Equus is a genus of animals in the family Equidae that includes horses, donkeys, andzebras. Within Equidae, Equus is the only extant genus. Like Equidae more broadly, Equushas numerous extinct species known only from fossils.
Equines are medium to large mammals, with long heads and necks with a mane. Their legs are slender and end in a single, unguligrade toe, protected by a horny hoof. They have long, slender tails, either ending in a tuft, or entirely covered in flowing hair. They are adapted to generally open terrain, from plains and savannas, to mountains or deserts.
The pinnae (outer ears) of equines are mobile, enabling them to easily localise the origin of sounds. They have two-color, or dichromatic vision. Their eyes are set back far on the head, giving them a wide angle of view, without entirely losing binocular vision. Equines also have a vomeronasal organ, that allows males to use the flehmen, or 'lip-curling' response to assess the sexual state of potential mates. Equines are one of only two mammals (the other is the human) capable of producing copious sweat perspiration for thermoregulatory cooling, enabling fast running over long distances.
Equines are herbivores, and feed predominantly on tough, fibrous food, such as grasses and sedges. When in need, they will also eat other vegetable matter, such as leaves, fruits, or bark, but are normally grazers, not browsers. Unlike ruminants, with their complex stomachs, equines break down cellulose in the "hindgut" or caecum, a part of the colon. Their dentition is almost complete, with cutting incisors to crop food, and grinding molars set well back behind a diastema.
Equines are social animals, living in herds or bands. Horses, along with Plains and Mountain Zebras, have permanent herds generally consisting of a single male and a band of females, with the remaining males forming small "bachelor" herds. The remaining species have temporary herds, lasting only a few months, which may be either single-sexed or mixed. In either case, there are clear hierarchies established amongst the individuals, usually with a dominant female controlling access to food and water resources and the lead male controlling mating opportunities.