|1/9. Denisova Cave in Altai region. Picture: The Siberian Times|
Siberian ancestors hunted the squat short-legged horse, even though this type of animal was believed to have been wiped out 400,000 years ago.
The find confirms that the squat and little-known Ovodov Horse, remains of which have been found at several Siberian locations, was alive as recently as 24,000 years ago.
Denisova Cave in Altai region was home to three species of ancient man, Homo sapiens, Neanderthals and Denisovans.
The relic horse was scientifically described in 2009 by renowned Russian archeologist Dr Nikolai Ovodov based on remains found in Khakassia, but, perhaps strangely, it is not an animal recorded in cave drawings.
The question also arises of whether ancient man was responsible for the demise of a breed that was evidently once common in southern Siberia.
Geneticist Anna Druzhkova said DNA evidence suggested it was 'nominally' a horse, but 'if you imagine, it is more of a cross between a donkey and a zebra, short-legged, small and not as slender as ordinary horses'. [...] siberiantimes.com