n Journal of the South African Veterinary Association - Genetic variation in the feral horses of the Namib Desert, Namibia

Volume 72, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1019-9128
  • E-ISSN: 2224-9435


Genetic variation at 7 blood-group and 10 biochemical genetic loci was examined in 30 horses from a feral herd from the Namib Desert of Namibia, Africa. The observed genetic variability was extremely low compared with that found in domestic horse breeds. The low variation was most probably a result of recent small population size and a small founding population size. Genetic comparison of the Namib horses, which were of unknown origins, to domestic horse breeds, showed that the Namib horses had the highest genetic similarity to Arabian type horses, although they did not closely resemble this type of horse in conformation.

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