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Plesippus

Template:Taxobox title
Fossil range: late Miocene
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Perissodactyla
Family: Equidae
Genus: Plesippus

Plesippus is often considered an intermediary stage between Dinohippus and the present day genus, Equus.

File:Equus simplicidens mounted 02.jpg
Mounted skeleton of Hagerman Horse (Equus simplicidens)

The famous fossils found near Hagerman, Idaho were originally thought to be a part of the genus Plesippus Hagerman Fossil Beds (Idaho), a Pliocene site, dating about 3.5 Ma ago. The fossilized remains were originally called Plesippus shoshonensis but further study by paleontologists determined that fossils represented the oldest remains of the genus Equus.[1] Their estimated average weight was 425 kg, roughly the size of an Arabian horse.

At the end of the Pliocene, the climate in North America began to cool down significantly and most of the animals were forced to move south. One group of the Plesippus species moved across the land bridge around the Bering Strait into Eurasia around 2.5 Ma ago.[2]

References

  1. equus
  2. Jens Lorenz Franzen: Die Urpferde der Morgenröte. Elsevier, Spektrum Akademischer Verlag, München 2007, ISBN 3-8274-1680-9



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