Eponychium: Hooves Of A Newborn Foal Look Incredibly Unsettling

What am I looking at?! Would probably be the question everyone is thinking right about now. This needs a million double takes, because it looks quite unsettling.

In all seriousness, this is what a foal’s hooves looks like just a few minutes after birth.

This soft looking rubber layer is called the deciduous hoof capsule (Eponychium), and it protects the mother’s uterus and birth canal from the sharp edges of the hooves during pregnancy and birth.

Humans also have a layer of eponychium, and it’s that thickened layer of skin surrounding the fingernails and toenails. Those who work with horses say it feels soft and squishy (ew). Nature has an odd but beautiful way of working things out.


1image credit / Fraley Equine Podiatry

In the video below of a foal being born, you can catch a few glimpses of exactly what the picture above shows

Pretty interesting huh? Be sure to give this a like and share with your friends on Facebook before you go.

h/t: ilfscience

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