本文介紹的是草食性動物的馬。關於與「」名稱相近或相同的條目,請見「馬 (消歧義)」。
家馬
Nokota Horses cropped.jpg
保護狀況
馴養
科學分類 e
界: 動物界 Animalia
門: 脊索動物門 Chordata
綱: 哺乳綱 Mammalia
目: 奇蹄目 Perissodactyla
科: 馬科 Equidae
屬: 馬屬 Equus
種: E. ferus
亞種: 家馬 E. f. caballus
三名法
Equus ferus caballus
(Linnaeus, 1758)
異名[1]

學名Equus ferus caballus),是一種草食性家畜,廣泛分布於世界各地,原產於中亞草原,6000多年前就被人類馴養,最早的馬匹馴養遺址於烏克蘭草原發現,15世紀後,才被歐洲殖民者帶到美洲澳洲地區。

Diagram of a horse with some parts labeled.
馬的各部位[2][3]
馬的形態結構和運動系統
跪坐著的兩匹馬
歷史上馬匹長期用於戰爭上,圖為19世紀初的法國胸甲騎兵

特徵

馬耳小而直立,面部長;額、頸上有長鬃,尾有長,四肢強健,內側有附蟬,第三趾最發達,趾端有馬蹄,其餘各趾退化;毛色複雜,有騮、栗、青、黑等..`.

演化

馬的化石非常豐富,所以馬的進化過程也被研究得非常詳細。馬的進化常常被用來作為進化的例子。

最早的馬叫始祖馬,出現於五千七百萬年前的北美洲,時值始新世。始祖馬個頭只有狗那麼大,弓著背,四肢長著多個趾頭(前腳四隻趾頭,後腳三個)。由始祖馬分化出了林林總總的眾多支系。有的支系越來越大,越來越擅長奔跑,也有的支系向著小型化發展。到中新世的時候以三趾馬為代表的馬類動物成了一類十分繁盛的動物群,是地層古生物中常見的化石動物,常常作為地質年代斷定的重要依據。

現代馬的最直接祖先是出現於一千二百萬年前晚中新世的恐馬,而現代馬則在四百萬年前的上新世出現。北美洲一直是馬和馬類動物起源和演化中心。馬從這裡起源並向四周輻射。馬通過冰川時期形成的白令陸橋擴散到歐亞大陸,在上新世進入非洲,成為非洲大陸動物群的重要一員。馬也通過中美地峽向南美洲擴撒。最晚到大約兩萬年前,馬在北美洲徹底滅絕,南美的馬滅絕得更早。原因現在仍是謎。有人認為跟美洲印第安人過度捕獵有關。從此,在近五千六百多年的時間裡作為馬的老巢的北美洲第一次沒有了馬的存在,一直到公元十六世紀西班牙人再一次把馬帶回了美洲。Discovery製作的一期關於馬的節目裡說道「當印第安人第一次見到西班牙人帶來的馬的時候,感覺像是見到了久別重逢的老朋友」。

現代飼養的馬是由歐洲野馬馴化而來的。野生的馬已經滅絕。現存的普氏野馬不是家馬的祖先。馬的進化歷程充滿了艱難險阻。馬科動物曾經是如此繁盛,前後進化出幾十個屬,到最後卻只有一個屬六七種殘存至今。馬的興衰歷程實際上是奇蹄動物的興衰歷程,奇蹄動物在現代普遍呈衰落的趨勢。

用途

馬主要作爲役使家畜,用於騎乘、挽車、載重、耕種,在戰爭交通勞動中運用。在歷史上起到非常重要的作用。直到工業革命蒸汽機出現以前,一直是主要的拉車動力,以至後來「馬力」成了衡量機器功率的單位。在山區無法行車的路上,馬至今仍是主要的運載工具。

戰爭中最早也是拉戰車,由遊牧民族首先發明騎乘,古希臘古羅馬已有騎兵。中國民族直到戰國時期趙武靈王胡服騎射才開始出現騎兵,。馬鞍也是遊牧民族發明的,後來經過不斷的改進;馬鐙的發明有多種說法,包括斯基泰人發明說,印度人發明說,中國人發明說等,而在中國流傳的馬鐙的發明說法則是中國人漢朝發明的,一開始只是一個,爲便於上馬,後來發展爲一邊一個,波斯人稱爲「中國鞋」,後來才傳到歐洲。直到進入20世紀之後,由於各種戰車、直升機的出現和普及,騎兵才開始退出戰爭。現今騎乘多用於賽馬運動,有的大城市巡警也還用馬。

馬也可以作爲用和用,伊斯蘭教律法禁止食用馬肉回族阿拉伯人波斯人,但突厥人不禁止),西元732年教皇格列高利三世下令禁止基督教徒食用馬肉,但後來作用不大,現在法國人、義大利人都食用馬肉,日本人認爲馬肉是營養豐富的肉食。在二戰期間,美國允許肉店供應馬肉以彌補牛肉供應不足,但二戰結束後,在美國西部牧場主的壓力下,又禁止供應馬肉。馬乳一直是遊牧民族的食品,尤其適合釀造「馬奶酒」。

隨著馬的使用功能淡化,20世紀後半期,許多國家培育出各種小馬,作爲寵物或導盲用途。現在經過幾千年人的培育,馬的種類繁多,從高達2米到只有0.56米,體形各異。

詞彙

量詞單位: 匹

 
西班牙聖塞巴斯蒂安東南卞蒂斯山上的馬

馬的辭彙:

  • 兒馬,公馬
  • 騾,驢和馬雜交的後代
  • 駒,小馬
  • 騸,去勢喪失生育能力的馬
  • 驃,黃色的馬
  • 騮,黑鬃黑尾的紅色馬
  • 劣,性情暴躁不容易駕御的馬
  • 驊,棗紅色的馬
  • 驪,黑色的馬
  • 騧,黑嘴的黃色馬
  • 騏,青黑色的馬
  • 騅,黑色白蹄的馬
  • 驄,青白相間,類似蘭色的馬
  • ,高大的馬
  • 駑,跑不快的馬
  • 驤,後右蹄白色的馬
  • 騂,赤色的馬和牛,亦泛指赤色

文化

生肖

 
香港九龍寨城公園十二生肖像之馬

在中國傳統的十二生肖中排名第七位,對應的地支

姓氏

馬姓是常見的中文姓氏之一。除了漢族以外,其他民族也有不少馬姓人士。馬姓是回族的大姓之一,是由穆罕默德姓漢化而來(也有人認為是由法蒂瑪轉化而來),雲南回族幾乎清一色姓馬。

畫馬藝術

馬一直以來被視為力與美的結合,不單是擔任騎乘或負重的工作,阿拉伯人以馬為真主的恩賜,值得人的崇拜與愛護。畫馬藝術更是歷久不衰,屹立不搖。

商標或標誌

傳說中的名馬

  • 赤兔馬、的盧馬、絕影、爪黃飛電、松風、白龍馬、昭陵六駿

參見

參考資料

  1. ^ (英文)Wilson, D.E. & Reeder, D.M. (Ed.). (2005). Equus caballus caballus.Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed), Johns Hopkins University Press, 2,142 pp. 月8日查閱.
  2. ^ Goody, John. Horse Anatomy 2nd. J A Allen. 2000. ISBN 0-85131-769-3. 
  3. ^ Pavord, Tony; Pavord, Marcy. Complete Equine Veterinary Manual. David & Charles. 2007. ISBN 0-7153-1883-7. 

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外部連結

十二生肖
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