What animals did the Spanish take to America?
They adapted to the climate and terrain. Some species have evolved in 500 years. Animals: Horses, mules, donkeys, cows, sheep, goats, chickens, pigs, dogs, cats etc.
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They enriched the continent
The Spanish brought the breeds of animals that they believed would best adapt to the climate and characteristics of America. Still they had to adapt to the climate and terrain of the New World. Horses, mules, donkeys, cows, sheep, goats, chickens, pigs, dogs, cats etc.
Spain contributed to the wealth of America, enriching the fauna and flora with a multitude of European and Asian species that were already common in Europe. The image of the typical Texan cowboy, comes from the Hispanic heritage in North America
From the horse, the cattle, the clothes, etc., were already used in the Hispanic territories of Texas and came from Mexico
The horse, a symbol
The horse and cattle came to the U.S. from New Spain. In almost 350 years, new species of their own were created, by natural selection and evolution
The cowboys of New Spain
They were also in other places. Some of them became famous, such as those of Texas whose territories are currently under the domain of the United States of North America (US).
The Spanish chose the best
They brought the species most likely to adapt to the New World. A great variety of animals unknown to America were brought by the Spanish. Horses, mules, donkeys, cows, sheep, goats, chickens, pigs, dogs, cats etc.
Hispanic cowboys in the U.S.
The Cowboy or Cowboy Horse
The Conquest of America thanks to the horse
The decisive weapon in the struggles of the Spanish with the natives was the horse.
The Horse was the armored vehicle of the time. A group of the vigilantes of the border of New Spain, (Dragones de cuera) on horseback with their pikes and shields could sometimes overwhelm hundreds of attackers.
The donkey, thanks to its great resistance, was also adapted to transport loads and was considered a protected asset. In Spain the export of donkeys to other countries was punishable by death. The mule was also essential for the transport of goods due to its great strength.
The cattle of the South of Spain
They were the cows best adapted to the American climate. Brought from the South of Spain and adapted in the Canary Islands
Species from the Canary Islands and southern Spain were chosen because they lived in a similar climate or because their physical characteristics would help them survive from predator attacks.
The Spanish chose a species of cow, which was raised in the Guadalquivir marshes in southern Spain, for their long horns. These cows could defend themselves better when they were alone, against wild animals because of their antlers. They withstood the heat of southern Spain better, which made them ideal for the Gulf of Mexico.
In addition, they not only supplied meat, there was all their production of milk, butter, cheese, cottage cheese, which was highly esteemed. At that time owning a few animals was a great asset for any family.
Other animals from Europe
Chickens, pigs, ..
The chickens adapted very well to the climate. And they were highly prized for both their meat and their eggs. Their eggs were very popular. Even on the boats they used to carry chickens so that the feeding was more varied.
The pigs were a reserve of meat. America was a paradise for animals because of its large areas of grass. They used to be left loose in wide fields and fed on their own.
Sheep, goats, goats …
Over time, sheep also evolved and became a highly valued species in the territory. The famous blankets (Navajo Blankets) are made with its wool.
In the new colonies created by the Spanish, they brought the necessary animals to help them in their work and to feed them. These most frequent animals were horses, donkeys, cows, sheep, goats. And those necessary to create farms such as chickens or pigs.
Dogs and cats
The Spanish brought war and companion animals
Among the animals brought by the Spanish were also companion animals such as dogs and cats. Soon the animals that were carried on the ships to provide meat, such as chickens or rabbits, were washed ashore and some of those that escaped reproduced quickly.
Trained dogs were also used as a weapon of war. Some of them caused terror among Native Americans because of their size and ferocity. But it should be noted that there were already some breeds of dogs in America, although other new breeds brought from Spain were introduced.