Riwoche Horses
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Riwoches are very small dun-colored horses from an isolatedrnregion of Tibet in 1995. Previously unknown to science, these small horses mayrnbe an evolutionary link between prehistoric wild horses and modern domesticrnhorses, though they could also be a domesticated variety that reverted to arnsmall size and primitive coloring.rnrn 

rnrnThey were discovered in 1995 in an isolated, 27 kilometresrn(17 mi) long valley reached only by crossing a 5,000 metres (16,000 ft)rnmountain pass. They were spotted by a team of explorers led by the Frenchrnethnologist Michel Peissel. While on an expedition to study another newly-discoveredrnhorse breed that Peissel had located in 1993, the Nangchen horse, he came uponrna number of small horses in an isolated valley in the Riwoche region of Tibet.rnThese animals were unknown to the rest of the world, but apparently used by thernlocal Bon-po people, Peissel and his crew obtained blood samples from the herdrnfor DNA testing.rnrn 

rnrnA British equine psychologist accompanying the expedition,rnDr. Ignasi Casas, theorized that the Riwoche horse was a relic population duernto living in near-complete isolation from other breeds for a very long time.rnOther hypotheses suggest they they are possibly an evolutionary link between prehistoricrnhorses and domesticated horses, but testing did not reveal genetic variancernwith other horses, which is in line with news reports indicating that they arernused as pack and riding animals by the local villagers. rnrn 

rnrnRiwoche horses are pony sized, standing only 12 hands (48rninches, 122 cm) tall. They are said to resemble horses depicted in cavernpaintings. They have an angular body, upright mane, and primitive markings;rnincluding a dorsal stripe and stripes on the back of the legs. These featuresrnare similar to those of other ancient horse breeds. They also have small ears,rna rough coat, small jaw, straight, flat forehead, and unique, narrow duck-billrnnostrils.rnrn 

rnrnTheir unusual appearance led Peissel to speculate that theyrncould be a living fossil. He noted that they strongly resembled a horserndistinct from but often pictured with the Przewalski's horse in prehistoricrncave art.

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