Monday, May 13, 2013

Evolution of the Horse

What are the Predecessors of the modern horse?

The Predecessors of the modern horse are:

60 Million Years Ago- Eohippus
40 Million Years Ago- Michippus
17 Million Years Ago- Merychippus
7 Million Years Ago- Piohippus
2 1/2 Million Years Ago- Modern Horse

 What are the Physical changes in the Predecessors to the modern Horse?

The Eohippus was discovered sixty million years ago. This animal lived during the Eocene Epoch. It was only two feet tall with four toes that laid flat on the ground. It lived in the forest making it easy to hid from predators. The Eohippus diverged into two other species that resembled a horse. Forty million years later during the Oligocene the Oligohippus was found. This animal was slightly larger then Eohippus but lived in the forest just like it. This one had three functional toes that touched the ground but the forth had disappeared. The Oligohippus had a bigger skull then the Eohippus. Later during the Miocene Epoch the Merychippus was found. This one was pony sized  but had an even bigger skull then the Oligohippus. It had three toes with only one functional center toe. The Merychippus lived in grassland making it easy for prey to see. This made the Oligohippus have longer legs and stronger to run with. Seven million years ago during the Philocene Epoch they found what is known as the Piohippus. The Piohippus forelegs remained the a single hoof with two lateral toes. Later was the Modern horse. It was found two and a half million years ago. The modern horse has one large functioning center known as a hoof. The bones from the original Eohippus were still passed down and still found in the modern horses.


In what way did the environment change?

Eohippus and Oligohippus lived in forests making it easier to hide from prey and small because they were in no need to run from prey. Merychippus and Piohippus adapted to grass land. They were easily seen by prey so they had to adopt to be able to hide or run from prey. Their legs became longer and stronger to be able to run faster as well. Now the modern horse lives in grass land as well making them bigger, stronger and with longer legs.