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Eohippus Still Found In North America

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Question:

Discuss about the Eohippus.
 
 

Answer:

The Eohippus is classes of small equip ungulates but they are now extinct. Their remains were found in North America and they were approximated to have existed during the Eocene stages. Its name means a dawn horse and it is regarded as the earliest ever horse known and its size was that of a small dog (Ebach & Michael, 2016). In terms of the feeding patterns, the Eohippus was an herbivore which used to graze on the shoot and soft leaves of the plants (Bokor et al., 2016).

Physical characteristics

In terms of its size, the Eohippus was about 60 cm long and 14 inches higher at the region near the shoulder. The front feet had four hooves while the hid leg had three hoofs. The brain was small with small lobes on the front brain. The legs were flexible and could be rotated since all the major bones were present and hence not fused together (Evans & Janis, 2014). 

Classification

Order: Perissodactyla

Sub order: Hippomorpha

Family: Equidae

Genus: Eohippus

It weighed about fifty pounds, was adapted for running and is therefore considered to be a close cousin of the horses. There has been a controversy regarding the evolution of the horses as a result of the misclassification of the eohuppus. Being an ancestor of equidae, it does not necessarily mean that it is relate to the modern day horses.

Extinction

The genus Equus species have lived for the last 5 million years up to the present day. With the increase in climate change, the initial climate which was warm and favorable for eohippus has now become cold i.e. the Ice Age. With increase droughts, the trees which provided the leaves as a source of food to eohippus reduced with increased grassland cover (Bell, 2014).  

 

References

Bell, M. (2014). Patterns In Palaeontology: Trends of body-size evolution in the fossil record-a growing field. Palaeontology Online, 4, 1-9.

Bokor, J., Broo, J., & Mahoney, J. (2016). Using Fossil Teeth to Study the Evolution of Horses in Response to a Changing Climate. The American Biology Teacher, 78(2), 166-170.

Ebach, M. C., & Michael, M. S. (2016). From Correlation to Causation: What Do We Need in the Historical Sciences?. Acta biotheoretica, 64(3), 241-262.

Evans, A. R., & Janis, C. M. (2014, April). The evolution of high dental complexity in the horse lineage. In Annales Zoologici Fennici (Vol. 51, pp. 73-79). Finnish Zoological and Botanical Publishing.

Prothero, D. R. (2014). Species longevity in North American fossil mammals. Integrative zoology, 9(4), 383-393

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