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All horses with at least one copy of LP show leopard characteristics, and it is hypothesized that LP acts together with other patterning genes (PATN) that have not yet been identified to produce the different coat patterns.Three single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the TRPM1 gene have been identified as closely associated with the LP mutation, although the mechanism by which the pattern is produced remains unclear.The Appaloosa is an American horse breed best known for its colorful spotted coat pattern.There is a wide range of body types within the breed, stemming from the influence of multiple breeds of horses throughout its history.There is a wide range of body types in the Appaloosa, in part because the leopard complex characteristics are its primary identifying factors, and also because several different horse breeds influenced its development.The weight range varies from 950 to 1,250 pounds (430 to 570 kg), and heights from 14 to 16 hands (56 to 64 inches, 142 to 163 cm).Any horse that shows Appaloosa core characteristics of coat pattern, mottled skin, striped hooves, and a visible white sclera, carries at least one allele of the dominant "leopard complex" (LP) gene.The use of the word "complex" is used to refer to the large group of visible patterns that may occur when LP is present.
Artwork depicting prehistoric horses with leopard spotting exists in prehistoric cave paintings in Europe.
Because the occasional individual is born with little or no visible spotting pattern, the Ap HC allows "regular" registration of horses with mottled skin plus at least one of the other core characteristics.
Horses with two Ap HC parents but no "identifiable Appaloosa characteristics" are registered as "non-characteristic," a limited special registration status.
Appaloosas have been used in many movies; an Appaloosa is the mascot for the Florida State Seminoles.
Appaloosa bloodlines have influenced other horse breeds, including the Pony of the Americas, the Nez Perce Horse, and several gaited horse breeds.