RESEARCH: Animals have played an important health role during the COVID-19 pandemic

A 2020 research study indicates that animals, mainly pets, have played an important health role during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Researchers at the University of South Australia studied the effects of animals during the pandemic when human-to-human contact was restricted to reduce the spread of the virus. 

Researcher Dr. Janette Young said, “To fill the void of loneliness and provide a buffer against stress, there has been a global upsurge in people adopting dogs and cats from animal shelters during lockdowns. Breeders have also been inundated with demands for puppies quadrupling some waiting lists.”

It is estimated that more than half the global population share their lives with one or more pets. The health benefits have been widely reported, but little data exists regarding the specific benefits that pets bring to humans in terms of touch. 

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Falabella Miniature Horse

The Falabella Miniature Horse (Equus ferus caballus) is one of the smallest breeds of horses in the world. It is an ungulate (hoofed) equine mammal. It is not a pony. 

The Falabella Miniature Horse has a small and compact body with short legs. It is an odd-toed ungulate, which means that is has a hoof with one toe. It has a thick coat of hair. It can be brown, black, white, brown and white, golden brown, or tan. Its mane is long and silky. 

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Highland Pony

The Highland Pony (Equus ferus caballus) is an ungulate (hoofed) equine mammal, that is taxonomically the same as a horse. It is related to the Shetland Pony, the donkey, and the zebra.

The Highland Pony has a short, compact body with short legs. It can have various shades, such as mouse-coloured, brown, grey, black, and cream. Its mane is long and silky to protect it from the cold winters. It is an odd-toed ungulate, with a hoof that has one toe.

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Przewalski’s Horse

The Przewalski’s Horse (Equus przewalskii or Equus ferus przewalskii) is also called the Mongolian Wild Horse or Dzungarian Horse. It is a rare and endangered horse. It may never have been domesticated and is considered to be the only true wild horse in the world. Every Przewalski’s Horse living in the world today is descended from 9 of 13 horses captured in 1945 in Mongolia.

The Przewalski’s Horse has a stocky build with short legs. Its coat is tan or light-brown with dark-brown around its mane. It has a yellowish-white belly and nose. Its mane is short and erect. Its legs are faintly striped. Its hooves are longer in the back and have a thick sole.

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Shetland Pony

The Shetland Pony (Equus ferus caballus) is an equine, that is taxonomically the same as a horse. It is from the Shetland Isles off the coast of Scotland. It is now found worldwide.

The Shetland Pony is a a strong breed of pony. It can be any colour, but it is generally black, chestnut, grey, and dark to light brown. Its fur is thick and heavy, and it has a long, thick mane and tail to protect it from the cold winters. It has a short, stocky body with a small head, widely-spaced eyes and small ears. It has short legs. It is an odd-toed ungulate (it has a hoof with one toe).

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Malayan Tapir

The Malayan Tapir (Tapirus indicus) is also called the Asian Tapir, and is the largest of all the tapirs. It is related to horses and rhinoceroses. It is an ungulate (hoofed) mammal.

The Malayan Tapir is black with a dull-white strip of fur from its shoulders to its tail. It has a short prehensile trunk (like an elephant’s trunk but much shorter). Its trunk can grab branches and leaves or pick fruit from trees. It has a low crest of hair from the crown down the back of the neck. Its round, dark ears have white edges. Its tail is short and stubby.

They have hoofed feet (hooves). They have four toes on their front feet and three toes on their back feet.

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Brazilian Tapir

The Brazilian Tapir (Tapirus terrestris) is a mammal in the Tapiridae family. It is also called the South American Tapir, the Amazon Tapir, and the Lowland Tapir. It is the largest land mammal in the Amazon. It is related to horses and rhinoceroses. It is an ungulate (hoofed) mammal.

The Brazilian Tapir is dark brown, with a paler face. It has a short prehensile trunk (like an elephant’s trunk but much shorter). Its trunk can grab branches and leaves or pick fruit from trees. It has a low crest of hair from the crown down the back of the neck. Its round, dark ears have white edges. Its tail is short and stubby.

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