What does the name Mesohippus mean?

What does the name Mesohippus mean?

Mesohippus (Greek: μεσο/meso meaning “middle” and ιππος/hippos meaning “horse”) is an extinct genus of early horse. It lived some 40 to 30 million years ago from the Middle Eocene to the Early Oligocene. Like many fossil horses, Mesohippus was common in North America.

How did Merychippus go extinct?

The last was a line of “true equines” in which the side toes were smaller than those of other proto-horses. In later genera, these were lost altogether as a result of the development of side ligaments that helped stabilize the middle toe during running.

What did the Mesohippus look like?

Mesohippus means “middle” horse and it is considered the middle horse between the Eocene and the more modern looking horses. It had lost some of its toes and evolved into a 3-toed animal. The middle toe was larger and all three toes supported the animal’s weight.

What did Pliohippus look like?

Pliohippus, the earliest one-toed horse, evolved from Merychippus, a three-toed horse of the preceding Miocene Epoch (23–5.3 million years ago). The teeth of Pliohippus are taller and more complexly folded than those of earlier horses; these features indicate a greater dependence on grazing than browsing for food.

What did the Merychippus look like?

Though it retained the primitive character of 3 toes, it looked like a modern horse. Merychippus had a long face. Its long legs allowed it to escape from predators and migrate long distances to feed. It had high-crowned cheek teeth, making it the first known grazing horse and the ancestor of all later horse lineages.

How tall is the Pliohippus?

Pliohippus stood approximately 1.25 metres, similar to the modern horse. Also like the modern horse, Pliohippus was a grazer that fed on steppe grasses of the North American plains it inhabited.

What did a Hyracotherium look like?

It had a primitive short face, with eye sockets in the middle and a short diastema — the space between the front teeth and the cheek teeth. Although it has low-crowned teeth, we see the beginnings of the characteristic horse-like ridges on the molars.

What did a Merychippus look like?

What did the Merychippus eat?

Diet: Herbaceous plants (bushes, young tree shoots) but also grass. About 28 million years ago, the line of horse-like animals had evolved into Merychippus. This was a larger animal, about the size of a Shetland pony, and looked more like a modern horse.

What animal did horses evolve from?

Equus—the genus to which all modern equines, including horses, asses, and zebras, belong—evolved from Pliohippus some 4 million to 4.5 million years ago during the Pliocene.

How many toes did the Pliohippus have?

Pliohippus arose in the middle Miocene, around 15 million years ago. The long and slim limbs of Pliohippus reveal a quick-footed steppe animal. While some specimens have one toe per leg, others have three (the main toe and two non-functional side toes).

When was Pliohippus alive?

12-6 million years ago
Fossils of Pliohippus are found at many late Miocene localities in Colorado, the Great Plains of the US (Nebraska and the Dakotas) and Canada. Species in this genus lived from 12-6 million years ago.

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