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     Physiology 
Equestrian ponies can breed with any species in their universe.
We've got Discord, a dragonequus. Who's to say that they can't breed with any other species?
  • So they're the humans of their fantasy setting?
    • I think ponies being the equivalent of humans is pretty obvious...
  • Oh, the implications...

Equestrian ponies' hooves are different in form from real life hooves.
Why ponies seems to grab a lot of things with hooves? You may have noticed that their hooves seems to have a lot more possibilities of motion than horses' in real life. This can be explained if we imagine the cornified structure of an equestrian hoof to be a lot smaller than real life ones; thanks to this, there's a lot more space for muscles, allowing ponies to move their hooves (at least the fore-ones) in an almost similar way to human hands. it's also worth of consideration that equestrian arms and legs seems to have a lot more of meat and less skinny than real life horses, which may contribute on their variegate motion system.
  • They have little dewclaws in front like a Merychippus, only nailless and webbed to the main body of the foreleg. We don't see those because of the simplistic animation.
    • Apparently some horses have an atavistic mutation that causes them to have multiple toes. Perhaps that gene is widespread among Ponies and their toes are prehensile enough to just barely be used for grasping.
  • And that, together with the small cornified structure, explains why they have more motion than a normal horse. As for why bigger ponies (like Big Mac and Shining Armor) seems to have normal size nails, is because.... well, since humans bigger (and more muscular) than normal ones have bigger hands too, same goes for Equestrian ponies. That doesn't mean they have less motion than normals.

Only pegasi and unicorns are allowed to be buried after death, earth ponies must be cremated or recycled into pet food/glue.
Given their subtle connection to the land, earth pony corpses have a tendency to spontaneously reanimate, and almost invariably retain their consciousness/minds/souls. The shock of waking up as a decaying corpse has driven many ponies insane and the sheer pain of rotting has been deemed something no pony should ever have to go through.When Sunnytown was wiped out, the bodies of the inhabitants were left intact long enough for this to happen to all of them.

Ponies are quite literally Made of Iron.
Or, metal, anyway. Remember, polished hooves are actually reflective. And it's brought up in-universe, so it's not an element of the animation. So, what does this tell us? That the ponies are automatons, obviously. This, of course, explains why they're basically invulnerable to physical damage. They're probably some sort of biomechanical golem — they can't be completely mechanical, or they wouldn't be able to grow hair and such. They have some sort of metallic exoskeleton, but in most areas, it's covered with a sheet of muscle and skin. It's only on the hooves that it completely shows through, explaining the mirror finish. Oh, and the crystal ponies? They're a different subspecies with a crystalline compound as their skeletal structure. And maybe really thin skin, so the light shines through?

Equestrian ponies have no fur: they have colored skin.
In "The Best Night Ever", Applejack said that ponies are always naked (when they not wear dresses, of course). Now as we all know horses and ponies, just like any other animal, have their coats who works like natural clothes for them, so in theory the are never naked. Plus there's also the fact that Equestrian ponies can make "additional fur" (aka beard) to grow up in their face, which doesn't make much sense for animals covered by fur (well, unless for some species like lions or sheeps, but not horse). So the only natural conclusion is: ponies in Equestria have skins of varios colors, not fur, which also explains the need of clothes.
  • Jossed: Snips and Snails had embarassing bald patches of skin showing after they got glued together.
  • Don't know if it counts as canon, but the lyrics of "Equestria Girls" mention "furry coats."
  • In regard to the Jossing above, perhaps ponies have very fine/short hairs similar to that of whales and similar ocean mammals, causing it to blend into itself almost non-noticeably while allowing manes, tails, and facial hair to form as well.
  • Applejack only said they don't usually wear clothes, nothing about fur.

If you shave a pony's body fur, their skin will be the similar, but muted color that their Equestria Girls counterpart have for skin.
Many animals in real life have skin similar to their fur color, so this isn't too far-fetched.
  • Jossed; Snips and Snails (orange and blue-green) have some of their fur torn off. Their skin is pink.

The Ponies of Equestria are omnivorous.
The whole vegetarian thing is a cultural tradition. Evidence for predatory capability is in their physiology. First, position of eyes on the head indicate excellent binocular vision. Depth perception is of much more limited use to a herbivore, especially one more adapted to plains. Second, highly developed jaws. The ponies have demonstrated extreme mandibular strength by dragging ropes and other heavy objects with their teeth. Applejack and Rainbow Dash have both demonstrated sufficient jaw strength to support their entire body weight. This might indicate that the ponies have enough strength to bring down large prey, on the other hand this would be of little to no use for a herbivorus life style. Third, the ponies have demonstrated the ability to digest more protein than a normal horse. Pinkie Pie has on hand an egg quiche, and presumably uses eggs in cooking. This indicates a high tolerance, perhaps even a requirement for protein.
  • Well, the jaw thing can be argued that they needed to develop that way because they use their mouths in place of hands.
  • Have you seen a horse's mouth? They can still deliver a nasty bite. Their teeth are not designed for slicing prey, but grinding down tough plant material.
    • Here's the thing. You are correct about Earth horses, but Equestrians are not horses. Equestria is not Earth. It's a different world where evolution happened differently, mostly because of the presence of magic. Now, they do have some equine characteristics. You could go so far as to call them equinoid. But they are not horses, any more than Vulcans or Klingons are humans (even though both are humanoid).
  • Possible reason is that the ponies in Equestria ARE omnivorous, it's that if they ate meat. They'll go under a bloodthirsty rage. disturbing picture dead ahead...
  • what looks like a ham or bologna sandwich on the left, next to the cake
    • It's probably beetroots (there are pink ones). Or rose petals. After all, we know they like to eat roots and flowers.
  • That said, there have been accounts of real, live horses showing indications towards omnivory. Who's to say this wasn't all the more true at some point in the history of sapient, civilized mini-horses, especially considering that predator eye placement of theirs?
  • The Apple family raises pigs, and pigs within Equestria are demonstrated to be no-more intelligent than their real-life counterpart. Pigs are raised IRL for their meat and leather, and they serve no other purpose from an agricultural standpoint. Faust was a bit evasive about the question, implying that the Apples let the pigs live on their farm because the pigs needed somewhere to stay, however the pragmatist would point out that the presence of pigs is the most likely explanation for where Applejack's leather hat came from.
    • There is another (still disgusting) explination. The pigs are farm tools. Pigs will eat almost anything, shit very soil enriching manure and have feet that trample the shit/soil just the right way for crop cultivation. Something the Ancient Egyptians supposedly used them for.
    • Wait, what? Her hat is officially leather, not felt or that stuff that's like straw but finer and more flexible?
    • Hats like hers are generally made from felt or straw, but some use leather. At any rate, pig farming would explain where the occasional leather product comes from.
  • Eating meat in Equestria might be taboo, with minor exceptions in the form of small, isolated villages that generally slip under the radar/are not spoken of because that's terrible.

The ponies' hooves are magnetic.
This is why they can sometimes pick up things with their hooves, and it it also explains how Applejack was able to grab onto Twilight's hooves when she was hanging off the side of a cliff in the second episode.
  • To paraphrase Mystery Science Theater 3000, "And if their hooves were metal, that would mean something."
    • And their hooves are made of metal.
    • As long as two things are magnetic they can attract eachother, regardless of if they are metal or not.
  • Earlier versions of MLP toys had a magnet in one of the front hooves on each pony to enable them to interact with accessories
  • Maybe they're not naturally magnetic, but they wear magnetized horseshoes? We can't see them in the show for the same reason we can't see their unmentionables.

Ponies are elemental creatures, and we've only seen three so far.
Earth ponies are... just that. Pegasus ponies are air elemental. Unicorn ponies embody either Fire (the fire of intellect, the "electric" nature of magic, Twilight igniting when sufficiently frustrated...) or Aether/Void/Mana. This either leaves one gap (Water) or two (Fire and Water), depending on how catch-'em-all-y the show wants to get. Celestia and Luna don't manifest sea pony traits because they've only been seen above water, and their hind legs would become a tail and fins under. Either tallness is the "hat" for fire ponies, or like earth ponies they're not visibly magical.
  • Water elemental would be those mermaid ones that the fandom seems to hate so much.
  • Try the Power Trio of body (earth), mind (unicorn), and spirit (pegasus).
  • Ponies are based on the five platonic elements: Unicorns are aether, pegasi are air, sea ponies are water, earth ponies are earth (duh), and fire is represented by Zebras.
  • The three races of pony are all made up of a mix two elements in varying proportions. Pegasus ponies are wind (Dash) and water (Fluttershy), earth ponies are Fire (Pinkie) and earth (AJ, or especially Big Mac), and unicorn ponies are made of sunlight (Rarity) and moonlight (Trixie).
  • Another alternative: Alicorns embody Aether, as it's a fifth element that combines the four.
  • ANOTHER Another alternative: there's a popular theory that Nightmare Moon created a breed of ponies that lives on the moon. these embody Aether
  • If we're using a five-element system, Earth Ponies are Earth, Pegasus ponies are Wind, Unicorns are Fire, Sea Pon- *is shot* hippocampi or mer-ponies are Water, and Alicorns/Unipegs/Pegasus-Unicorns are Void. ...Or Earth Ponies are Earth/Wood, Pegasus ponies are Fire, Unicorns are Metal, Zebras are Wood/Earth, and Sea... I mean Mer-ponies! are Water, while the Alicorns symbolize the energy, time, and all other cycles that hold the system together. What, me try to cram a square peg into a round trope? I never!
  • Very unlikely alternative: Fire ponies are extinct. In the distant past, they envied unicorns and made a Deal with the Devil to become nightmares. The Nightmare Forces are either the source of their power, or all that remains of them.

Ponies lay and come from eggs.
While Lauren Faust said that Ponies are born via mammalian means, the platypus is a mammal as well and it lays eggs, so it's possible that My Little Ponies lay eggs. This video also proves it.

The secret to pony magic is that keratin, the material hair and horns are made of is an excellent conductor of it.
What are feathers made of? Mostly keratin. What are manes and tails made of? Keratin. What are horns made of? Keratin with a bone core. Now, bone is also a good conductor of magic, which strengthens a pony's skeleton (which explains how a pony like Applejack was able to fall 40 feet several times, landing on her head or rump without breaking her neck or spine). This also allows ponies to use Prehensile Hair to some effect. This also allows pegasi to wield some form of magic in their wings and coats, and also explains why ponies can use things that seem to require hands with their hooves.
  • The material may also be called alicorn, which was originally the term for the material of a unicorn's horn (long before it came to mean "winged unicorn").

All types of ponies have potential to use some types of magic.
But only unicorns are capable of conciously controlling it with such precision. This theory explains Pinkie Pie's "Pinkie Sense", as well as Rainbow Dash's Sonic Rainboom, the fact some of the other Wonderbolts have been seen trailing smoke or lightning when they fly, and how pegasus ponies can walk on and move clouds as if they were solid objects. (hey, if it requires a spell for non-pegasus ponies to walk on clouds, surely there's some magic involved).
  • Confirmed. Pegasus ponies' weather manipulation (and probably their flight) is magic-based, and earth ponies influence plants and animals.
  • The Pinkie Sense is still unexplained though.
    • Pinkie Sense is probably part of Pinkie's Toon Physics, her ability to do whatever she wants (even to the point of violating normal laws of reality) provided it's funny, makes for a good gag, or is in someway humorous to the ponies and/or the audience. Though she can't control her Pinkie Sense and it seems to come and go as it chooses (probably related to when it would be humorous for her to have said ability). As for how Pinkie Pie has Toon Physics when none of the other ponies do is a different question. One we will probably never know the answer for.
      • Her special talent is making people smile (usually via parties), right? AND her Element of Harmony is Laughter, even. I think we can say that her Toon Physics come from one of the two, presumably the former since she apparently exhibited Pinkie Sense before getting her Element.

Ponies in the MLP universe live longer than Real Life ponies.
Many discussions about the show and the setting that bring up the lifespan act as if the ponies in the show live only as long as real life ponies. My theory is that they live LONGER. Think about it: average human lifespan is much longer than it used to be because we've spent hundreds of years creating treatments and cures for HUMAN ailments. But in a world with a population of sentient ponies with many human-like behaviors and customs, it's likely that they've been spending years coming up with treatments for PONY ailments, allowing them to live longer than ponies in real life.
  • In addition, they've got MAGIC. They can probably cure anything but "some of the more advanced forms of death", like being devoured and digested by a dragon. That's how Twilight survived having an anvil and a piano dropped on top of her—just about every bone in her body was broken and internal organs squished into paste, but unicorn doctors were able to mend her anyway. Bandages and wheelchairs... I got nothin'.
    • This would also explain why dragons, capable of eating ponies, are considered so terrifying: being fully digested is not something unicorn magic can cure.
  • All but confirmed in "Family Appreciation Day," given some information revealed in "Winter Wrap Up." It's stated that the tradition has been in place for "hundreds of years," and this is presumably after Ponyville was founded. Seeing as Granny Smith was there for the founding of Ponyville, it means that she's several hundred years old. It makes sense, seeing as there are only a handful of youngsters - it seems that ponies live ridiculously long lives and don't reproduce frequently, keeping the population more or less constant. It might also explain some of the issues with Vague Age — ponies that might in fact be decades apart in terms of age would appear more or less similar.
    • It is most likely a continuity flub, however it still makes sense if you see it as a centuries old tradition that was continued by the ponies who founded Ponyville. At any rate, Granny Smith has obviously lived a lot longer than a real-life horse to have witnessed Ponyville go from a single log cabin to a thriving cosmopolitan town.
  • In season 2 finale, Fake Cadance compares Pinkie Pie's wedding reception plan to six-year-old's birthday party, which seems to confirm this - if they had a regular horses' lifespans, six years of age would be a perfect time to get married.

There are no "Baby" ponies.
Like the horses we have here, Ponies are born relatively fully-formed. They start walking and talking soon after birth (Albeit mispronouncing things and stumbling some of the time) and when a pony is weened off it's mother's milk, it's enrolled in school. Here, more complex things like math and reading are taught and there are only three "Grades" Kindergarden, 1st grade and 2nd grade. Around second grade Ponies develop their cutie marks and begin the awkward growth spurts to turn them into adults. About a year after finishing puberty, the pony is ready to mate.
  • Once a pony has his/her cutie mark, they can go into an apprenticeship in the field that their cutie mark has selected them for. It acts as a biological indicator of the pony's ideal career, or at least a general field, so schools only provide a general educational background useful to anypony. If this is the case, the other theories of Twilight Sparkle being in an advanced program overlap well, as she's continuing an apprenticeship under Princess Celestia when her peers have at least become journeyponies in their respective fields, with the possible exception of Pinkie Pie, who works for the bakery in an undefined capacity. This provides a tidy explanation for why she's at Sugarcube Corner rather than with her family.
  • Pipsqueak the Pirate DOES manage to speak in complete sentences despite admitting to being less than one year old...
    • Pipsqeak never admitted to being less than a year old. He just stated that he was celebrating his first Nightmare Night, which could mean that either Nightmare Night wasn't celebrated where he was from, or that on that year he was finally old enough to celebrate it. He's obviously younger than the CMC.
  • UH-OH!
    • Jossed, we've now seen a foal in "The Mysterious Mare Do Well", and it is cared for the same way as a real world human baby.
    • Confirmed! In "Baby Cakes" Pound and Pumpkin Cake were walking, flying, using magic, and talking, all within a month of being born.
    • That's easy enough to resolve: Clearly, the foal in the pram was less than a month old.

The ponies in Equestria have a high female to male ratio as an evolutionary advantage.
At some point in their evolutionary history, survival became tough and food became scarce. To help the population remain afloat, the ponies evolved in a way that made it so foals born will be more likely female than male. Whenever a population needs to grow, it's generally more beneficial to have more females than males. One male can impregnate many females, but a female can only be pregnant with one males baby at a time. Even in humans, pregnant women with high-calorie diets have a greater chance of having sons while those with low-calorie diets are more likely to have daughters, for similar reasons: if the woman is eating less, the body will be more likely to believe that there is some kind of crisis going on that could hurt the population as a whole. This is the case for ponies, but just more extreme. Regardless of diet, ponies will be more likely to have fillies because of this evolutionary trait. While it isn't necessary at the current state of the pony population, it's an evolutionary remnant that still exists despite not serving much of a purpose.
  • On that note, "stallion-swapping" happens a lot; it's simply not spoken of often. And there's no stigma against single mothers.
  • Jossed, as it's shown here, the gender ratio as of Season 6 is close to 1 to 1.

Both wings and horns are recessive traits.
This would explain two earth ponies having a unicorn and a pegasus.
  • That's not how recessives work, both parents need to have the allele for offspring to inherit a recessive trait. More likely it's multi-factorial (biologist-speak for "it's complicated").
    • This comic offers a handy chart (with Twilight!) explaining a possibility for Pony Multi-factoral genetics leading to a set of Earth Pony parents having a Unicorn and a Pegasus.
    • It's also might because all ponies have Earth, Pegasus, and Unicorn ancestors in the past. Applejack and the others didn't know because they never mated before. One of the hidden truths for the ponies to unite during Hearth Warming's Eve was because each tribes was in danger of inbreeding, so all three interbreed over the years as a result. So, it's perfectly normal for a Brown Earth Stallion and a Gray Pegasus Mare to mate, and give birth to a Lavender Unicorn Filly.
      • Time lord genetics might further complicate things, though.
    • It's also possible that the unicorn and pegasus alleles cancel each other out to result in earth-pony status, which would be why alicorns are so rare and special, since the obvious approach of simply combining the chromosomes in the pair would not produce an alicorn. Combined with a third allele that is supposed to code for being an earth pony (i.e. providing the farming and nature-related talents), not only would this explain the Cake Family's twins (by Mr. and Mrs. Cake coincidentally both having pegasus/unicorn combinations and by sheer chance resulting in a pegasus/pegasus and a unicorn/unicorn), but may also explain why they aren't farmers like the Apple family and (supposedly) other typical earth ponies: lacking the genes for magical connection with nature and farming, they were not as adept to growing crops in their family history and therefore opted for a culinary career instead, since they were better at it.

Ponies can reduce the weight of objects they're carrying.
That's why sometimes they are capable of great feats of strength while at other times they don't seem particularly strong.

Ponies with mixed ancestry can sometimes get some magic abilities of a different pony type
Pound Cake's surges of super-strength as well as his ability to lift himself in the air at a rather young age may be a result of him having inherited a bit of strength-enhancing earth pony magic from his parents.

Pound and Pumpkin Cake's exceptional abilities are not exceptional at all.
They are simply a surging of the magic all ponies have. Magic is shown to force things (including developmental processes) to happen unnaturally, so once it stabilizes they'll have to learn to fly and to use magic normally.Alternatively, it might be something they really CAN do but forget, like how some very young babies can swim but still have to relearn the process when they're older.
  • Also alternatively, for pegasi anyway, it might be a body mass issue. Pegasus foals can fly easily because they have so much flying magic for so little weight that zero effort is needed, once they get bigger, they need to actually learn.

Night Ponies are a separate, but related, race to normal Ponies.
When Nightmare Moon was banished 1,000 years ago, a contingent of Luna's most loyal guards left Equestria, blaming Celestia of trying to solidify her own power by getting Luna out of the way. As Luna was Princess of the Night, they sought out somewhere where the night did indeed last forever...or at least a significant length of it; the poles.With several months out of the year being blanketed in darkness, the loyalists were free to revere their chosen princess as much as they pleased. Outside of Celestia's sunlight though, they began to change. Over the millennium of self-imposed exile, these ponies underwent a rapid evolution, likely accelerated by whatever corrupted Luna, gaining cloven hooves and vertically slitted pupils in addition to darker colors. The loyalist unicorns found their horns changing with each generation, and the pegasi had their wings shift with the new evolution. Eventually, the loyalists became the Night Ponies. Breaking the species differences down.Earth Night Pony: Cloven hooves, slitted pupils, traits common to all Night Ponies.Unicorn Night Pony "Nighthorns": Males' horns became pairs of heavy, curved bull-like horns, while the females acquired sets of slender oryx-type ones.Pegasus Night Pony "Nightwings": Leathery bat wings.When Luna returned from her exile, she sought out the descendants of her guards, and is now helping them reintegrate with larger Equestrian society. Their loyalty to her, even after a thousand-year absence is still fierce, leading to members of her personal guard being recruited from their ranks, explaining the bat-winged pegasi pulling her chariot in Luna Eclipsed.
  • If Luna had this contingent of loyalists, why would she have felt so neglected and disregarded?
    • Compared to the rest of Equestria, this contingent was very small; likely a squad or two of guards, and maybe their families. The vast majority of ponies still slept at night, and didn't enjoy Luna's work as much as Celestia's. I may be mistaken, but jealousy, as much as resentment, was a part of Luna's transformation/possession as anything. Luna had her guards, but, in her eyes, Celestia had everyone else.
  • Now that we've seen Fluttershy get transformed into a bat pony, maybe Luna's guards are regular pegasi who have undergone a similar transformation... or the descendants of them.
  • Nights lasts longer at the poles, but so do days. People living in polar regions would experience continuous night over most of the winter, brief periods of alternating day and night in "spring" and "autumn", and continuous day over most of the summer. The total amount of time spent in the night and in the day doesn't change — all that changes is that the nighttime is clustered at one end of the year and the daytime at the other. In other words, it's for all practical purposes the exact day-night cycle everyone else experiences, it just takes longer to complete each "day".

Horse is to Pony as Human is to Elf (or Dwarf)
The ponies are a smaller and more magical version of the mundane creature, with extensive natural magic and connection to nature. They are divided into a nature variant like a wood elf, a more magic focused variant like a high elf, and a variant that flies like some forms of faefolk are known to. The word pony is recycled here to denote a fantasy race of small horses just as dwarf is used to describe both little people in reality and a race of fantasy humanoid in literature and myth.

So, the word equine is used much as a fantasy setting uses "humanoid". Zebras and other equines may practice and use magic, but aren't as inherently connected to it as ponies. They persist in a relatively primitive state technologically since they can't manipulate objects as well as the magical ponies, so ponies also fulfill the dwarf or gnome role of being better at making things (and mining gemstones) than their equine brethren.

As an aside, the series in fact seems to carry some parallels with ElfQuest, and one can't help but wonder. The earth ponies may be like the Wolfriders, with mundane animal blood in their line that connects them to the earth more fully. The unicorns are like the desert elves, much more in line with magic and how their society used to run. The pegasi are a bit like the gliders, in that they are a bit more militant and they (obviously) fly.

  • "ponies = elves" makes sense. they seem to be much more inherently magical then most other species (Especially "mundane" creatures like cows, mules, etc. which could all be human analogues.), they are very strong, and they are connected to nature very directly.

Ponies have ball-and-socket joints instead of elbowsnote 
Think about it; the main joint in the foreleg seems to have the ability to bend any which way. Either it's a free-floating joint held in place only by muscle like the shoulder, or it's a ball-and-socket joint. Having it be a free-floating joint makes no sense for a joint you stand on, leaving the ball-and-socket joint. Their musculature must be really interesting.

Foals' instinctive use of their powers is a result of the Centipede's Dilemma.
Pound and Pumpkin Cake are shown able to use their powers in infancy, whereas Scootaloo and Twilight Sparkle have not learned to fly and needed extensive training respectively. The reason for this is that the infants are able to do so by pure instinct, which is why their powers are described as coming in unpredictable bursts. As they grow older and they develop mentally, they lose that instinctive edge and/or end up trying to make their powers happen. They can no longer use their powers because they don't know how to do so consciously yet. So they have to re-learn.

Many male ponies have a "female" form
This explains the perceived imbalance.

Nearly ALL of the ponies, even the likes of Celestia, are complete idiots.
Shown multiple times, but very well demonstrated in A Canterlot Wedding. Chrysalis herself, for all her attempts at being a Manipulative Bastard, is not the sharpest tool in the shed - sending Twilight to the caves for her to conveniently discover the real Cadance, leaving the exit guarded only by three completely unarmed pony girls, not even trying to get in character whatsoever... Yet she manages to fool absolutely everybody in Canterlot, including Princess Celestia, of whom she is the niece! You'd think Celestia would know her own niece well enough to suspect something?

On another note, Canterlot is in danger of being invaded, so why does Luna apparently sleep out of Canterlot? Had she been there, perhaps together with Celestia they could have repelled Chrysalis. Also, since they have the bearers of the Elements at hand, why wouldn't they entrust them with the Elements while they were there? They're fashinable trinkets and had they done this, Chrysalis would have been blasted off far quicker.

  • In Celestia's defense, she probably hadn't been spending much time with Cadance. Normally she's a very busy Alicorn, and around the time of the wedding she was on an even stricter schedule because she was trying to keep watch for danger. Also, it's never implied or indicated that Luna sleeps outside of Canterlot.
    • Actually, it's exactly in "A Canterlot Wedding" where that is implied for the first time — Luna flies in from outside Shining Armor's force field to relieve Celestia for the night, and she misses out on the entire changeling invasion.

The "Race" gene is on the X Chromosome
Only Mares can be Alicorns, however it is still a rare occurrance because Not All Genes Are Codominant and may require another mutation or specific set of traits to trigger it

There is about a 50/50 split between colts and fillies in Equestria
The reason there seems to be more females than males is pure dumb luck; Ponyville just happens to have a population disparity favoring fillies. If you were to go visit a larger city like Fillydelphia or Manehattan, you'd get a much more accurate cross-section of the Equestrian population as a whole. Most of the straight fillies in Ponyville are either single, or in long-distance relationships.
  • In other towns than Ponyville, like Cloudsdale, there do seem to be more male background characters.
  • This video points out that the genders are pretty balanced in other towns, at the school, and during holidays. Suggesting that since Ponyville is a rural town most of the visibly larger and stronger stallions are out in the fields working most of the time.

Most foodstuffs made by ponies are not fit for human consumption.
Since equines have different dietary needs then human beings (not just a near absence of meat products and the presence of certain plants), their cuisine probably developed to be quite different from human ones. For example, there's probably double the amount of salt in the baked goods then what is considered normal for baked goods made for people.
  • Related guess: Pony food normally has enough sugar to give a human diabetes. A human pancrease just isn't built to handle all of Applejack's apple themed desserts and Pinkie's Cakes/Candies style baked goods.
  • Also, Pony food has a LOT of fiber. As they casually eat hay and assorted plant stuff that humans wouldn't eat unless desperately starving. And even then, human stomachs won't get much nourishment.

Pony teeth are super tough.
Since they seem able to use bite force to support their weight without trouble, their teeth are probably stronger than human average. Also the sheer amount of damage ponies can endure (crashing, trampling, etc.) without knocking out teeth is impressive. Lastly, for a race that has a lot of apple desserts, candies, cakes and other high sugar foods, they don't seem to have much trouble with cavities.
  • Jossed: Apple Bloom chipped a tooth in The Cutie Pox.
    • It's possible that it's only the adult teeth that are incredibly tough but the baby teeth of ponies are about as strong as human teeth.

Breaking a leg for a Pony does not mean its time for a Mercy Kill. They can actually get better from that.
A combination of healing magic, extreme durability that goes to cartoonish range of toughness and being smart enough to have medical care probably allows them to be treated where real life horses would have to be put out of their misery.

When young, boy ponies will be stupid.
Still a new fan but while the girls seem like a gifted bunch, the boys are dumb enough to go bear baiting with themselves as bait. Thankfully the stupid seems to wear off at maturity.

Ponies, if translated to "real life" sizes, are actually tiny.
They might only be toy size (or smaller), which could partially explain some of their abilities and why the are so tough. The Square-Cube Law is working in their favor.
  • The problem is, because smaller objects have a higher surface area/volume ratio, and drag mostly increases with surface area, the Square-Cube Law actually works AGAINST any pegasus trying to fly at high speeds, which would make the Sonic Rainboom even more unlikely.
  • Even the fillies are a little larger than a medium-range dog (e.g. Winona). This makes them larger than your average toy.
  • By extension, this would make giant creatures like the roc or the ursa major the size of their real-life counterparts — if a pony is the size of a toy, a roc would be around the size of a large eagle and the hill-sized ursa in the range of sizes most bears fall in.

Ponies are vastly smarter than humans.
To this moment, I'm still trying to figure out the reason Ms. Cheerilee was teaching about cutie marks and gravitational constant to her class at the same time. And why she spent one whole year (or at least an entire school semester) teaching advanced physics to kids. It says a lot about the smartness of ponies in relative to humans, at the very least. Plus, the fact that Professor Pony (from the season 3 spoilers) calculated the square root of a large number on a blackboard with practically none of the calculation steps written along with it down to several digits of accuracy shows that Twilight's purported egghead-type intelligence is not that far off from the general populace's upper-quartile IQ marks.

If anything, I consider that an average pony in MLP possesses IQ marks (or the equivalent for ponykind) around at least 50 points higher than an average human.

Pony Birtrate is low.

Perhaps up to the point where three is an uncommon number of children. This may be due to law, biology or magic, but Pony society is a society that will not have any drastic demographic change.

The Ponies are actually Claytronics with AI or uploaded intelligences

The ponies' bodies are actually claytronics, which is why they are able to grasp objects and bend in ways that seem to defy bone and muscle structure. Their intelligence is either complete AI from the beginning, uploaded minds of once organic beings (people possibly) or AI birthed from once organic mind uploads.

Ponies sunbathe to bleach their fur

Consider the following:

  • Two of Princess Celestia's physical aspects are "being tall and slender" and "having a near-white coat".
  • Fleur-de-Lis is presented as a beautiful pony, and is certainly tall, slender, and near-white.
  • Rarity has a near-white coat too, and is the pretty one among the Mane Six.
  • Princess Celestia can thus be considered a model beauty. An image to strife for.

  • Ponies sunbathe, despite having furry coats. Their skin, if at all affected, would not be visible.
  • Rarity, being a natural light gray, is regularly seen with a large hat or some other source of shade, and rarely if never sunbathing.

The gist of the guess: pony coats fade to white with solar over-exposure, because maybe the pigment breaks down. It takes a long time to whiten by sunbathing, and colors "grow back" relatively fast.

And here's a bonus joke miniguess related to the above: Celestia is a natural pink but always appears pale because she basically is the sun and can't help it.

The official name for the species of pony in the show is actually "Little Pony"

Foals go through 'surges' as they grow.
Unicorn foals go through surprisingly strong and sometimes uncontrollable bursts of magical energy called 'surges', the first usually occuring at one month old (seen in Baby Cakes) and the last at fifteen years, give or take a month. Each surge lasts about a week, expressing itself in random bounts of strangely powerful magic, then the foal's powers die down again.

Surges can also be triggered, usually accidentally, by magical strain or other events. However, they will stop the moment the foal's magic reserves run out. Twilight experiences a surge in The Cutie Mark Chronicles. Celestia had to intervene, as Twilight's magic was too strong to run out for some time.

Surges mark the aging of a foal, and over time they will slowly gain more control of them. The strength of a surge is usually limited by the level the foal's magic will reach as an adult, though it may go slightly beyond. Only very rarely does the magic of a surge reach beyond their maximum magical potential.

Pegasus foals also go through a form of surge, though they are different from those of unicorns. Like unicorns, their (flight) magic is greatly enhanced. They will be able to fly quite capably, and will often be able to carry things far larger then themselves. This wears off much slower than that of unicorns.

After each surge, a small portion of the power from it remains with them. By this process, their normal power slowly rises, though they must still be taught how to use it. Some magic from the surges is trapped, and can be accessed later in life with training, patience, and talent. Very few unicorns and pegasi realize their true power, and often bear these hidden sources for most, if not all of their lives without using or even knowing of them.

Ponies are extremely durable... against certain types of trauma.
Blunt force trauma and certain magical effects are not that dangerous. You could have an anvil land on you, or smack someone hard enough to send them flying across the town and they won't be seriously harmed, and only falls above a certain height will actually be dangerous, hence why Pinkie could survive Gilda sending her flying machine down, but young Fluttershy getting knocked off her cloud perch, Rarity losing her butterfly wings and the subsequent knocking out of the Wonderbolts, or when Lightning Dust nearly sent 5 of the Mane 6 falling was treated seriously. However, they seem outright terrified when dealing with dragons, hydras, timberwolves, Ursas, etc. Why? It's because those use claws and sharp teeth. Slashing and piercing damage will harm them like they would in real life, but bludgeoning damage can be shrugged off if it isn't too, too, too severe.
  • This might apply to all species... except maybe the Timberwolves.
  • Caveat on the Wonderbolt Academy example: that might have been considered lethal because there was a mountain and thus the risk of falling onto jagged rocks.

A pony is an incorporeal hive mind.
The reason they never refer to another pony as "anyone" or "anybody" is because each pony is composed of billions of semi-sentient entities which have no solid form, being composed of pure thought. When they interact with one another they form a mental "world" in which to communicate, with ponies—or other creatures—as their avatars.

Alicorns are not biologically born, but "given/earned" for those selected to rule
No pony was ever born an alicorn. The most powerful unicorns, which was Celestia and Luna, then later Twilight and Cadance, were selected and/or earned alicornship to make them the most effective rulers of Equestria. This is evidenced by the fact that A. we saw Twilight turned into one (no matter how many of you still deny that certain turn of events) B. we know Equestria was not always ruled by the princesses and unicorns were able to make the sun rise. So, sometime before she met Twilight, Cadance was selected because she had mastery of the magic of love, and also was very powerful (she could shield the entire Crystal Empire on her own). Celestia selected Twilight Sparkle as a potential princess after her "Sonic Rainboom" incident, and got some clue she may be connected to the Elements of Harmony.

Thus, Luna and Celestia some long time ago were two extremely powerful unicorns, becoming an alicorn, pleasing the unicorn elites and the pegasus military leaders that one of "themselves" would be the ruler. Earth Ponies kind of had to "deal with it" being little more than serfs and all that jazz...

Ponies are facultative bipeds rather than normal quadrupeds

We've seen various evidence that they are physiologically adapted for at least partial/non-constant bipedalism, seeing them take positions that a pure quadruped either just plain couldn't do or couldn't do easily. They also display ranges of motion in their shoulders and hips that are closer to ours than to our-world horses & ponies.

Also, Equestrian ponies are digitigrade (the ground-touching part of their 'feet' being hoof-tips and softer fleshy pads) rather than unguligrade (the hard hoof makes up the entire ground-touching part of the foot).

The Theory of Poneous Generation
Upon reaching sexual maturity, a My Little Pony's cutie mark begins to naturally radiate some sort of DNA, or, as is my suspicion, pure sugar with genetic material encoded in it. The radiation from the kajillions of ponies accumulates in the atmosphere, and collects in clouds. The rain falling from these clouds, if it encounters a depression in which pretty flowers bloom and the indwells and outdwells of the sweetness that flows across the land of Equestria like ley lines collect, will create a Pool of Poniness, from which new My Little Ponies arise. The various Pools of Poniness are regularly checked on, and if a foal has arisen lately, they will be taken back to the nearest hospital and delivered to the pony couple it most nearly resembles.

On behalf of Pip...
My Little Ponies are unable to defecate. It just builds up until they explode in a cloud of fertilizer and sugar, from which pretty flowers bloom.
  • —WMG on behalf of Pip/Jolly Jack; I hope I haven't violated copyright or anything...
    • Jossed in Baby Cakes (the twins have their diapers changed) and The Last Round-Up (there is an outhouse shown; and used twice).

There are secondary pony races for all types.
We've seen Pegasi and their Batpony cousins, Earth Ponies and Crystal Pony cousins, so we'll eventually see a secondary race of Unicorns. Hell, Sombra might actually be a member of this secondary race, with his freakish curved horn. And the secondary Alicorn race? Crystal batpony with a curved horn.

The objects ponies interact with their hooves are enchanted.
Perhaps at first they used straps to affix things like bows and spoons to their hooves, but those were woefully inefficient and cumbersome as well as thoroughly unfashionable, so magnetised horseshoes and objects were invented (see a WMG above), but those, too, proved inefficient because not only would the item rotate around on their hooves because of the magnetic polarity, but sometimes the object would just fall off their hoof, so one day, it was decided they'd try to enchant them. After all, unicorns had no problem with straps or magnets, right? So every object was henceforth enchanted to stick to a hoof and you can't see the magic aura (as you can with Tank's propeller) because the unicorns who enchant these objects nowadays have enchanting objects for pony use as their special talent.

Ponies React a lot better to alcohol than humans.
A ponies Magic will protect them from most detrimental effects of Alcohol. A Drunk pony won't behave like a Drunk human. They will instead behave like a drunk cartoon character, acting funny, being stupid and making silly decisions and getting married, but won't turn dangerously violent or sustain long term damage. They also won't pass out and choke on their own vomit. They will just go to sleep when they reach a certain threshold. Before that threshold they will become more and more hyper and silly and prone to shenanigans. Drop Of Moonshine comes to mind.

Ponies don't grow gradually, but have major growth spurts.
This is why nearly all young ponies are almost exactly the same size, and nearly all mares are the same size. This is most clearly seen when comparing the Canterlot Five when they were all filly-sized to when we see most of them in Cheese's flashback: Lyra and Minuette (right side of the overhead shot) are still filly-sized, while Twinkleshine (lower left of same) and Lemon Hearts (helps Orange Swirl/Dizzy Twister pick up Cheese and toss him after he gets his hat and sandwich) are mare-sized.

Each pony type has a specific way of going High-Pressure Emotion.
We've seen Pinkie lose her cool, and seen Twilight lose hers. (If anypony presses Party Favor's Berserk Button, he will probably turn into Rapidash the Ridiculous) As for pegasi, it probably involves going all over the place on fire.

     Origins 
Alicorns are the Progenitor Race of all Ponies
Less of a WMG, and more of a serious theory, This Troper believes Zebras, Donkeys, and other equines in show have the same common ancestor species, similar in a way to the earliest species under the Homo genus for humans, though this is probably obvious. I call this Equus progenitori. b) following this is theory, Equus caballio (Ponies) are a species, unlike Ponies in the real world, which are merely a variety of Equus ferus caballus (Domesticated Horse). Equus alicornus would be the progenitor ancestor race of modern ponies, Celestia and Luna representing some of the only living ones. the varieties are simple genetic markers that all ponies carry, but not it's very rare or impossible for a modern pony to show genetic markers of all three "breeds" although it is technically possible for an Alicorn to be born to any other ponies, if the Genetic markers expressed properly. The following is the taxonomic hierarchy:
  • Genus - Equus
    • Common Ancestor - Equus progenitori sapiens
    • Species Zebra - Equus zebra sapiens
    • Species Donkey - Equus asinus sapiens
    • Species Alicorn - Equus alicornus sapiens
      • Progenitor Subspecies of Modern Ponies - Equus caballio sapiens
      • Earth Ponies - Equus caballio terra (also known as Equus terra)
      • Unicorns - Equus caballio monoceros (also known as Equus monoceros)
      • Pegasi - Equus caballio pegasi (also known as Equus pegasi)

Ponies are Programs.
Equestria's world is a node in a ReBoot/TRON universe inside a computer. That's why ponies have to move the sun and the moon, control the weather and generally micromanage their entire environment. But unlike ReBoot or TRON, they don't know it.
  • Perhaps the Alicorn Amulet lets a pony see into this aspect, hence why Trixie was able to put Pinkie's mouth in the trash bin. Alternatively, there are ponies who know but keep it a secret.

The ponies of Equestria are semi-divine servitors created to uphold the natural laws.
All the ponies have some manner of innate talent, whether magical (Fluttershy can control animals, Pegasi control the weather) or mundane like Applejack's skill at herding animals.
We're told that the world outside of Equestria does not require the maintenance Equestria does; animals take care of themselves, as does the weather. But this is not a sure thing. In case of a breakdown of the natural laws, Celestia created servants that might keep things running smoothly so she herself could focus on fixing the underlying problem. She made Equestria exempt from some of these laws so that the ponies would not forget the skills required. The ponies with mundane skills are to collect the practical knowledge of civilization so that even if all life outside of Equestria is destroyed through some cosmic SNAFU, rebuilding will be possible. They were given free will because Celestia and Luna needed the company.
  • Ah, but is the Everfree Forest the norm (suggesting all lands beyond Equestria work that way) or an aberration (suggesting you could circumnavigate the Forest while remaining in Equestria)?

The ponies of Equestria are evolved from System Shock 2's Annelids.
Exaltation of harmony and fear of discord? Check. Advanced psionic abilities? Check. No advanced technology like computers? Check. Now all that's needed is a Creation Myth where a Machine Mother gives life to the first ponies, tries to destroy them, and is killed by her own pawn.

The ponies of Equestria are Sufficiently Advanced Aliens.
Look at the evidence. They control the weather and the landscape. They've domesticated animals to the point where said animals have forgotten how to take care of themselves. (Sound familiar?) Their society is ludicrously advanced compared to humans. They even have Functional Magic for Celestia's sake! The ponies never seem to question any of this, and are horrified at the thought of nature taking care of itself. Obviously, their technology has advanced to a level in which the ponies themselves don't fully understand how it works, it "just is". (Kinda like the attitude many humans in developed countries have towards advancements such as computers, medicine, and and democracy.) This perfectly explains all the Schizo Tech. It's SCIENCE, people!
  • Which probably means that they are all just one disease away from a global plague.
    • And they know it: they are deathly afraid of Cutie Pox when Applebloom gets it.

"Pegacorns" were the Sufficiently Advanced Alien Precursors; the rest are their descendants.
The singular nature of Princess Celestia and her sister raises a few important questions. They would appear to be an ancient breed of pony that has evolved into the smaller, shorter-lived ponies of today; but if "pegacorns" are so long-lived, why haven't more of the same generation survived into the present day? If they were killed off in a war or something, how did a couple of survivors get to rule over all the other kinds? Most importantly, how could any ponies predate their own solar cycle?

What would make sense is if horses with both horns and wings were a highly advanced race of interstellar nomads who made it their mission to use their cosmic powers to terraform planets and seed them with life. During the founding of Equestria, the aliens could have interbred with the most compatible of the native fauna to produce generations of "little ponies" that would inherit diluted forms of their powers, enough to look after the local environment. As part of their tradition, after some time the pegacorns left the planet to seek out a new one, leaving behind only a few of their own as guardians to keep the big things like the orbits and rotations of the planets in balance. This could be because they are very vulnerable to losing their sanity and fracturing their personalities from boredom, such as what happened to Luna.

We know Princess Celestia enjoys a good prank; it's likely to be one of the ways she keeps her sanity in check. But Celestia's Magnificent Bastard side may be part of a serious plan to set up groups of ponies on tests to see if they can harness forgotten technologies like the Elements of Harmony and eventually govern the planet all on their own someday. Additionally, Celestia's extraterrestial nature would explain why she insists on keeping the title "Princess" after so many years as sole ruler: The real King or Queen of her society is still out there, only on some other planet. And her interest in Twilight Sparkle's reports on friendship may be because Celestia is compiling a sort of cultural/anthropological study on what sort of people the pegacorns have produced, and a personal account from one of them is just what's needed to make it really convincing.

The ponies of Equestria evolved from prehistoric horses.
Horses are to Equestrian ponies as neanderthals are to modern-day humans. Thus, the reason we don't see any horses on the show is because they're all extinct.
  • Not an accurate comparison, not all modern humans are descended from neanderthals, and those who are are hybrids. Ponies were bred from horses through inbreeding of a single species.
  • Beat me to this guess
  • Probably more accurate to say equines to them are the equivalent of the primitive proto-hominid that is the common ancestor of humans, chimpanzees, bonobos, and apes. However, it's also very likely that the equine-like creature that they probably evolved from millions of years in their past was probably 6-limbed. This would be necessary in order to pegasi to exist and be genetically compatible with the other 2 species. Evolving more limbs practically doesn't happen in nature, but it would make sense if earth ponies and unicorns lost their wings (or more accurate, they have vestigal structures where the wings would be, and they just never complete development). It's very likely that even further back, some of the earliest life on that world is 6-limbed - notice all the 6 limbed creatures: pegasi, alicorns, dragons, griffons, hippogriffs.

The ponies were once a slave race.
Long ago, the Diamond Dogs ruled over Equestria with an iron paw, using the ponies for manual labor. Earth ponies were used for digging and hauling wagons, unicorns were forced to use their magic powers for gem-finding, and pegasi were used as flying mounts for personal transportation. One day, an alicorn were born- Celestia and Luna's mother- and given to the tyrannical queen of the Diamond Dogs as her personal pets. After many years of seeing her kind enslaved and abused, the alicorn overthrew the queen and revolted along with the rest of the ponies, forcing the Diamond Dogs to live underground in the very mines they once forced ponies to dig in.
  • Except that in "Hearths Warming Eve", it was clear that the ponies (who were in charge of their previous land) migrated to what eventually became Equestria. Given what was said, this was before Discord or the Princesses came into the picture. They really couldn't have done that if they were enslaved; even if they had been, it would have been by the Windigoes, not by the Diamond Dogs.

The ponies are a colony of terraformers.
From the start, Celestia and Luna made sure that the planet spun at the correct speed, and disagreement over it lead to their conflict. It's been several generations for most ponies, who can't recall their origins, but most jobs involve creating an Earth-like environment artificially, up to and including the feeding and wrangling of "wild" animals. Equestria is the area that's reached a desired state, even if it still requires maintenance from the ponies. The Everfree Forest marks the edge of their efforts, as Fluttershy says that the "animals take care of themselves" and thus a self-sufficient ecology can be found. Zebras are an intelligent native species, just different enough from ponies to provoke an Uncanny Valley reaction when they're first introduced to one. Parasprites are another native species which is normally controlled by predators in the wild areas of the planet, but acts like an invasive species when introduced to Equestria (when Celestia was called away to deal with an infestation at the end of the episode, it was because she's old enough to be considered an expert on the native species of the planet). Dragons are an interesting case, as they are a native species that's somewhat socialized, and Spike is an early attempt at domesticating one.
  • The original inhabitants were nonsentient Draconequi that produced a hallucinogenic substance that gave Ponies the ability to navigate interstellar spacecraft. After the planet was colonized by the Empire of Pony, Celestia and Luna became alicorns by consuming gratuitous amounts of it, then "ordered" the local environment in a way that caused the Draconequi — other than one smart freak — to go die out, but made it more hospitable to Ponies as part of a prescience-informed millenia-long plan to ensure that Ponykind never goes extinct. Dragons are (so far unsuccessful) attempts to engineer Draconequi that can exist in the ordered environment.
    • And with that I think we've managed to cross over MLP with every major 'verse in literary history.
  • In light of Hearth's Warming Eve, this can be amended thusly: The first colonists seeded were the three core tribes of ponies fighting against the chaos of the world they lived upon. The intelligence that was Discord allowed them around because it was adding one new chaotic element, and they fought among themselves, too. At the end of the play, though, we see an Equestrian flag displaying alicorns. Alicorns were not the root of ponykind. Alicorns were prophesied to emerge, a second phase of the terraforming project that would create a unified administration once the pony population was large enough. Once Luna and Celestia appeared on the scene and gave ponies real direction, Discord took notice, leading to the confrontation that utilized the Elements of Harmony. In the years that followed, Luna was banished, but because Celestia can organize all of Equestria, no more alicorns are needed from the population at this time. Phase three, once the planet is fully managed, will mean contacting the seeding population, whomever those precursors might be, so that they can live with the ponies who manage their paradise planet.

  • See also "Surface Tension", a science fiction short story by James Blish.

Originally there were only Alicorns, but Discord split them into 3 races to get them to turn on each other.
Obviously his chaotic magi missed at least 2 of them.

All ponies came from one, great Alicorn who now exists to ponies as nothing more than an old ponytale, akin to the Stork.
Slightly inspired from a guess down in the Winged Unicorns section. This Alicorn existed before the rest of the planet Equestria is on, having come from a similar planet which was likewise created by a great Alicorn with similar abilities, and wrote into life four Alicorns to do what her abilities could not; Terra and Tempus to create a world (as a planet and time are not alive, she could not create them herself), and Luna and Celestia, to raise the moon and sun. Together, they created the planet, and the Alicorn wrote into being the life forms, from dragons to ponies to gryphons to goats and everything in between. However, she also wrote some dark things into the world to counterbalance the good and create Harmony in the land, though sometimes the dark things got out of hoof. She's the one in charge, too, of writing what kind of pony will be born to what parents, and is the real reason why Mr and Mrs Cake had a pegasus and a unicorn; she was amusing herself. Most ponies don't seriously think this Alicorn is responsible for the birth of ponies, but will tell their foals that she wrote them into being. This Alicorn, Anima, gifted with giving Life, has no hold over how things progress on the planet, none of them make things happen in a particular way. Anima simply creates life, nothing more. Tempus controls the flow of time (fully capable of stopping it or speeding it up if he so chooses, and he is the high scheduler of anything time-related), but does not interfere even if he is capable of foresight, Terra created the planet itself and she is the cause of quakes, volcanoes, and other phenomena, as well as working with Tempus to schedule the seasons and weather. Anima created three races of pony: first came Earth Ponies, created to cultivate the soil and blessed with the abilities of Terra herself and with her connection to the ground. Earth ponies were also blessed with Tempus's gift with time (note that most ponies with that infamous cutie mark are earth ponies, as is the pony with the pocket watch). Pegasi and Unicorns followed soon after, each race gifted with the abilities of a different Alicorn. Anima created three different races rather than more Alicorns because these were the races she recalled fondly from the planet she originated from.

Ponies in Equestria are either Maximals/Predacons, or descend from one.
This does sound out there, but let me explain.

In Beast Wars (and Beast Machines, if you want to count that), Maximals tend to take the forms of mammals, birds or fish; ponies are mammals, so it seems logical that even ponies in Equestria are viable forms for a Maximal to take. Magic could be what's left of their Cybertronian technology; which would explain how pegasus ponies can fly. Unicorns could, thusly, descend from Transmetal-2 formed Maximals or Predacons, which would explain the odd magic abilities like levitation and telekinetic abilities, as well as the rapid regeneration of injuries. Due to unknown circumstances (possibly relating to the beginnings of Equestria), they could have lost the typical appearance of Transmetal-2 Maximals or Predacons, thus explaining why they aren't more mechanical in appearance. Maximals are more democratic than Predacons, which fits well with the Equestrian idea of "friendship = magic".

The reason they don't transform is simply because they're not aware they can even transform normally. Twilight becoming an alicorn could also be an equivalent to a Transmetal Maximal becoming a Transmetal-2 Maximal, and taking the place of the Optimus (or, in this case, Celestia) would thus be a way for someone to gain the same body type as Celestia and Luna, if this were the case.

As for who could be descended from what Maximal/Predacon, it's up-in-the-air.

Rainbow Dash, while a personality match for Cheetor at first glance, is not likely to be related to him; Cheetor doesn't seem like the kind of guy who'd accidentally sell his own friend as a slave just to get a book, really. She seems closer to Rattrap, though; they both do well in stealth, they both will admit their own mistakes if required and both have another of the party that they're friendly rivals with (RD and Applejack, Rattrap and Dinobot).

Applejack would seem most fitting for Dinobot, but really she seems more like Rhinox, personally; although Rhinox is talented in "fancy mathematics", and Applejack is rather not. Outside of that quirk, they seem decently similar; both are strong, adept at what they do and have an affinity for the Earth.

Fluttershy is Tigatron, really; both in personality and voice at times; willing to put trust in people (Discord and Blackarachnia, respectively), in tune with nature, skilled fighters when required...they're pretty similar already, outside of gender, species and a few other things (Fluttershy is quite timid, unlike Tigatron). Also of note is that Blu Mankuma, Tigatron's voice actor, was also the voice of Fluttershy under the effect of Poison Joke; which, if this theory is to be considered, could be Fluttershy's own Maximal programming becoming mixed with Tigatron's, resulting in a hybrid of the two voices.

Pinkie Pie is a unique case; she doesn't seem to have any direct counterpart in the Beast Wars, so it's hard to determine what (if any) known Maximal or Predacon she could be related to. She does share some similarities to Beast Wars Megatron (the huge amount of hamming up what they say, especially), so maybe she's a distant relative of Beast-Era Megatron. Normally, that would seem ludicrous, but Megatron from the Beast Wars also had a rubber duck as one of his closest allies, so maybe the two are related in some manner.

Rarity is another oddball; she lacks a direct counterpart as well, but Airrazor could be a decent comparison, and she also shares Beast Wars Megatron's hamminess. However, there is still no direct comparisons...though her sister Sweetie Belle's voice actor is the daughter of Cheetor's, so maybe that's another connection.

Twilight seems to be a good Optimus Primal; she is the leader, after all...But really, she's closer to Dinobot than to Primal; she was initally not fond of friendship, as Dinobot was a former Predacon; but, after world-threatening events coming to light (Nightmare Moon's return and Megatron's plan to wipe out both Maximal and Predacon alike from history with the Golden Disk, respectively), both saw the error of their ways and became protagonists; the only differences coming from the fact that Dinobot ultimately died to save the world (twice, even!), and Twilight has yet to follow that idea (probably because Hasbro doesn't want that sort of idea coming to pass, since the show is, to take something from the TFWiki.net, "to sell toys").

The others are a bit harder to say; though Celestia is a relative of Optimus Primal, obviously. This is probably wildly out there, but nothing ever said that WMG had to be logical.

     Pegasi 
All pegasi have a sort of elemental affiliation that gives them a trail at high speed.
For instance, Rainbow Dash has a rainbow, while Soarin' has a thundercloud and Spitfire has a smoke trail. This is why nobody has ever done a Sonic Rainboom before Dash - as Pinkie said, only a "Pegasus pony like Rainbow Dash", that is,a rainbow pegasus could cause it.

Pegasus ponies don't fly with their wings.
They fly with magic. They can extend their flight magic to things they tow(like chariots, or moving vans), so they fly with them instead of dangling below them. Part of their magic allows pegasus ponies to walk on and manipulate clouds. Their magic, their flight magic at least, comes from their wings, much like the unicorns' magic comes from their horns. That's why Rainbow Dash couldn't fly when Applejack tied up her wings.
  • Word of God confirms that pegasus and earth ponies have magical powers. While she doesn't say that flight is magical it's a safe assumption to make.
  • As an extension to this it is possible that in most cases magic is providing the lift. In those cases the wings are merely acting as stabilizers and forward propulsion. We see evidence of this in Scootaloo, who has yet to master the magic required for lift but is able to use her wings for forward propulsion. Only certain Pegasi can use magic for forward propulsion, the Wonderbolts and Rainbow Dash would be examples. This is visible as the magical trails these Pegasi leave behind.This magic might also explain the Sonic Rainboom. Ponies are not very aerodynamic, so additional magic would be used to improve the aerodynamics of the Pegasus. Additional magical force would be required as forward velocity increases to prevent the Pegasus from being shredded by air resistance. After breaching the sound barrier there is a marked decrease in air resistance, so the magical energy would need to be rapidly dissipated in the form of the rainbow explosion witnessed.

Pegasi have a secondary set of pectoral muscles
I've noticed that despite being physically on par with Applejack in every other way, Rainbow Dash still appears to have substantially greater upper body strength than her. This theory would also explain how they can manage to be flight capable without having to rely on magic as an excuse/reasoning.

Pegasus magic is not flight, but rather Inertial Dampening.
Pegasi are not what you would call aerodynamic, and routinely pull off maneuvers that would clearly be impossible through physics alone. It's natural to imagine that their flight is boosted by a magical push, but just adding a force vector and calling it "magic" leaves a lot of the questions raised by the feats they demonstrate unanswered. One possibility that goes farther to explain what we see is that instead of adding force, pegasus magic creates a field that reduces or nullifies the mass of the pegasus and any freight that she may be carrying.

Note that cloud-walking and sculpting is not explained by this; even if a pegasus reduced her mass such that the matter of a cloud was a physical obstacle, that wouldn't make her able to pick it up and manipulate it, and at any rate the air itself would be as much of an obstacle. This also implies that the main force that a flying pegasus is struggling against is not gravity but air resistance.

Some evidence:

  • Rainbow Dash's mass is at least on the same order as Applejack's, or she'd have gone flying when she tried to hoof-wrassle.
  • Items hauled by pegasi appear to float, but fall plenty fast when dropped.
    • If the mass does not all return instantaneously, that explains how the frog that Fluttershy dropped, not to mention Twilight Sparkle, survived "Feeling Pinkie Keen".
  • Rainbow Dash, Rarity and three Wonderbolts survived a near-right angle turn at supersonic (and possibly superluminal, given the Discworld magical field theory) speed. If they were close to massless due to Rainbow Dash's magic, the extreme G-forces would not have affected them.
  • Fluttershy seems to have imperfect control over this ability. In episode 2, after a burst of mass compensation when she and Rainbow Dash catch Twilight Sparkle, Fluttershy undercompensates for Twilight's mass, because she's used to carrying smaller mammals. In "The Cutie Mark Chronicles", even though she couldn't gain control of her falling, she was able to reduce her mass enough that a swarm of butterflies was enough to break her fall.
  • When Rainbow Dash is affected by the Poison Joke and her wings are on upside-down, she's still able to move her own weight around. This is particularly visible when she's on the floor and apparently thrust-vectoring downward into it, but it causes her to scoot across the floor as if she weighs nothing.
  • The Elements of Harmony, in their aspect as big stone balls, behave as if they're very heavy when Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy carry them. Are they magic-resistant?

Pegasi don't form families.
It's very strange, but we have extensive knowledge on Applejack and Rarity's families, and we know a bit about Twilight and Pinkie's families, but we know practically nothing about Rainbow Dash or Fluttershy's immediate family, we know even less about Scootaloo's. I don't even recall seeing any Pegasus families. But I hope this is proven wrong at some point...
  • This is because young Pegasi are taken away from their families to work for the princess.
  • Thunderlane and Rumble in "Hurricane Fluttershy" are two pegasus brothers. Still, it may be a strong trend.
  • I recall reading a reddit post stating something about "pegasus ponies are daredevils also their neck snap easily". If you watn try searching metareddit for the post using variations of the word daredevil on /r/mylittleonions, /r/mylittlenosleep, or /r/mylittlepony. I do not feel good if I can't find what I am citing.
  • Jossed. As of seasons 6 and 7, we have seen Fluttershy's parents, and Rainbow Dash's parents. Both couples are Happily Married. Fluttershy even has a brother. Fluttershy's parents are a bit older and getting near retirement.

Pegasi have toxic feathers.
Considering that a love "poison" was made by stirring different ingredients with a pegasus feather, perhaps it was the feather itself that made it poisonous.

Pegasuses flying is related to the pony's aggression or assertiveness
As we know from the past, the pegasuses were a Proud Warrior Race styled on the Romans. Now a good deal of their culture is based on competition and many of them are jerks. Rainbow Dash is the best flier in Equestria. Fluttershy often seams to forget she even HAS wings. That is unless she is angry, then she stops walking in favor of flying and even was able to go faster that Rainbow Dash. The flight training is designed to get more aggressive ponies because aggressive ones are better with their wings.

Pegasi wing-muscles add front leg strength
The wings are probably connected to the front legs somehow and constant use via flight is likely what makes the Pegasi front legs so strong.

In the episode: "Fall Weather Friend" Applejack and Rainbow Dash hoof wrestled yet despite Applejack's implied Earth Pony gifts of strength, Rainbow Dash the Pegasi was able to beat her. Yet another contest of strength that used only rear leg kicks, Applejack casually demolished the machine that was supposed to measure their respective kick power, casually stating that years of Apple Bucking is what made her so strong. Yet Rainbow Dash bucks clouds so theoretically, Rainhow Dash's rear legs should get as much use.

In the episode: "Mare Do Well" Rainbow Dash has admited, without knowing it was a disguised Applejack, that Applejack was strongger than her. Perhaps over all this is true. So if Applejack, an Earth Pony strongger than Rainbow Dash, could be beaten by Rainbow Dash the Pegasi, it points to something about Rainbow having better front leg strength that may come from being Pegasi.

Pegasi don't actually LIVE on cloud settlements.

Once upon a time, they might have, but Pony Unification and possible Cross Breeding has introduced a chance that a Pegasi mother might give birth to an Earth Pony or a Unicorn.

Also since only Pegasi that can fly can actually stay/sleep/live on a cloud (as a poor flier like Fluttershy actually FELL through the clouds), it was probably considered a good idea to have a "Nest" on the ground and take up the Pegasi up to cloud settlements once they can fly.

  • When has Fluttershy fell through a cloud? She's fallen off clouds, but not through them. Anyway, it is unlikely that Cloudsdale General Hospital has a maternity wing, but having pegasi give birth on the ground isn't much of a problem.

Pegasi colonies that live on isolated islands for a very long time become flightless.
In much the same way that some birds that inhabited islands like Hawaii, the Galapagos or New Zealand became flightless due to an absence of predators, pegasi can become flightless in the same way. Their wings will become too small to support their weight and they become basically pseudo-earth ponies.

Pegasi wings are very water resistant
Their primary role seems to be weather management and that involves a lot of water, getting drenched is almost a sure thing. Possibly sharing some featuer with water fowl or Sea Hawks that dive into water to catch fish.

Some pegasi are born with a rare genetic disease that makes their flying develop late, if at all
Take for instance Scootaloo and Fluttershy. Pound Cake is able to fly at a month old, but Scootaloo still can't and she's roughly, what, 9? and Fluttershy was a late bloomer in that category and is still considered an extremely weak flier in her 20's or so (adrenaline presumably fueling her faster moments). For their own safety, they live on the ground. Scootaloo can hover, but not outright fly, because she beats her wings so fast. No pegasus is shown to need to beat their wings like an insect except Scootaloo. Fluttershy's inability to fly could be chalked up as shyness, but Scootaloo is ridiculously brazen and confident, she has no real excuse except she, quite simply, can't fly. It's not for want of wingspan, because Roid Rage has teeny tiny wings and a massive body but can still fly.
  • A rare muscle disease, maybe? It could make their wings simply too weak to propel them.
    • Propelling isn't a problem, because Scootaloo uses her wings to propel her scooter. She can't gain any lift without straining herself to Tartarus and back, and when she does, it doesn't usually last long, though that depends on whose animating and writing the episode. I think it's more a bone problem. The bones in her body or at least her wings might be more solid than a pegasus usually has, which possibly gives her movement but not lift. If this is true, then Fluttershy's problem is just confidence and meekness problems (which it's pretty strongly implied it is, anyway, since when excited or upset enough, she can fly just as well as any other pegasus).

A pegasus standing with their wings spread is considered polite and respectful on the same level as bowing or saluting.
During Magical Mystery Cure, at Twilight's coronation, all ponies with wings seem to stand with their wings extended, even Fluttershy, whose wings are usually folded, except the ones in the crowd (possibly so that more ponies can be fit in the coronation hall). Once outside, pegasi are seen standing with their wings spread, if not using them. Interestingly, they're also shown spreading their wings in "Hearth's Warming Eve", which makes them stick out from the rest of the audience.

The "wingboner" is, in fact, a threat display. Not an erotic one.
An instinctive reaction to something surprising; such as drawing oneself to full height. We have seen the unfurled wings more in response to fear than eroticism.

Pegasi have wing claspers, and erectile tissue in the wing. Flight is achieved by shaking a magical organ, which makes it lighter. Cloud walking is achieved by taking magic made in another lobe of the flight organ. Maybe they have a 3 chambered heart.

G3 pegasi existed, but..
They were wiped out by G4 pegasi. Their butterflies probably became naturally aggresive to pegasi. Also, their wings would probably be magic-powered tools

     Unicorns 
Unicorns are naturally predisposed to having mental disorders.
Maybe it's due to utilizing magic through an appendage that's so close to their brain, but it seems like most of the unicorn cast members appear somewhat... neurotic. There are several claims of Twilight having Aspergers, Rarity being Super OCD and even Sweetie Belle being a crayon short of a box. Even minor and background unicorns come off as a little unhinged, Snips and Snails appear slow, Trixie's a little over-dramatic and Lyra's well... Lyra.
  • So, are we going with the "Pinkie pie is secretly a unicorn" one down there too, she's got a serious case of ADHD and maybe a bit of schizophrenia
    • Not necessarily. "All that is gold does not glitter. All that glitters is not gold." Just because Pinkie's nuts doesn't mean she's a unicorn. She's just fourth-wall-cracking-bonkers.
    • As of Season 2 Episode 3, "Lesson Zero", this theory is gaining more credence. Twilight goes absolutely batshit over the course of the episode!
      • And again in "It's About Time".
  • Trixie enslaved all of Ponyville (admittedly she was under the influence of an Artifact of Doom at the time.) Starlight Glimmer turned a village into a Nineteen Eighty-Four dystopia, just because a friend moved away from her hometown once. Snowfall nearly erased Hearth's Warming on a whim. And then there's of course Twilight Sparkle subjecting all of Ponyville to a horrific mind-control spell for inane reasons. In all these cases, the characters quite quickly went back to normal and were more or less Easily Forgiven. Evidently, it's perfectly normal and almost expected for powerful unicorns to become destructive, maniacal evil wizards at the slightest provocation... And considering what they can do with their spells, it's astonishing that Equestria, or at least any parts of it that are rich in talented spellcasters, still even exists.

Unicorn Magic has something to do with Thelema.
Twilight Sparkle, who is explicitly stated to have Magic as her special talent, has a Cutie Mark in the shape of a unicursal hexagram. Although it's also used in some old Hinduist traditions, the unicursal hexagram became popular through Aleister Crowley and Thelema.
  • I though it was the image of the Elements of Harmony
    • Thinking of it, this makes sense. It's a six-pointed star and we have six Elements. However, it's still a star in the shape of an unicursal hexagram.

Unicorns are specifically vulnerable to compulsive disorders.
Twilight is obsessive-compulsive about organisation. Rarity is obsessive-compulsive about cleanliness and neatness. Trixie is narcissistic, compelled to speak about herself in the third person and promote herself at all times. Prince Blueblood has shown signs of orthorexia (compulsively ordered eating). The children aren't doing too badly, although Snips and Snails have an obsessive hero-worship of Trixie going on. Sweetie Belle seems to be the sanest unicorn on the show.
  • There's a theory in the Cutie Marks section below that proposes this is because unicorns generally have "Entertainment"-centric talents, and a sub-group of that is "Glamour", and glamour itself is synonymous in modern English with all things neat, shiny, new, and often pristine since glamour tends to be used to talk about the flashy lives of celebrities. It's not just an inherent part of their race, but the general talents of their species.

Unicorns have a personal Pocket Dimension where they can store things
It's called magicspace. Unicorns can store any object in this personal magicspace as long as there is space. It can then be brought back out if the unicorn needs it. This is how Twilight was able to "conjure" a door in front of Spike and one of the Flim Flams was able to "conjure" a poster of their business logo out of nowhere. It's also how Twilight was able to eliminate all of Rarity's confetti and her red carpet. She didn't make them disappear, she stored it away in her magicspace until she could find the time to dispose of it.

What keeps a unicorn from casting off-talent is mainly psychosomatic.
Unicorns can cast spells not related to their talent, but the effort is difficult and often reinforces the idea that it can't be done causing the unicorn to give up. Unicorns with a proper learning environment, supreme confidence, or lack of understanding of these limitations (like a newborn) can cast magic not related to their talent because they have the means to overcome this mental block.
  • Continuing on this, unicorn foals stop casting at the level they do because they overload their horns, making the effort too painful to pull off their incredible feats. They eventually have to relearn.

     Earth Ponies 
Earth Ponies are capable of Necromancy and life-stealing.
With enough practice, an earth pony can twist and corrupt her/his special connection to the land and life to perform a sort of magic involving raising the dead, draining life force, inflicting disease, causing drought and grossly altering animal behavior. Understandably, this magic is forbidden and its mere existence denied by the authorities.

Earth Pony magic connects them to the earth, literally.
  • In addition to being able to bless the land and yield food, Earth Ponies can anchor themselves to the ground, providing them with enhanced traction in concert with their natural strength, and not allowing them to be knocked off their feet through brute force. If an Earth Pony specialized in it, they could feasibly walk on inclines, vertical surfaces, or even completely upside down like any other plane, so long as they were still walking on Earth.
    • Earthbending Ponies?
    • This would explain how Pinkie is able to outrace Rainbow Dash even as Rainbow Dash is taking a straight line in flight and Pinkie is following the curve of the terrain.

Earth Ponies enhance healing abilities.
Not to the extent of an outright Healing Factor, but still enough to be useful. Earth pony abilities include greater strength and stamina, as well as encouraging plant growth, both of which can be linked to speeding up cell growth and repair. Just being near an earth pony would allow a unicorn or pegasus to heal much faster, which is why a lot of nurses are earth ponies, though they still need a unicorn to actually perform a surgery.

Culinary skill is linked to Earth Pony magic
Of all the ponies, the ones with most skill at cooking have been Earth ponies (and a mule and a griffon, but there's no evidence they're subject to cutie-mark, special-talent magic). Applejack has a talent for cooking apple-related foodstuffs, Pinkie Pie likes making cupcakes, and the Cakes and Donut Joe are self-explanatory. It would make sense for Earth ponies, with their skills at growing food, to have talents relating to the most effective and enjoyable use of the food that they produce.
  • Donut Joe is a unicorn... And special talents seem to trump pony type when it comes to developing skills.

Earth Ponies are heartier and stronger than the Pegasi or Unicorns
While the Pegasi are fast and mobile and the Unicorns are good with fine manipulations, Earth Ponies have the raw strength and endurance that makes them best suited for long, hard agricultural work. How else are Applejack and her family able to kick apple trees for hours and hours on end?
  • Years of working out, of course. Big Mac is unusually strong, but he's unusually strong by earth pony standards, so he's not an example of what all of them can do. While the series is infamous for adjusting strength levels for a joke, earth ponies as a whole have never been portrayed as having greater strength and Applejack has never been on a plateau relative to the other Manes.
  • This was confirmed in "Twilight's Kingdom". When Tirek went on his magic-stealing rampage, Celestia specifically referred to him as stealing the earth ponies' strength alongside the pegasi's flight and the unicorns' spellcasting. More generally, when exaggerated feats of strength have been portrayed on the show, it's almost always been from earth ponies (and often specific families — the Apple and Pie familes especially). Also, in some cases, years of working out aren't likely explanations. In "Crusaders of the Lost Mark", for instance, the earth pony filly who could lift the school building with her head and the earth pony colt who could pick up a seesaw with a filly on it with his teeth were both far too young for their strength to be due to years of physical work.

Earth Ponies have the potential for super strength
Rather than them being inherently strong from the get-go, only earth ponies that constantly do physical work have greater strength than pegasi or unicorns who do the same work. This explains why the Apple Family is consistently shown to be super strong while most other earth ponies have unremarkable strength. This also prevents the whole race from being potentially "broken".
  • In "Crusaders of the Lost Mark", there's an earth pony colt who can pick up a seesaw with his teeth and an earth pony filly who can lift the whole school building using her head as a lever. Since both are school-age children, they almost certainly didn't build up or promote their strength through physical work, which would seem to discredit this theory.

Earth ponies can massively increase their size and physical strength in situations of dire need.
Basing this one off of the scene in "Campfire Tales" where Rockhoof, who starts off as a small and scrawny earth pony colt, starts desperately digging a trench to divert the lava heading for his village and, when the lava has almost reached him, all of a sudden transforms into a massive, muscle-bound and extremely strong stallion who digs the rest of the trench in a matter of seconds. This is explicitly acknowledged in the episode as something magical happening.

The guess here is that, in situations of extreme stress and pressure or when in very great danger, an earth pony can undergo an involuntary and automatic process where their internal magic (specifically the part that grants them Super Strength) suddenly flares to massive levels, with a corresponding growth in their physical size. As a potential limiter on this, it might very well be that there's no way to trigger this change without being genuinely in danger of death, and it might also be that this process "burns out" an earth pony's ability to use their magic for anything besides being strong (so if the WMG about earth ponies being in tune with the land is correct, an earth pony that goes through this would lose their ability to connect with natural life in exchange for their new strength).

Earth pony magic comes from unique organnelles
It is like this to prevent magic clotting the blood
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    Crystal Ponies 
Crystal Ponies are a new breed.
One that specializes in focusing and spreading magic/hope/emotion.

Crystal pony attribute guessing, GO!
Until the show reveals what their deal is, we'll have to try to figure it out ourselves. Let's fill up that dartboard! They were...
  • Pony moodrings. They absorb and reflect the emotions of people around them. The Crystal Empire was originally formed to get away from the strife between the three tribes. Sombra's corruption was what happens when a crystal pony absorbs too many negative emotions.
  • Crystal Engineers. Their partly crystal nature allowed them to understand how rocks and crystals were formed, and work them better.
  • Very Fragile. They'd shatter like glass when you dropped them.
  • Color Creators. Light would refract off of them, creating all the colors of the rainbow.
  • Ruthless Conquerers. Sombra was actually a completely normal examaple of a Crystal Monarch, he just happened to be the first to attract the attention of Equestria.
  • Long-lived. Unlike other types of ponies, Crystal Ponies are made out of minerals and are not/minimally organic. Because they don't age, they're essentially immortal until shattered or fractured. This makes them valued as living repositories of history or other knowledge.
  • Earth ponies. Earth ponies with expensive hair, but otherwise just some normal dudes.
  • Magic lenses. Unicorns adore gems; Fanon is because their crystal matrix makes them useful in Magitek crafting. Now imagine someone made of gems. They're capable of pure magic use like Unicorns; but it's harnessed through the entire body rather than just the horn (my reasoning is based off the Crystal Express' engine, which seems to run on magic as opposed to steam).

Crystal ponies are descended from ponies that didn’t head south on Hearth’s Warming Eve
When most of ancient ponykind was forced to emigrate to Equestria by the Windigoes, a group of them — mostly earth ponies and some pegasi — stayed behind, perhaps deliberately refusing to abandon their home or perhaps having set off on an exploration of their own independently of the main characters, eventually reaching a dead end without knowing about Equestria being funded, or alternatively they knew about it but were in a position where traveling to it was not an option. Regardless, they eventually reach the same conclusion Pansy, Clover and Smart Cookie did — hate is doing this, use good emotions to fight back — and created an enchanted artifact (the Crystal Heart) to focus and harness their positive emotions to keep the cold at bay. Over time, prolonged exposure to the Heart’s magic affected their physiology, turning their coats to crystal.

Crystal ponies are normal ponies which got turned permanently crystal by the crystal heart

    Bat Ponies 
The bat ponies live on the shores of Luna Bay
In the updated canon map, there’s a body of water named Luna Bay in the Northern Luna Ocean. On its shores, sort of separate from the rest of Equestria and between the sea and the slopes of the Yaket Mountains, there’s a small cluster of buildings. Unlike other such locations on the map, it doesn’t have a town name, and the buildings have an unusual appearance, dark and indistinct with lighted windows, as if in shadow or at night. My guess is that this is where the bat ponies live, with the distance from Equestria being the reason for their rarity.

We’re never gonna see another bat pony on the show
They were just a one-off visual gag way back in the first half of Season 2 and in all likelihood they’re never going to show up again.

Guesses about the bat-winged ponies who pulled Princess Luna's chariot.
  • They were just ordinary pegasi; they were just wearing bat-wing costumes for Nightmare Night.
  • They are a different breed of pony from the pegasi, having bat wings instead of feathered wings. Seems unlikely, since we've never seen or even heard of such a fourth breed heretofore.
  • Something about Luna's magic automatically gives members of her retinue a more nocturnal appearance, appropriate to the Goddess-Princess of the night.
  • They're wearing enchanted armor that has a spell on it that works like the one Twilight cast on Rarity in "Sonic Rainboom" but is much stronger. Seems unlikely, however, given that the spell was so difficult that Twilight could only cast it once; a much stronger version would presumably stress even Princess Luna. Why go to all that trouble, when she could just hire naturally winged pegasi?
    • Perhaps the spell to modify existing wings is much easier than the spell to make them from scratch.
    • And if it is that easy (And Healthy!Luna is quite plausibly even more powerful than Filly!Twilight) there is no particular reason she couldn't cast the spell manually on each shift of guards and dismiss it when their shift ends. Depending on the exact details of how magic works in the setting, there may even be a "Transfer Spell Effect" spell, do she wouldn't have to re-cast it as often, even if it IS a difficult spell.
  • They're actually magically generated constructs, same with Celestia's identical white pegasi and grey unicorns.
    • Do we have any reason to think that Celestia's guards are magical constructs?
      • First they all look the same, second they only appear when she is around, and third Luna being Celestia's sister, have lived for a very long time and also a fellow alicorn seems to point out that the possibility that Celestia also has the capability to shapeshift and divide like her sister can is highly likely.
    • It's fairly clear that the Royal Guards are actual ponies — Shining Armor is their leader, there were guards with brown and green coats in "Rarity Investigates", we meet a retired guard in "A Flurry of Emotions" and they react to being talked to like actual sapient beings. Their uniform appearance is probably just fur dye and standardized armor, an illusion spell, or something else that makes them look identical. Going by that, it becomes a bit unlikely that Luna's guards aren't also actual ponies.
  • They're half-dragon ponies. Normally, half-breeds are ostracized in Canterlot (if not by Celestia herself than by all those royal jerks at the Gala), but Luna, befitting her role, takes such outcasts as her own and gives them a ceremonial position of high standing in her personal court.
    • Alternatively, they're vamponies.
    • They're from Pranceylvania — the local Transylvania Expy. Pegasi from the region just happen to look like that; bat wings are a naturally occuring pegasus variant but a recessive trait, so we haven't yet seen the phenotype in other regions. Luna recruits all her staff from the area; later we'll see a unicorn pony in her service with a pale coat, crimson eyes, and a black mane with widow's peak (opera cloak and thick accent optional), and an earth pony with a massive build, a coat with various green and grey patches, and a shovel-like brow (scars and neck bolts optional). Like Luna, they're all actually quite nice once you look past their sinister appearance.
  • They are Pegasi who were changed by Luna's powers to appear more appropriate as the guards of the Princess of the Night. But they wouldn't choose the job "royal guard of the Night Goddess" unless they were Goths or Metalheads, and either way they think their bat wings are pretty awesome. Just look at the smiles when they pull her chariot!
  • They're from the moon.
  • They're from the City of Tartarus, which is NOT pony Hell. There's a WMG for this in the Setting section. Though since they don't totally match their description provided, they're only half-Tartarusian.
    • Jossed, insofar as, canonically, Tartarus really is an underworld where evil things are imprisoned.
  • M.A. Larson and Lauren Faust, former crew members of the show, have stated on Twitter that they believe Luna's guards are a different race from Pegasi and come from "[d]eep caves inside the mountains."
All batponies are magically made from combining bats and pegasi

    Alicorns 
All ponies are born as winged unicorns.
There are actually no different types of ponies. Specially selected and indoctrinated midwife ponies secretly remove wings and/or horns from the newborns. This is done to keep the pony-society stratified with the apparently god-like Celestia on top.

The operation also affects the growth and life-span of the ponies in a negative way.

  • Alternatively, all ponies go through winged unicorn phase in utero, but then hormones/magic suppressed the development of wings, horn or both.
    • Cerapters aren't that uncommon. However, it's vanishingly rare for both horn and wings to develop properly if present at birth. (This explains why Cadance doesn't seem any too powerful; she isn't a Physical Goddess, just one of those lucky few.) As an excessively deformed hornbud will never grow into a proper magical focus (making such foals a danger to themselves and others), and stunted wings are no good for flight, these are amputated before anything tragic can happen.
  • Possibly jossed. When the Cakes had their twins in "Baby Cakes", one was a unicorn and one was a pegasus pony. It was explained that one of the parents had a unicorn ancestor and the other parent had a pegasus ancestor. If Celestia wanted to keep the ponies down by taking off wings and horns, why would they get the children of Earth ponies and only remove either the horn or the wings, and not both? That just seems weird.
    • Actually, there is a science out there called embryology that studies the different forms an embryo can take. For example, up until about six weeks methinks, humans have gill slits. Who's to say that they have winglike and hornlike structures as an embryo, but if the baby is an earth pony, the structures either fall off or just go away, if it's a unicorn, the wings go away and the horn develops, and if it's a pegasus, the horn goes away and the wings further develop. Similarly, depending upon the race, the magic within it will manifest itself in different ways. An alicorn baby could be explained as having some sort of genetic disorder that activates all three forms of magic as well as wings and a horn. This disorder could also be linked with a taller build as we see ponies with a taller build (i.e. Flim and Flam, Trenderhoof, Fluer De Lis) who aren't alicorns.

Alicorns are celestial paragons.
While Celestia and Luna do move the heavenly bodies, they're treated more like special royalty than gods. Not to mention, they're capable of having distant relatives among mortals (e.g. Blueblood, Celestia's great-great-great-great-great-great-etc. nephew via her mother). There may be all manner of alicorns amongst the heavens, but Celestia and Luna are some of the few who chose to live amongst the mortals.

Normal-sized Alicorns like Cadance are the result of a do-not-express gene failing to transmit.
Normally, interracial foals are merely one of the three types.

"Alicorns" and Changeling queens are directly related and possibly even the same thing.
It's just that where Chrysalis raised her own swarm and went on a straightforward love vampire locust rampage, Celestia and Luna long ago decided to adopt ponykind as their "children" and put in the hours to earn the love that sustains and empowers them. Cadance is essentially the same, only younger (possibly too young to even worry about biological offspring yet). That's also why Chrysalis, who otherwise couldn't care less about the lives of mere ponies, didn't kill Cadance outright; enemy or not, she's still "family".

Alicorns get their wings and ethereal god-manes when they hit some magical peak.
It only happens to the ponies in the royal family. They're born as unicorns, and when they hit a magical peak they get wings. When they hit a second magical peak, they get the "god-manes". When Cadance is helping Shining Armor defeat the Changeling Queen with her magic, her mane temporarily becomes ethereal. Prince Blueblood has yet to hit the peak because he is lazy.

Alicorns and ageing
Alicorns age differently from other ponies. Like dragons, their physical and mental maturity is more a function of their current mental state than their physical age. We already know that they (or at least Celestia and Luna) are either immortal or very long lived. We see Luna in three different states. In the beginning of the first episode and as Nightmare Moon she is proportioned like Celestia. Immediately after being hit with the Elements of Harmony, she reverts to an almost child like state. Later, having had some time to recover, she is more mature, but not as mature as Celestia.

This has interesting implications for Cadance. In A Canterlot Wedding, she appears to be an adult, but she seems much younger in flashbacks. Perhaps Cadance matures in cycles. While Celestia and Luna have avoided taking lovers, love is too important to Cadance for her to spend eternity alone. Therefore, every few decades, when the right colt comes along, she gets married. Of course, any relationship she was in would be a Mayfly–December Romance, and her husband would eventually die. Her grief over her partner's death would then de-age her to a child until she was ready for love again.

This would also allow Cadance to be Blueblood's mother, explaining how he fits into this whole mess.

  • Blueblood, as revealed from Word of God, was meant to be a duke and not a prince. I guess Hasbro didn't think that children would understand what the title meant, or it could be that he's like a Mayor to the city of Canterlot, much like how there's a mayor of Washington, D. C. and other capital cities in America.

Alicorns are NOT immortal.
Of the four alicorns we've seen in the series, only Celestia has actually lived through ten centuries; Cadance and Twilight Sparkle are too young and Luna was effectively part of the moon for all that time. Given that age spells exist, it's entirely possible that Celestia stayed young (whether by her own magic or that of the Elements of Harmony) only in order to be reunited with Luna and is now aging normally.

The original Alicorns were forged as living weapons against Discord.
In the beginning, Equestria was ruled equally between the descendents of the Chancellor of Earth Ponies, General of Pegasi, and Queen of Unicorns, until Discord came. In order to fight against his great power, the three leaders had to create something stronger than Ponykind, a living force of Harmony. By fusing aspects of earth ponies, pegasi, and unicorns, they created first Celestia and then Luna, raising them until they were old enough to harness the Elements of Harmony and overthrow Discord. The old leadership yielded power to their creations as they could provide truly unified leadership for pony-dom. Celestia and Luna took mates early on, before anyone figured out that they were also immortal, breeding a "royal family" that existed as a separate entity down through the ages, some of whom were mortal alicorns.

The original Alicorns were created by Discord.
Discord merged an Earth pony, a Pegasus, and an Unicorn to create the first Alicorns. Either that or he just created them from scratch, but merging ponies seems more in his character.

While Celestia is an avatar of the Sun and Luna is of the Moon, Cadance is an avatar of Venus.
Such beings are called "zodiac alicorns." Due to the position of their planet in orbit, or in the night sky, or whatever, these alicorns get mortal lives. They are "born," age, and die just as normal ponies, and when they do they are replaced by the next planet in line. Cadance's association with Venus allows her to harness the Power of Love, while the next zodiac will either be a Blood Knight (Mars) or a Courier (Mercury).

Only females can be alicorns.
Celestia, Luna, and Cadance are all alicorns; Blueblood, however, is not. Also, the princess from the Hearts and Hooves Day story was an alicorn, while, once again, the prince was not.
  • Or males are considered corruptible and any alicorn born male is euthanized.

There are at least a hundred Alicorns scattered across Equestria.
In the episode "The Mysterious Mare Do Well", Rainbow Dash is surprised, but not suspicious, to see that Mare Do Well has both wings and a horn. It turns out that Mare Do Well was really several different ponies. This indicates that alicorns, while rare, aren't as few in number as previously thought. It's likely that there are several Alicorns, mostly scattered across Equestria. Still a rare occurrence but not really seen as mythical beings either.
  • Celestia keeps them around in case of alicorn emergencies.
    • She's been getting lessons from Pinkie I see.

Alicorn status is acquired through a You Kill It, You Bought It principle.
When an Alicorn passes on either through violence, age, or some other way. Their power and status transfers to the nearest acceptable/willing target. It seems that each Alicorn represent a primal force/element of nature. Celestia>Sun, Luna>Moon/Night, Cadance>Love, and if his name is anything to go on King Sombra>Shadow/Darkness. As this is the case a "There can be only one" rule may be in force. This could also explain the recent promo banner that depicted Twilight as an Alicorn, if the image is based on her after the expected defeat of King Sombra in Season 3, she beat him and absorbed his magic.
  • But King Sombra isn't an alicorn. Just a unicorn.
  • Jossed as of "Magical Mystery Cure".

Alicorns are not limited in the types of spells they can use.
In the show, unicorns can only perform spells that pertain to their special cutie mark talent. Only a unicorn whose special talent is magic can perform many different types of spells. Alicorns, however, are not limited in this way. Even though they can have a special talent and a cutie mark to show for it, they have the potential to perform all types of spells if they wish to. They would still have to study and practice, but have the potential.
  • Celestia and Cadance were incapable of casting Shining Armor's shield spell, whereas Twilight Sparkle was capable of making a smaller version. Winged unicorns seem to have the same restriction of only being good at a small amount of magic, but Celestia has had the time and inclination to learn other spells.

Alicorns are the evolved or level up state.
Once upon a time, Celestia and Luna were probably regular ponies, whether they be Earth, unicorn or pegasi. Because they kept improving at their own special talent and had that potential for growth, they started gaining the physical characteristics of the other types of ponies as well, not to mention a really long lifespan. Possibly they were unicorns because we seen mostly unicorns use royal titles. Cadance probably just got her wings before or close to when she was foalsitting Twilight Sparkle, who referred to as a unicorn. It's possible that these tests Celestia is putting her through is preparing her for her transformation. Prince Blueblood, who either doesn't improve his special talent or doesn't have the potential to do so just remains a regular unicorn. Given Shining Armor's abilities, it wouldn't be surprising if he levelled up either.

King Sombra probably was getting close to that level up, which is why the sisters changed him to shadow and sealed him. If he became an alicorn, defeating him would be more if not as difficult as sealing Discord and he already took the brunt of their strength at the time, meaning they didn't have time to fully recharge.

  • This may be partially confirmed; we know now that, officially, both Twilight Sparkle and Princess Cadance began life as normal ponies (a unicorn and a pegasus, respectively) and became alicorns as a result of interacting with powerful magic.

Alicorns form and develop by going through different stages.
These stages are all defined by hitting magical peaks. Alicorns almost always start off as unicorns, who are the only race that can channel magic directly. It may be possible for Earth ponies and Pegasi who are particularly in touch with their inner magic to grow unicorn horns, but it's extremely rare. To start off, they must obtain a cutie mark symbolizing an ability that requires magic. It doesn't necessarily have to be magic itself, but something that requires magic to do, like raising the sun. The next stage is hitting a magical peak, perhaps by creating their own spells. When they do that, they get wings. When their alicorn magic becomes especially powerful, they get ethereal manes and tails. When Cadance used Shining Armor's love to power up and fight off the changelings, her mane temporarily becomes ethereal. Celestia and Luna's manes and tails are permanently like that because of how often they use their magic and the power of their magic.

All alicorns start out as regular ponies.
We've seen that both Twilight Sparkle and Princess Cadance began life as normal ponies but became alicorns later. We also have Word of God that united unicorns used to be responsible for moving the sun and moon before Celestia and Luna came along. This implies that both Celestia and Luna might have "ascended" in the same way as Twilight and Cadance, only they did so long ago.

There are two different sub-races of alicorn.
There is the Major Alicorn and the Minor Alicorn. Luna and Celestia are of the Major variety; they live longer, their magic is far more powerful, they're larger, and their magic isn't limited by their cutie marks. Cadance is of the Minor variety, she has a different body shape than most ponies but she's not much bigger, and as far as we're aware, she can't perform magic outside of her cutie mark talent.
  • As an add-on to the theory, Major Alicorns are born that way while Minor Alicorns start out as unicorns and turn into alicorns when they hit a magical peak.

Aicorns are what happen when ponies go godtier
Celestia and Luna are able to manipulate the sun and the moon, respectively, singlehandedly, despite the fact that it used to take "all the unicorns in the land" working together to do that. Cadance became an alicorn when she managed to wield a powerful artefact that gave her love magic — despite being a pegasus. Twilight became an alicorn by mastering the incomplete "destiny swapping spell" of Starswirl the Bearded. It makes sense.

Alicorns can output more magic than they can absorb.
(Moved from Magical Mystery Cure Analysis page)

If we make the analogy that the Elements of Harmony are the local equivalent of a nuke, then Starswirl might have been studying this effect, so he could reproduce it in a controlled manner. He was trying to build a magical nuclear reactor in other words. Twilight succeeded where he failed, discovered new rules, and in doing so massively amplified her available power beyond the alicorn threshold. Celestia's phrase that Twilight 'created magic' makes more sense in this context. Twilight can't create magic as such, but like a Q>5 fusion reactor, she can put out more energy than she absorbs - which sounds like a pretty good defining characteristic of an alicorn.

Alicorns are not living creatures
They are corporeal spirit beings that maintain their "life" through the manifestation of what they represent.

This is based on the theory that the "Ascension Event" that triggers the transformation actually destroys the original body of the new Alicorn (aka kills) in order to create a better "vessel" for their new power. We have only seen Twilight's ascension at the moment but Cadance's has been described as similar in one of the Expanded Universe chapter books. Basically when a proto-alicornhas their Eureka moment and kicks off the transformation they are overwhelmed with the power of their "element" and they end up in the ethereal plane/pony afterlife where their new body is constructed out of the magic they now represent. (After this point they can travel freely between the two planes which explains how Celestia met both Twilight and Cadance there during their events). Their magic now forms a corporeal "anchor" for them in order to still appear "alive".

So as long as there is a Sun, Celestia will exist. As long as there is a Moon, Luna will exist. As long as there is Romantic Love, Cadance will exist. And as long as there is true friendship, Twilight will exist.

(Note: this does cover the Word of God quote from the writing staff about Twilight not outliving her friends. As either 1. they have already outlived her as the new Twilight is a spirit being and not technically alive anymore or 2. since they are the physical representations of the elements of true friendship her existence is tied directly to theirs making them her anchor and if/when they begin to pass her anchor will weaken and fade when they do.

Alicorns have Super Strength.
While Alicorns look like Winged Unicorns, Word of God (as mentioned in various sources) is that they actually combine traits from all three pony races. Twilight Sparkle and the Crystal Heart Spell is most blatant about it: Alicorns are "a special breed of pony, able to harness the magical powers of the Unicorns, the flight abilities of the Pegasi, and the strength of a good, true heart of an Earth Pony." As we know, Earth Ponies are officially the strongest and toughest of the three Equestrian breeds; logic, then, suggests Alicorns should be just as strong as Earth Ponies.
  • Are the earth ponies officially the strongest? The show itself has never said that, and super strong ponies like Big Mac are super strong by earth pony standards. Celestia and Luna are unusually strong, but they also have greater size, life span, and magic than other ponies, including the other winged unicorns.
    • Word of God confirms that Super Strength is, in fact, at least part of the earth ponies' magic. In the actual show, when Tirek was stealing the magic of all ponies, he was specifically mentioned to be stealing the "classic" magic of the unicorns, the flight of the pegasi, and the strength of the earth ponies. As a sidenote, Big Mac is no longer the only earth pony to have Super Strength, a couple others (Maud, the colt and filly from Crusaders of the Lost Mark) have it too.

Alicorns have access to all three forms of Pony Magic.
As noted above, Alicorns combine the best traits of unicorns, pegasi and earth ponies. Logically, then, they should be able to access all three sorts of magic — unicorn Mind over Matter and general magic, pegasi flight and ability to manipulate clouds & the weather, and earth pony affinity for earth/plants/animals.

There is an Alicorn representing different "elements", akin to those of Harmony, but that represent the facets of existence itself, but very few of them are really known, even to Celestia.
Celestia is the Alicorn of the Sun, Luna of the Moon, Cadance of Love, and Twilight of Magic. It's impossible to have the Sun without the Moon because night is essential for sleep, and have the Moon without the Sun (because life would just cease to exist), and Love and Magic are shown as essential parts of everyday life in Equestria, both literal magic (particularly pegasi weather magic) and metaphorical magic (like miracles). That said, there are Alicorns to represent Time (who is Father Time himself as a pony, possibly called Tempus, the Latin word for time, and the only male Alicorn), Life itself (the most powerful Alicorn of all, rumoured to be a mere legend), and literal Earth (who likewise is associated with Gravity and is Mother Earth in pony form). Sun/Light, Moon/Dark, Love, Magic, Time, Life, and Earth. Seven Alicorns, with Twilight as the seventh and final. Seven is the most powerfully magical number, how fitting that the seventh Alicorn be the one representing Magic itself?
  • Also, Earth and Time are the reason Celestia and Luna are princesses and why Cadance is still a princess despite technically being the Empress of the Crystal Kingdom. Celestia and Luna might rule over the nation of Equestria (which is shown or at least implied to be a nation in "Hearths Warming Eve, where the six ponies moved from their original lands to a new one), but Earth and Time rule over the planet itself, and always have, because Earth and Time are the foundations of existence (followed by Life). They're still thought to be mythical, particularly Life. King Sombra was a king because he chose to disrespect and ignore the theoretical existence of Time, and ignore the fact that he was part of an Empire. Earth, Time, and Life rarely get involved with problems because nothing gets so bad that they have to step in, since they would logically be the most powerful beings on the entire planet, since they may have created the three things they're named after.
  • Life would look suspiciously like the Fausticorn, with her cutie mark representing the way she can 'write' things into life.

There is a number of Alicorns around, but only the Princesses are true Alicorns
True Alicorns would be Ponies that, somehow, acquired the magic and the heart of all three kinds of Ponies, and have godlike powers.
Fakes, on the other hand, lack the heart, and, while powerful, aren't that strong.

The "background Alicorns" seen in Season 4 are Cosplayers
They're pegasi wearing a horn headband. Kinda like how RD's fan club has Earth Ponies wearing winged harnesses.

Alicorn manes change to show the princesses' harnessing the full power of their alicorn magic.

Based on the depictions of the "Royal Pony Sisters" starting in Episode 1 (and depicted multiple times after that) it appears Celestia and Luna did not always have those flowing and sparkling manes. Proof of this comes from Luna in Episode 2 where she has a simple and single colored mane design. Yet they have them in flash-backs to over 1000 years ago (season 4 episodes 1 & 2). What happened?

  • Celestia and Luna were born alicorns (according to the "Journal of the Royal Pony Sisters") but it takes a long time for a pony to fully understand her alicorn powers, even after they've learned their special talent (like raising the sun and moon). Celestia's mane has never changed from it's aurora colors or waviness since she fully came to understand her powers. Luna has. Right after NMM's defeat Luna was weak and powerless, she hadn't used her true alicorn magic in 1000 years and had been possessed by a horrible parasite all that time. Once she was turned back into herself again, she was weak and needed to build herself back up again before she could build up the strength of her magic once again. This is why she is now seen in her regal form, starting in Season 2.

  • Cadence hasn't been an alicorn that long (according to Princess Cadence and the Crystal Heart Spell).

Alicorns, both born and created, can have children, but only up to a certain age.
Alicorns are capable of having children, as Princess Cadance has proven. However, we don't know of any children of Celestia or Luna. The reason is not just celibacy (or exile on the Moon). It's because Alicorns go through pony menopause at the same age as normal ponies. Assuming that it was something they were interested in, Celestia and Luna missed their chance centuries ago. Same applies for any pony using age spells.

No alicorn before Flurry Heart was born as an alicorn.
This, besides Twilight and Cadence, also includes Celestia and Luna, as well as any potential alicorns that may or may not have lived before them. They were all born as regular ponies and became alicorns after inventing new branches of magic, performing feats no individual ever did before, and so on, and any children they may have had were born as regular ponies. Before Flurry was born, alicorn births were thought to be impossible. There is, as such, no distinction between immortal "Greater Alicorns" that are born winged and horned versus mortal "Lesser Alicorns" that ascend later in life. This means that either a) all alicorns are immortal or b) Celestia and Luna’s immortality is something they gained separately from their alicorn status — in essence, they're immortal and they’re alicorns, but not immortal because they’re alicorns.

Luna and Celestia were not the first alicorns to exist.
There have been mentions here and there of alicorns that it doesn't make much sense for the royal sisters, or for that matter Cadance, to be the cause of. For instance, there is the alicorn princess from the "Hearts and Hooves Day" story (although, granted, there is no evidence for or against that being a real historical account as opposed to just a fable), as well as the single alicorn depicted in the temple in "Stranger than Fan Fiction". Although this last one does not necessarily depict an actual individual, it does require the knowledge of the at least potential existence of alicorns, as well as their status as special or remarkable beings, in a setting clearly presented as ancient and foreign. It really doesn't make sense for this depiction to be inspired by Luna and/or Celestia, especially since a lot of emphasis is put on the fact that the alicorn is alone (versus the unicorns, earth ponies and pegasi in the same room, which came in pairs), which clashes with the strong duality theme that follows the royal sisters everywhere. Further, if one considers the comics canon, the backstory of the thirty-second issue Friends Forever features Queen Parabola, an alicorn zebra who is explicitly stated to have ruled before the founding of Equestria.

The conclusion drawn from this is that there has been at least one case, and likely multiple ones, of a pony ascending to alicornhood before Celestia and Luna did. Even if only a single pony in a million possesses the qualities necessary to become an alicorn, it’s unrealistic to expect that there was never a single other pony over the entirety of history and the world that fit the criteria. As such, there may actually have been multiple nations and civilizations with their own alicorn rulers before Celestia and Luna became the rulers of Equestria.

Every Pony born an Alicorn has their own "Mane Six"
  • Princess Celestia's should be fairly obvious.
  • Princess luna's would be the Background Mane Six (Derpy, Lyra, Octavia, Vinyl, Bon Bon, and Raindrops instead of Doctor to keep the whole "Two Earth/Pegasi/Unicorns" thing).
  • If you do not consider The Crystal Heart Spell canon, and you believe Cadence was born an Alicorn, than her team would be: Golden Harvest, Minuette, Berry Punch, Twinkleshine, Flitter, and Cloudchaser.

Alicorns can also come in crystal pony or bat pony variants
Alicorns can be said to be, technically, earth ponies, unicorns and pegasi at the same time. If we consider crystal ponies to be a variation of earth ponies and bat ponies to be a variation of pegasi, then it should be possible to have crystal-coated or bat-winged alicorns if their earth pony or pegasus part are of the appropriate subtype. It may be that this can only happen if the alicorn in question was a crystal pony or bat pony to begin with.

Alicorns were designed
Because natural evolution doesn't make sense, and random fusion can't work FOUR times in a row PERFECTLY
  • Why doesn't natural evolution make sense, and why can't fusion work four times consecutively?

     Cutie Marks 
Ponies are actually born with their Cutie marks.
But they fade shortly after birth, in the hour or so they have them, the parents are given a glimpse of their child in their prime, Then, they give their foal a name which corresponds to this vision. Since the name usually goes along with the cutie mark give or take a little (We have yet to meet a big, rude, scary pony named "Cuddles"), it's sort of a hint the parents are giving their child.
  • Seeing as this theory doesn't really apply to characters like Pinkie Pie, Twilight Sparkle, Rarity, and others, This Troper has an alternative theory for the names. at a Ponies Cutecineira, a Pony has the choice to choose a new name for themselves based on their cutie marks and special talent.
    • It doesn't? Pinkamena Diane Pie's entire body is pink, and her stern rock-farming family would make a point of ignoring that their child is destined to be a party animal. Rather, they'd name her after her predominant color and the goddess of harvest. Twilight's mark is a series of stars. Twilight is when you can first see the stars at night, and they appear to sparkle. Rarity's mark is three white diamonds: think about all the gems that Spike has dug up for her, and that she dug for the Diamond Dogs—despite their name, they found many gems EXCEPT pure white diamonds. In the MLP-verse, gems are abundant-EXCEPT the one that Rarity has on her flank. Those are a...bingo, a rarity.
      • I suppose white diamonds look blue? And I'm not sure how I managed to skim over Pinkie...
      • Just a comment, Pinkie is not named after the goddess of harvest. The name Diane is based on the goddess Diana, goddess of the hunt and wild animals.

Cutie Marks are not genetic.
Less of a guess then an observation, but Cutie Marks don't appear to be genetic in nature so it might not be accurate to assume that somepony is related to somepony else by cutie marks alone.

Cutie Marks are not determined until they appear.
That is to say, ponies don't just find out what their special talent is, rather, they develop it when they do something they like and really put their effort into it, thus ensuring every pony will be happy with his/her cutie mark.
The marks often (but not always) fit their names because of outside influence, namely their families. For example, the Apple family have apple-related names and cutie marks, because they're from the beginning taught the apple farming trade and if the pony doesn't have anything in particular against doing that, they're likely to get an apple mark and continue the family business.

Cutie marks are meaningless.
A random symbol will appear on a pony's flank when that pony attains physical maturity, but that symbol has no meaning beyond what each pony chooses to ascribe it. For example, Cheerilee, in her lecture on cutie marks, tells her pupils that her own mark, three smiling daisies, represents her goal of helping her students bloom with knowledge, but she also says that she had already decided to become a teacher. If she had decided to become a gardener or florist, or any of a dozen other professions, might not the same mark have been just as appropriate? Or take Twilight Sparkle: her cutie mark is the exact same as Photo Finish's, yet in Twilight's case, it represents her affinity for magic, while in Photo Finish's, it represents a camera flash. Same symbol, wildly different meanings. Rainbow Dash's lightning bolt could just as easily be said to represent her job of manipulating the weather as her love for speed and racing. Many ponies may have decided to go into certain careers or pursue certain interests because of what their cutie marks were, instead of the other way around. In short, cutie marks have no meaning other than what a given pony chooses to assign it.
  • In "Cutie Pox," Apple Bloom gets a (false) Cutie Mark when she does a trick where, by spinning a metal ring around her tail really fast, allows her to fly like a helicopter. The Mark takes the form of a pair of grey disks with lines going down from the center. When she gets down, though, it is interpreted as meaning that she has skill at spinning plates. So Cutie Marks are at least somewhat up for interpretation.

Ponies who've lost their way badly enough can lose their cutie marks.
Twist gains a cutie mark in "Call of the Cutie", but every time she's appeared afterward, she's been a blank flank again. Maybe she doubted her commitment to candy-making severely enough that she turned from that path, lost her purpose in life, and her cutie mark disappeared?
  • Wait, so even cannonically Twist is the worst pony?
  • Considering that Applebloom seemed to have completely dropped Twist as a friend ever since she initially got her Cutie Mark, one wonders if that may be the catalyst for losing her way, or even that she may be purposely suppressing it. Applebloom did seem to be poor Twist's one and only friend.
  • That could explain why that one farmer pony at the Grand Galloping Gala had no cutie mark - he can't have gone all that time without finding his special talent, could he?

The "Cutie Pox plague" mentioned in Twilight's book is the canon explanation for Story of the Blanks.
As read by Twilight, the Cutie Pox was a plague that caused ponies to suddenly get a bunch of cutie marks, and the ponies were forced to preform the talent each mark represents. If there was no known cure for it, and there were perhaps some bad marks as well that some ponies got, it's no wonder that in Story of the Blanks, the ponies of Sunny Town were paranoid about cutie marks. If one appeared, others might follow, so the Sunny Town residents figured it was best to kill off a pony that got a cutie mark before they went out of control and the plague spread.

Cutie Pox isn't normally very serious.
The text Twilight read said it went away as mysteriously as it first appeared, so no one really knew what was going on. However the text doesn't make it out to have been terminal. Applebloom however took a massive concentration of the flower that causes the effect, making her case that much more serious.

Cutie marks are implanted by the princess to take away free will
After unfairly getting rid of Discord and taking over Equestria, Celestia created the cutie mark system so ponies can't have unique personalities.
  • Huh... but the whole point of a cutie mark is to be unique sure, there are similar ones, or even repeats, but everypony assigns the meaning of them anyway.
    • What I meant was, when a pony finds anything they are good at when they are elementary school age the princess sends out a neutralizing cutie mark representing the talent, and it makes it so that is what they are supposed to do forever.
      • But when a pony gets a cutie mark, it doesn't make it so their cutie mark talent is the only thing they can do. Many of the ponies have talents other than their "special one", and there isn't anything to imply that the "special" one is the only one they can make a living off of. For example, Scootaloo's special talent is scooter stunts, (even if she doesn't know it yet, it is obvious) but she's also a good dancer. Fluttershy is good with animals, but she's also great at sewing. Applejack may work on a farm, but she's also shown to be athletic and good at sports.
      • Given that Discord seems intent on causing as much pain as possible to everypony he meets, it's hardly "unfair" to take the kingdom from him.
      • You are giving the Ron the Death Eater treatment to Celestia. Forgive me if I find it literally impossible to think this could conceivably be the case.

Ponies have potentially multiple Cutie Marks
Ponies don't have one "special talent". They have multiple talents, but the Cutie Mark simply represents the first one that is firmly expressed. That might explain why ponies might have talents that could not exist in previous eras (bowling, robots). Ponies are not limited to their Cutie Marks nor are their talents always thematically linked, but some might think they do.
  • Sort of confirmed. We've seen plenty of moments showing characters being good at things other than the skill represented by their cutie mark. Fluttershy is good at sewing, Applejack is good at various sports, etc.

A pony's "special talent" is actually two talents
Or, more specifically, a talent and a virtue. A pony has to discover both in order to get their cutie mark, but they only consciously recognize the talent.

  • Twilight Sparkle’s talent is magic, and her virtue is her dedication and discipline.
  • Pinkie Pie’s talent is throwing parties, and her virtue is her capacity for joy.
  • Applejack’s talent is running Sweet Apple Acres, and her virtue is being true to herself.
  • Rainbow Dash’s talent is flying, specifically flying with enough skill and speed to produce a sonic rainboom, and her virtue is her love for achieving the best she can.
  • Rarity’s talent is designing clothes, and her virtue is her ability to find the beauty in everything and share that beauty with others.
  • Fluttershy’s talent is her skill at working with animals, and her virtue is her patience and understanding.

A pony may discover their talent first, and then earn their cutie mark when they discover their virtue (like Rarity, who already wanted to be a fashionista, but had to find the beauty in a rock and share it with others at the school show), or they may discover their virtue and then their talent (like Twilight who was already dedicated, but had to realize her raw power), or they may discover both simultaneously (like Fluttershy who discovered her liking for animals and her ability to communicate with them all at once).

This is why the Cutie Mark Crusaders cannot earn their cutie marks. They already acknowledge their talents, but have not discovered their virtues. For example, Sweetie Belle knows that she is a talented singer, but will not be able to get a singing cutie mark until she realizes either how much singing means to her or how her singing can touch others.

Cutie Pox creates cutie marks based on jobs or activities that need doing.
Apple Bloom probably saw all those things out of the corner of her eye and her awareness of them unconsciously channeled her Cutie Pox into filling the criteria.
  • It would certainly explain why there just so happened to be a fencer in full dueling gear, a block of marble standing in the middle of town, and lions that needed taming...
  • What about the hula-hooping, plate-spinning, tap-dancing, and French-speaking? None of those were jobs that needed to be done.
    • Not every cutie mark pertains to a job. The hoop and the plates happened to be lying around, and tap-dancing and French-speaking were contingencies for when there aren't enough props around for tricks. Or you could chalk it up to Rule of Funny.
  • There was that tornado cutie mark though that had no purpose other than to force Apple Bloom to spin uncontrollably.
    • A limited form of wind-based magic, perhaps? A tornado could be really useful in a fight.
  • A lot of the talents presented would be great for a bard, adventurer, or crusader.

Even after death, afflicted ponies continue performing the talents associated with the marks until decomposition and general wear and tear degrade the body to an absolutely unusable state.

Adult ponies without cutie marks are seen as incredibly creepy, because they don't exist naturally
A cutie mark is what makes you individual. If you don't have one, you're either a soulless freak or just a foal. In dystopian cinema ponies have barcodes for cutie marks, clones have no cutie marks and ponies of mystery will not have them, ala The Blank.

It is traditional to suspend school for a day once someone gets their cutie mark.
Probably to increase confidence in the young filly by giving them a chance to show off in front of the entire class. Or because it's a good chance for a nice class activity. It's either this, or Cheerilee is a very laid-back teacher.
  • Alternately, Cheerilee had scheduled some physical exercise for later that afternoon, and when she saw Apple Bloom's new cutie mark, decided to leverage it into an earlier-than-planned workout.
  • Cheerilee is a child of the 80s, after all. Maybe it was nostalgia for her youth.

Peppermint Twist paints her flank in hopes of Apple Bloom un-abandoning her.
She really was sincere about not wanting things to change between them, and took it hard when Apple Bloom "dumped" her without even an official dismissal in favor of two blank-flanked ponies she'd hardly met before, and didn't even know by name. This, and not creative error, is why Twist has a blank flank in most if not all of her appearances after the Crusaders first band together.

Apple Bloom already has a cutie mark.
It's apple-yellow, the exact same shade as her background fur, and it's shaped exactly like a cutie mark, since her special thing is not a talent, but rather a life quest- to get a cutie mark. She subconsciously knows that her life would have a void with a mark that the hobby or talent alone (building? helping fillies and foals discover their cutie marks?) would be unable to fill. Alternately...

Apple Bloom's special talent is to help young ponies discover their cutie marks.
When she discovers that this is officially her special talent (probably after the show ends), she'll get some sort of meta-mark, like a cutie mark-shaped mark the color of her fur, or a triad of Scootaloo's mark, Sweetie Belle's mark, and her own mark (a triad of Scootaloo's mark, Sweetie belle's mark, and her own mark [a triad of Scootaloo's mark, Sweetie Belle's mark, and so on and so forth until the fur is too low-resolution to support the recursive mark]). Compare Cheerilee, who who took a while to discover that her special thing was teaching, and got a cutie mark that needed some... um... "creative" interpretation to support it.
  • Confirmed!
One can tell the potential strength of Cutie Mark by looking at it.
The ones with one symbol (Celestia, Luna, Twilight, Dr. Whooves, etc) on it are the strongest. The ones with 3 symbols (Rarity, Fluttershy, Cheerilee, etc) on it are next. The ones with seven, like Derpy Hooves, are the least strongest. However, this works in Derpy's favor, as her special talent is likely a talent for creating disasters, and if she had one bubble, instead of seven, she could possibly destroy Equestria without even meaning to.
  • Wouldn't this mean Twilight's mark is on the lowest level in strength? I like this theory, with the addendum that single-symbol marks (Doctor Whooves, Octavia, maybe ponies like Luna and Peppermint Twist depending on whether their marks, for example, are considered one peppermint-twist heart and a moon or two overlapping candy canes and a moon-and-cloud) are strong but focused, and ponies with the highest number of marks (Twilight, Derpy) basically get blank check marks, and Twilight's magic is only strong because of her intense studying and focus (remember, her new inherent spells, her new learned spells, and even some of her old-but-less-used spells take a lot out of her). Celestia is... a problem for this theory, unless she can do so many things related to the ruling of Equestria because she's a (reigning) princess or because she's an alicorn. Hilariously, this implies that Snips and Snails are the absolute best at what they do, and that what they do is stupidly specific (like cutting but not styling hair).
  • I tend to view Twilight's as a single symbol, rather a mixture of stars, putting her at the highest level. Snips special talent is probably the ability to cut anything. Snails is either a negative cutie mark where he's just really slow, or possibly represent the ability to slow anything down with his unicorn magic.
  • This is quite possible the most random theory I've seen on the FiM pages. It's interesting, true, but given how abstract cutie marks are in the show, it relies more on coincidence than anything else. This theory applies more meaning to the cutie marks than they really have, as well as asserting that all talents have a meaningful strength value, which has a couple of problems, especially since we don't actually know what the special talents of most ponies are. Even with the Mane cast, only Twilight's talent was put into words, leaving the rest open for interpretation. There's also the question of just how one quantifies the number of parts in a designnote . On the whole, an interesting plot idea, just really out of left field.
  • Er, Pinkie Pie's cutie mark are three balloons. Her talent making others smile and laugh - and she's so skilled at it that she can break the laws of nature (and the fourth wall) when dictated by the Rule of Funny.

Apple Bloom's specialty is going to be getting drunk, or possibly breeding and blooming the yeast for hard cider.
Her cutie mark is, as mentioned above, the color of her background fur- in this case, apple mash (assuming Rule of Funny or Rule of Drama for her getting drunk and depressed about not having a cutie mark into adulthood and getting really, really dedicated to being the best drunkard in Ponyville). Her Prophetic Name refers to either the yeast-adding process or the characteristic blush of drunken hairless primates and creatures that can blush Through a Face Full of Fur (coincidentally, or not, something approaching the color of her mane and tail).
  • Admit it, your mind stopped and went in the wrong direction just before you got to the words "the yeast".

All star-shaped cutie marks in the series represent a talent, or subtalent, of magic
Additionally, the number of points it has displays the relative power of the unicorn. Prince Blueblood has four points (Rarity also has four-sided gems on her flank and is frequently associated with four-pointed effects), Star Swirl the Bearded and the Great and Powerful Trixie both have pentagrams on their outfits, Twilight Sparkle has a six-pointed star on her mark (the Element of Magic itself also has one, in both of its forms), and Celestia (plus most Princess- or sun-related designs) has an eight-pointed star (also, the Ursas have eight-pointed stars on their heads).

There are many other examples if you keep your eye out, but these are the most obvious/important.

  • 1) Prince Blueblood's cutie mark is a compass rose, which implies a navigation or cartography related talent, if you apply a literal interpretation. 2) The only unicorn that we know has a talent related to magic is Twilight Sparkle.note  3) The exam proctors from Twilight's entrance exam didn't have star shaped cutie marks. 4) Astronomy related cutie marks seem to be related to nobility.note 
    • 1) Not necessarily, that's just one interpretation. And who's to say his talent doesn't involve both magic and navigation? 2) That doesn't mean she's the only one. 3) Their talent may not have been magic. Cheerilee's talent isn't directly related to anything she teaches. Besides, magic-talents might all become wizards, leaving only the others to be teachers. 4) That's just another theory, not necessarily true. And when I read that one, I actually considered it to be directly related, considering all of the nobility we've seen so far (and I'm pretty sure all of the Canterlot natives period) are unicorns.
      • Prince Blueblood could be a pony version of Prince Henry the Navigator. He possible could have called for the settlement of Appleloosa, and could have created trade routes to other kingdoms with the help of the Princesses.
    • 1) The point was that he doesn't have a star cutie mark. 2) She's the only pony known to have magic as her special talent, meaning that there isn't enough evidence to prove a link based off of her cutie mark. Especially since it's abstract enough that it isn't necessarily a star, just a flash of light.note  3) Cheerilee works with children on a variety of subjects at a basic level. The magic test proctors would be teaching a specific subject at a higher level, requiring a good deal of knowledge and ability at it. Being a magic teacher is no more incompatible with being a magician than being a math professor is incompatible with being a mathematician.
    • 1) While it should be pointed out that Blueblood's compass rose is decidedly star-like, his special talent may have more to do with social position. 2) We do actually have two other unicorns with magic-related talents: Shining Armor (cutie mark of a shield with a star, having three stars above it) and The Great And Powerful Trixie (cutie mark of a star wand sprinkling 'pixie dust'). Of course, given Star Swirl the Bearded, this could be a cultural matter as well; ponies would naturally connect stars with Star Swirl. 3) Quite true. The school was for gifted unicorns, though, so it presumably teaches more than just magic. 4) Hard to say, really, since we so rarely see any pony acknowledged as being nobility.
    • 2) Do they actually have magic-related talents? Shining Armor could just as easily have defense as his talent rather than magic, and all we know about Trixie's talent is that she's better at telling stories than casting spells.

Cutie Mark designs are cultural.
Which means that a zebra that was raised in Equestrian culture would have an Equestrian design, while a pony raised in Zebra culture would have a design more like Zecora's.
  • It would make sense when symbolism is taken into account.
  • Do Asian ponies get kanji marks?

It's not rare for ponies to dye their fur to hide their Cutie Marks
There might be several reasons:
  • They're going through a midlife crisis.
  • They want to feel young again and Cutie Marks are like the equivalent of puberty, so being a Blank Flank is harking to a time before then.
  • They're actors so they might need to have a new mark painted on for a specific role.
    • Expanding on this, fake Cutie Marks might be a business (probably the equivalent of fake tattoos.

A Cutie Mark is a representation of at least a part of that pony's very soul.
Of course, tampering with it could have severe consequences.
  • Jossed in Magical Mystery Cure.
  • And for bonus points, The sacrum (A triangular bone in the pelvis) was thought to contain the soul, which would be very close to the flank of a pony...

A Cutie Mark does not represent any special talent and certainly does not determine a pony's destiny.

A Cutie Mark is really a representation of what that pony loves above all else. Lets look at the Mane Six for example. Twilight loves magic more than anything else, Rarity loves gems, and Fluttershy animals. Sometimes the marks are abstract, like with Pinkie Pie, Applejack and Rainbow Dash. Applejack loves her family and her home more than anything, so her mark is apples. It has been stated several times that Pinkie lives to see her friends smile, and the first time she managed to do that was at a party. Rainbow Dash's love of fast flying is shown by her rainbow lightening-bolt – a common representation of speed. The mark appears when the pony realizes their passion for that field, and if you love something so much than of course you're going to do it a lot and get better and better at it, which is why it's often mistaken for talent. It makes more sense with ponies like Diamond Tiara or Snails, as shiny jewelry and a mollusk hardly seem like talents to me.

  • That's what the canon explanation said. Representing destiny has always been the wild guess. And special talents are what the pony likes, otherwise they wouldn't bother to develop it.
    • Rarity has at least twice referred to a Cutie Mark as destiny, once when talking about her own Cutie Mark, and again when calling Sweetie Belle out in "Ponyville Confidential". Fluttershy also calls it "destiny" in "Magical Mystery Cure". It's at least an in-universe belief that a Cutie Mark is destiny. It's hard to say what Diamond's and Snails' Cutie Marks mean just looking at them. Diamond Tiara's talent might be akin to Rarity's, where she's good at finding the perfect tiara, and Snails might be good at caring for snails. Silver Spoon might just have a talent for cutlery. Not everyone has a talent that isn't mundane. Bubbles aren't exactly a talent either, but yet, Derpy.

An adult pony without a Cutie Mark has a Cutie Mark that isn't specific to their race of pony.
Fluttershy and Pinkie the examples I'm going to use. Fluttershy's a pegasus with an Earth Pony-oriented talent. She flat-out states that if she'd not been knocked off the cloud and Dash's Sonic Rainboom hadn't scared the animals, she'd never have discovered her talent, meaning she'd be a blank flank, possibly even as an adult. Her talent is rare in pegasi. Pinkie Pie is another pony whose talent is rare for her race of pony, and one she would never have discovered were it not for Dash's Rainboom. She was, however, in a place that would be almost perfect for an Earth Pony to discover their talent, especially if her family is anything like the Apples, and their talents tend to be genetic. Pinkie's talent is closer-related to the common Unicorn talent for glamour (such as Fleur-dis-Lee, Rarity, and Fancy Pants). It also probably depends on where you live, again, using Fluttershy and Pinkie as examples. Fluttershy would never have found her talent if she hadn't been on the ground, and Pinkie, were it not for the Rainboom, would never have found her talent on the rock farm. Everypony else in the Mane 6 would have eventually discovered their talents naturally; the Rainboom just helped them find it early. This is, of course, taking into account that a Special Talent is something you're inherently born with and destined for, wired so to speak for that talent, from birth, which means that AJ would never have been destined for Manehattenite life and would have grown bored/frustrated and gone home (Orangejack never, ever being an actual option for her), Rarity either finding gems somewhere else or getting annoyed enough that she breaks open the monolith by sheer luck, and Twilight either trying once more to hatch the egg, or discovering her talent in her everyday life because all three of their talents are very stereotypical of their type of pony. Adult blank flanks not creepy, as a guess above this suggests, but pitied because they're wayward souls who lack knowledge of their destinies. Davenport deserves a special mention under here because Earth Ponies also seem to have the best shop running abilities of the three types. I'll explain this in a different WMG, though.

Related to the above, most Cutie Marks are type-centric.
As explained above, each different type of pony seem to have very common abilities found in their type of pony that can be organised thus:

Unicorns: Glamour (Rarity, Fleur-dis-Lee, Fancy Pants, Hoity Toity, Photo Finish, Snips, Lyra, Lyrica, Jet Set, Uppercrust, Sweetie Belle, Trixie), Stars (Orion, Twinkleshine, a ridiculous number of background Unicorns), Magic (Twilight, Trixie, Starswirl the Bearded, Sunset Shimmer, Cadance)

Pegasi: Athletics (Rainbow Dash, Scootaloo, Bulk Biceps, the Wonderbolts, Hoops, Score, Billy Dumbbell), Weather (Sunny Days, Thunderlane, more background pegasi than you can shake a stick at)

Earth Ponies: Shopkeeping (Davenport, Daisy, Roseluck, Lily, the Cakes, pretty much any shopkeeper in Ponyville as I recall), Food (the Cakes, Bon Bon, Berry Punch, Berry Pinch, the Apples, and being ponies, Lily, Roseluck, and Daisy), Time (Doctor Whooves/Time Turner, Colgate/Minuette, the Master pony, a surprising number of background Earth ponies), Heavy labour (the ponies who pull the train, the conductor, stagecoach ponies, the construction ponies from "Mysterious Mare Do Well", Apple Bloom, Big Mac)

Or, when you REALLY get right down to it, Unicorns have "Entertainment"-based talents, Pegasi have "Physical" talents, and Earth Ponies have "Skill" talents, as in necessary skills for living. If they're born one type and their special talent is more adherent to another type of pony, they're not as likely to find their Cutie Marks as their schoolmates, with exceptions in Snails and the CMC; the former probably got his by chance, and the latter are just too in denial to see their talents. A pony whose talents are part of a different talent set entirely might be a blank flank as an adult because s/he lacked the ability to gain access to another talent set where their talents lay.

Every Pony can choose their own Cutie Mark.
A Ponies Special Talent is the form their Magic takes. Gaining a Cutie Mark is not so much as finding the one thing that makes you special, but finding something you really enjoy and then having your Magic settle into a form that makes you really special in that thing. A blank flank has all her Magic in a raw, uncontrolled form. When Rainbow released that huge amount of Magic the mane six gained their Elements all at the same time, surging their Magic causing them to choose something related to their Element: Racing to a friends aid, finding gems to be generous with, being honest to themselves and their family, spreading Joy, being kind to animals, Magic.

Alicorns are actually the ROYAL term for an half-pegasus half-unicorn...
The CORRECT term for a half-unicorn half-pegasus would either be called a Unisus or a Pegacorn. Dependind on which more species you are of. (Kind of liked mixed races. Say, if your mother was Jewish and your father was black. If your father had more family members, you would technically be called a black person. However, if your MOTHER had more family members than your FATHER, you would be more Jewish than black.)
  • But alicorns are all 3 pony types.
  • This makes no biological sense. Everyone has half of the genetic heritage of their mother and half of their father's — the amount of siblings or cousins or what have you that your parents did or did not have is irrelevant. Also, as stated, this fails to account for the alicorns also being part earth pony.

A Cutie Mark is meant to partially reflect a pony's personality, rather than just their career or interests.

  • Rainbow Dash's cutie mark is an allusion to the Sonic Rainboom which, at least initially, can only be achieved when she's being true to some part of herself, whether it's her competitive spirit or her loyalty to her friends.

  • Pinkie Pie's cutie mark reflects her cheerful, Genki Girl, personality

  • Rarity's cutie mark is somewhat symbolic; she desires to achieve wealth, but she also enriches the lives of everyone around her by sharing it.

  • Twilight's cutie mark reflects the fact that she plays a key role in unlocking the "magic" of friendship, by coming out of her shell and being a good friend.

  • Applejack's cutie mark reflects her love for her family and the land, and her willingness to adhere to tradition

  • Fluttershy's cutie mark reflects her gentleness and compassion, and her love of all creatures.

The true form of the lack of cutie mark is an interrogation, not an equal sign.

Beyond this fitting with how a lack of cutie mark is treated in the Cutie Mark Crusaders episodes, one of the episodes of the season 5 shows the following equation:"= ?" Foreshadowing?

If you acquire your cutie mark at the same time as your friends because of the same event, it means you are destined to together change something in Equestria for the better by fulfilling a need for something in the world.

There's two examples of this that we've so far seen in the show: the Rainboom incidents that revealed to the Mane Six their talents and marks and the formation of the CMC's major life quest to help others find and understand their cutie marks.

The Mane Six would later go on to meet and become the force for defending Equestria from threats, as well as allowing the 'birth' of the alicorn Princess of Friendship (Twilight's ascension) and her "Friendship Council" who will be sent across the world to right 'Friendship Problems' as necessary.

From what we've seen during the CMC's adventures and Starlight Glimmer's little town, there's still a great deal of confusion about cutie marks and what they mean. Trouble Shoes spent years believing he was just trouble until the CMC met him and he's a fully grown stallion. Diamond Tiara knew basically what her mark meant, but not how to properly make use of it until the CMC got involved. There's still a great deal of snobbery against 'blank flanks' which adds pressure to young fillies and colts to find their mark.

Having gone through the bullying and the longing to discover their marks, the CMC know what it's like. They gained their marks together because Equestria needed someone to help the understanding of cutie marks in both acquisition and purposes become stronger so fewer ponies would need to suffer as Trouble Shoes and Diamond Tiara did. The CMC are at the beginning of a journey of growth that the Mane Six have already gone through.

Cutie Marks are like photos.

Similar to photos, they are a image of a pony, and similar to photos, they don't change. Beyond that, this explains the cases where a pony is apparentlycontrolled by their cutie mark, and their association with destiny.

Cutie Marks are sentient
If you've been keeping up with Season 6 information, you'll know that gryphons can get Cutie Marks. How is this possible when Cutie Marks are part of pony biology? Well, what if they're not? Maybe Cutie Marks are actually symbiotic two-dimensional life forms that attach themselves to whatever three-dimensional life form they deem worthy.
  • When "The Fault in Our Cutie Marks" actually came out, it pretty decisively stated that no, griffons cannot get cutie marks. It seems that they're a part of pony biology after all.


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