History of the Horse

By megante
  • Fossil Records

    Fossil Records
    Earliest remains found from the Paleocene epoch (about 54 million years ago) in North America. More recent fossils found from the Eocene epoch (about 50 million years ago) in Europe.
  • Period: to

    History of the Horse

  • The 1st Horse

    The 1st Horse
    Eohippus “dawn horse” – the earliest version of the modern horse. It was small, primitive horse about the size of a fox. Elongated skull, arched back and short tail. It had 4 functional toes on each front foot, only 3 toes on each hind foot.
  • Eohippus Evolves

    Eohippus Evolves
    During Oligocene epoch (about 35 million years ago) earth’s temperature and climate changed. Forest thinned and grass became more prevalent, thus Mesohippus appeared.
  • Mesohippus

    It is larger than Eohippus. It only has 3 toes on its front feet and was better suited to outrun predators. The toes became little hooves. Became extinct in North American and Europe about 7 million years ago.
  • A totally new horse

    A totally new horse
    Appeared in the Miocene epoch, 20 million years ago. Merychippus evolved in North America and adapted to the grasses of the plains. The beginning of the grazing horse today.
  • Merychippus

    Increased in size to 35 inches. Lived in herds. They have 2 outer toes diminished and middle to harden into hooves.
  • Phiohippus

    Middle Miocene, around is million years ago. Two long extra toes on both sides of the hoof, externally barely visible as callused stubs. Believed to be the ancestor of present day horses because of its many anatomical similarities.
  • Extinction

    About 10,000 years ago, many of the prehistoric horses became extinct. Result of climate changes. Only surviving horses were in Asia along with several zebra. Horses were wiped out in North America.
  • The Modern Horse

    The Modern Horse
    Scientist calls it Equvs caballus. Some believe Spanish explorers brought the animals with them on their voyages to the new world in the 1500s. Were let loose on the prairies and became vast herds of wild horses. Asian nomads first domesticated horses nearly 5,000 years ago. 3,000 years ago, the horse had become a fixture of many ancient civilizations. The horse’s quick feet so impressed the Persians that they put the animal to work as a communications tool. Centuries later, in the 1800’s, the U