Blood Sweating Horse

Unknown horse (a HOOFED Mammai) of East Asia.

Behavior: Bleeds from the shoulder when running at full speed. Said to be able to travel an incredible distance in one day.

Distribution: Tian Shan Range, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China; formerly ranged in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

Significant sightings: An emperor of the Han Dynasty (206 B.C-A.D. 200) sent armies to catch this horse along the Silk Road trade route.

In August 2000, Japanese horse researcher Hayato Shimizu took a photo of a horse in the western Tian Shan that shows blood running from its shoulders. Possible explanations:

(1) The bleeding is caused by some sort of parasitic worm.

(2) The horse's arteries stand out under exertion, producing a reddish flush.

(3) The horse actually bleeds under extreme exertion.

(4) An unknown horse breed, similar to the recently discovered Nangchen and Riwoche horses of Tibet.

Source: "Expert Sees Legendary Asian Horse 'Sweat Blood,'" Japan Times, April 15, 2001.

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