While visiting the LaBrea Tar Pits in Southern California I observed skeletal remains of horses making any Book of Mormon mention of horses perfectly understandable,
I am surprised that Llama and the Alpaca are not mentioned in this article. Many Europeans were at first confused with this animal thinking it was a type of horse until they realized it was closer to a camel than a horse.
The llama (Lama glama) is a domesticated South American camelid, widely used as a meat and pack animal by Andean cultures since the Pre-Columbian era. Llamas are very social animals and live with others as a herd.
The Alpaca is often confused with, the llama. However, alpacas are often noticeably smaller than llamas and were usually found in the higher elevations of South America. The two animals are closely related and can successfully cross-breed.
I would suggest that one read the book "America BC" by Barry Fell. A stone carving of a horses head was unearthed in Vermont (??? memory ?) dating back to early centuries of the 1st Millenium. There is also mention of a message carved in stone in New Mexico (once again memory??) detailing a group of Jews arriving from Europe, BC.
In my interview with Ray Yowell A Shoshone Chief (See my self published book:"A Western Shoshone Warrior's Theology: Spiritual gifts, Prayer and the Sacredness of the Earth") he recalls his grandmother mentioning that they had horses in the distant past. I have read reports of native horses in Mexico that are smaller and different from the Spanish horses or English ponies and are still to be found in the back country.
Their disappearance could have been a result of a pinch point in the genetics caused by limited numbers and gelding too many stallions so when a stresser like a drought, breeding numbers were too reduced for survival. The kind if horse human selected for useful work is not the same one that best survives in the wild.
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