Polydactyl horses

Although it’s not about horse color, polydactyls are fascinating in terms of genetics. Here is a good blog post about them, complete with a radiograph that shows where the extra digit originated.

Polydactyl People and Ponies – A Gallery of Extra Digits (and Hooves)

My youngest son is an avid video game player, so he was highly amused to learn that one of the genes involved in limb development – and therefor in polydactylism – is called Sonic Hedgehog (Shh). Here is a good article on Hemingway’s polydactyl cats that explains the hedgehog genes.

For Whom the Cell Mutates

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5 Responses to Polydactyl horses

  1. Threnody August 8, 2011 at 11:40 am #

    Thanks so much for the link!

  2. Christine Sutcliffe August 8, 2011 at 5:30 pm #

    Haha, I provided the postcard in the first link! :D

    • The Equine Tapestry August 8, 2011 at 5:37 pm #

      I noticed that! :)

      And here I thought I had everything odd that had happened with Shires in the book, but I must admit I left out the extra-toed ones.

      • Christine Sutcliffe August 9, 2011 at 6:39 am #

        I found it at an antiques fair in town – cost me £10 for a single postcard but I thought it was so unusual I just had to have it!

  3. Stephanie M. August 8, 2011 at 10:43 pm #

    My friend had an orange tabby female that had an extra set of toes and her son that they kept from the litter had 2-3 extra toes on each foot, he was also a orange tabby as well. Its all fun and games until they manage to snag you with those extra claws though!

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