Phenotypic analyses support investigations of phylogeny in the Skyrian pony and other breeds

S. A. Brown, M. J.S. Moore-Colyer, D. Hannant

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

Abstract

Although genetic analyses suggest that the Skyrian pony is unrelated to other breeds, it shares some physical features with Exmoor ponies, thought to originate in the primitive pony referred to as Pony Type 1, and the Caspian horse, thought to be descended from Horse Type 4. To test the hypothesis that the Skyrian shares the Exmoor's origin in Pony Type 1, comparisons were made of defined physical characters and morphometric measurements amongst Skyrian ponies, Exmoor ponies and Caspian horses. The average mean character differences were 0.56±0.12 between the Skyrians and Exmoors, 0.43±0.15 between the Skyrians and Caspians and 0.83±0.06 between the Caspians and Exmoors. This approximates to reports comparing other horse breeds and breeds in other species, confirming that the Skyrian is a distinct breed. Using two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA), Friedman's ANOVA and post hoc tests, no significant differences were found between Skyrians and Caspians in the eye, neck, body and limb shape (P=1.000) nor shoulder angle (P=0.222) nor in the ratios of body length:elbow height, neck length:neck circumference and heart girth: height to withers. However, there were significant differences (P
Original languageEnglish
JournalBioscience Horizons
Volume6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Ancestry
  • Evolution
  • Horse
  • Phenotypic variation
  • Phylogeny

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