Merychippus

Merychippus

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This image is part of the feature Missing Links - Transitional Fossils
This image is part of the feature The Beasts That Time Forgot

Credit: CHRISTIAN DARKIN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Merychippus. Artist's impression of the extinct horsel Merychippus. This species lived during the Miocene epoch between 17 and 11 million years ago. It is thought to be the first horse to graze. It measured 120cm high at the shoulder and had 3 toes on each foot. As primitive horses evolved, subsequent species lost the use of the outer toes until the modern-day horse evolved, with only one hoofed toe per foot. Merychippus had a longer muzzle and deeper jaw than earlier species, making it more horse-like in appearance.

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Keywords: 3-toed, animal, animals, artwork, equine, evolution, evolutionary biology, extinct mammal, fauna, fossil vertebrate, fossils, herbivore, hoof, hoofed, hoofs, horse, illustration, mammal, merychippus, miocene, one, palaeontology, paleontology, prehistoric, prehistory, primitive, primitive horse, single, toes, ungulate, vertebrates, wildlife

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