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Arctic Ponies in Siberia

Some think that the Yakut horse is related to a creature that existed before the last ice age, roaming with prehistoric mammals like the mammoth and woolly rhinoceros.

The horse gradually evolved into the three types found today: the northern original, the smaller southern type and the larger southern type.

Click for more information. The horses are well suited to the severe Arctic conditions and can withstand temperatures as low as -60F / -50C.

  • Their manes and tail are thick and long.
  • They are smaller than most other horses, so they lose less body heat.
  • They have very thick skin and in winter they grow a dense covering of hair.
  • Their hooves are very strong so they can scrape away deep snow while looking for food.
  • They can store reserves of fat during the summer when food is plentiful. The fat acts as both insulation against the cold and as a source of energy to draw on during winter.
These hardy horses require no shelter, even though they live in the coldest climate in the Northern Hemisphere. They fend for themselves during the long and bitter Siberian winters eating a wide variety of plants and grasses that hide beneath the snow.

The Antarctic explorer, Robert Falcon Scott, used Yakut ponies on his doomed expedition to the south pole in 1910. None survived (nor did Scott) - some died while pulling sledges, and others became killer whale lunch when they were trapped on an ice-floe.

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A Guide to Arctic Sunrise and Sunset GUIDE TO ARCTIC SUNRISE & SUNSET: How much sunlight or darkness is there in the Arctic on each day of the year?

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