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Gestation length variation in domesticated horses and its relation to breed and body size diversity


Heck, Laura; Clauss, Marcus; Sánchez-Villagra, Marcelo R (2017). Gestation length variation in domesticated horses and its relation to breed and body size diversity. Mammalian Biology - Zeitschrift für Säugetierkunde, 84:44-51.

Abstract

The domestication process and selective breeding reportedly alter some life history variables. In horses, it has been claimed that gestation length is particularly variable. Some of the factors influencing gestation length are already known and can be grouped into environmental and genetic factors, but the effects of breed and body size have rarely been evaluated. In this study we tested the influence of breed and body size on gestation length for 25 horse breeds from Central Europe. The mean gestation length for all breeds was 342.3 ± 10.2 days and we found significant differences among breeds with a variation of up to 11 days. Body size did not show a significant correlation with gestation length. Our data suggest that breed affiliation explains part of the large variability of gestation length in horses.

Abstract

The domestication process and selective breeding reportedly alter some life history variables. In horses, it has been claimed that gestation length is particularly variable. Some of the factors influencing gestation length are already known and can be grouped into environmental and genetic factors, but the effects of breed and body size have rarely been evaluated. In this study we tested the influence of breed and body size on gestation length for 25 horse breeds from Central Europe. The mean gestation length for all breeds was 342.3 ± 10.2 days and we found significant differences among breeds with a variation of up to 11 days. Body size did not show a significant correlation with gestation length. Our data suggest that breed affiliation explains part of the large variability of gestation length in horses.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Paleontological Institute and Museum
05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Veterinary Clinic > Department of Small Animals
Dewey Decimal Classification:560 Fossils & prehistoric life
Language:English
Date:2017
Deposited On:26 Jan 2017 15:42
Last Modified:16 Feb 2017 10:39
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1616-5047
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mambio.2017.01.002

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