16  2 weeks back

                                                                                  you're trolling right?

                                                                              • Andrew Blucher
                                                                                Andrew Blucher  1 months back

                                                                                "One of the most numerous mammals"?
                                                                                That would be after mice, rats, cattle, sheep, humans, ...

                                                                                • John P
                                                                                  John P  1 months back

                                                                                  dude looks like he belongs on the walking dead

                                                                                  • awakened_link
                                                                                    awakened_link  1 months back

                                                                                    I like this guy, he's attractive.

                                                                                    • Bort Flong
                                                                                      Bort Flong  1 months back

                                                                                      I'mma let you finish but horses are the most wide-spread mammals of all time

                                                                                      • Praxy Yeah
                                                                                        Praxy Yeah  1 months back

                                                                                        I wonder how we as a species would evolve into. If we ever survive that long. Given enough time.....I wonder.

                                                                                        • Mike Davis
                                                                                          Mike Davis  1 months back

                                                                                          This sounds like a fictious story

                                                                                          • Juvenal Dominguez
                                                                                            Juvenal Dominguez  1 months back

                                                                                            Yes more videos like this love it.