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Fossil range: Template:Fossil rangeEarly Eocene to early Oligocene
Restoration of Hyracotherium
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Perissodactyla
Family: Palaeotheriidae

Palaeotheres are an extinct group of herbivorous mammals related to tapirs and rhinoceros and probably ancestral to horses. They ranged across the Europe and Asia during the Eocene through Oligocene 55—28 Ma living from 55—28 Ma and existed for approximately

  1. REDIRECT Template:Ma.

They ate soft leaves, plant shoot, berries, and leaf matter picked up from the forest floor. They lived in dense forests.



Palaeothere sizes ranged from 20 to 75 cm at the shoulder. Their weight was estimated at:

File:Plagiolophus annectens.JPG
Plagiolophus annectens jaw
  • 10 kg (22 lb) minimum.
  • 30 kg (66 lb) maximum [1]


Anchilophus, Lophiotherium, Hyracotherium, Palaeotherium, Propachynolophus, Propalaeotherium

Fossil distribution

  • Creechbarrow Hill Site, Dorset, England
  • Geiseltal, Mittelkohle, Zone III, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany
  • Messel MP 11, Hessen, Germany
  • Egerkingen, Alpha & Beta fissures, Baselland, Switzerland
  • La Debruge, Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur Region, France


  1. S. Legendre. 1988. Les communautes de mammiferes du Paleogene (Eocene superieur et Oligocene) d'Europe occidentale: structure, milieux et evolution. Ph.D. thesis, Universite des Sciences et Techniques du Languedoc, Montpellier, France. 2 volumes. 1-265


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