Natural History


posted: 05/13/13
Read more Read less
MUSTANG, Great Basin Desert | Photo Caption: Excerpted from North America: A World in One Continent by Huw Cordey

The mustang is one of North America's most symbolic and familiar animals, but did you know that these free-roaming horses are not truly wild? They are descended from domestic horses brought to North America by the Spanish over five hundred years ago.

Small, fast, and sure-footed, mustangs you see today are descendants of a mix of breeds. They have strong legs and hooves, making them less prone to injury, and have enormous stamina; the herds can travel for over one thousand miles between desert springs.

Herds have their own territories and they have adapted to live in desert areas by developing a tolerance to a low-nutrition diet of juniper plants, sagebrush, and coarse grasses.

EXPLORE THE DESERTS: Coyote | California Condor | Mustang | Roadrunner | Harris Hawk | Spadefoot Toad | Fringe-Toed Lizard | Pygmy Rabbit | Cactus Bee | ALL NORTH AMERICAN ANIMALS

More on
North America