I thought of this question when I heard Einstein's statement on WW3, and I wondered if humanity was setback, would North Americans have any mounts that would rival those of the rest of the world? (horses, donkeys, camels, etc.)

Edit: To clarify, I meant that the world had survived until this point in the stone age, with only animals native to North America, that live in North America now

  • $\begingroup$ Didn't North America have horses? $\endgroup$
    – Shadowzee
    Commented Jan 21, 2019 at 1:15
  • $\begingroup$ North America would have access to all the mounts that you mentioned and more, if you are taking about modern time North America. you may need to edit your Question and add more details about your world $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 21, 2019 at 1:26
  • $\begingroup$ The U.S. has substantial herds of wild horses, horse ranches, and horses on ranches all over the country. So does Canada and Mexico. You can't swing the proverbial dead cat without hitting a horse in the north western quartersphere. What's your quesiton about? Is there a worldbuilding question here? $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Commented Jan 21, 2019 at 2:11

1 Answer 1


North America did, in fact, have horses (actually, the genus Equus evolved in North America), which went extinct 11,000-13,000 years ago: https://www.statelinetack.com/content/general-information/the-prehistoric-horses-of-north-america/

Though some survived by crossing the Bering Strait land bridge into Eurasia, evolving into the European horses of today.

Of course, if you were assuming that no one ever brought any animals over to NA, and that horses stayed extinct, and the selection pool was only native wildlife, you'd still have moose, oxen, the occasional deer/elk, reindeer, bison, etc.

Though deer or an elk may not be able to support much weight, North America still has oxen and buffalo. Oxen have been used as transport and for farming, and originated in the Americas and Europe; if all else fails, dogsleds have been in use up north for thousands of years. And there is still moose, which can survive even a direct impact from a car and if you managed to domesticate them would make pretty decent mounts; running at 35 mph and swimming at 6 mph (though science says that moose and other large animals make pretty poor mounts, if only due to their feeding habits).

For transport, oxen, buffalo, dogs, and even reindeer work and have worked just fine; if you need a war mount, again, charge a moose into battle and strike fear into your enemies' hearts as the almighty creature stomps them into the ground.

Point being, North America does have a lot of potential mount animals, in fact, horses (the most popular of the bunch) originated from the Americas, so with time and a lot of work put into domestication, a stone-age America would have mounts just as viable as any other continent's.

*Note: I'm aware that moose and buffalo can't be ridden! I've seen a bunch of articles about it; however, I did assume that OP wanted just a list of anything remotely mount-worthy and wouldn't need super in-depth science about it. Apologies for any misconceptions!

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ "if you need a war mount, again, charge a moose into battle and strike fear into your enemies' hearts" also on your own as you struggle against the moose. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 21, 2019 at 14:25
  • $\begingroup$ Moose cannot be ridden . As far as I know, Buffalo aren't tamable/rideable either. Oxen can pull carriages at low speeds, but that's not really what I picture when I hear "riding" the animal. $\endgroup$
    – Aubreal
    Commented Jan 21, 2019 at 19:52
  • $\begingroup$ The reference to the native north american horses is cool though, didn't know about those and glad I learned! $\endgroup$
    – Aubreal
    Commented Jan 21, 2019 at 19:53
  • $\begingroup$ My understanding is that the only reason those mounts can't be ridden is because of the structure of their backs. I think the obvious solution is to develop a different kind of saddle, so that the weight of the rider will be directed downward at the shoulders and hips, rather than being focused on the curve of the back. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 22, 2019 at 0:03

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