Reply To: Extinct Equus species

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Bruce MacFadden


Eric–I wonder if you could respond to this inquiry, thanks–Bruce

From: Christina Picchi
Sent: Sunday, March 13, 2016 4:30 PM
To: MacFadden,Bruce J
Subject: Re: Equus lambei?

Dear Dr. Bruce MacFadden,

I was suggested your name by Julie B. Rokor from ResearchGate. My question involves the phylogenetic placement of an Equus species compared to another. There are two papers that I have which suggest they are sister taxa, but I was wondering if you could clarify or weigh in with your expertise.

Is Equus lambei (Equus alaskae?) conspecific to Equus caballus?

The papers that I have for reference are
Vila et. al (2001): Widespread Origins of Domestic Horse Lineages
Weinstock et. al (2005): Evolution, Systematics, and Phylogeography of Pleistocene Horses in the New World A Molecular Perspective

These place the Yukon/Alaskan horse in a separate clade from modern horses, but also suggest that they may have influenced domestication. One main reason I pose this question is due to the highly controversial paper written by Jay Kirkpatrick and Patricia Fazio that proposes Equus caballus be treated as a native species, because of Ann Forsten’s work (~1990) that had stated Equus lambei was “genetically identical” to Equus caballus.

Thank you for your time and for any comments you may have on this matter,
Christina Picchi