Mesohippus Marsh, 1875
* Palaeotherium Leidy, 1850
Mesohippus (Greek: μεσο/meso meaning "middle" and ιππος/hippos meaning "horse") is an extinct genus of early horse. It lived some 40 to 30 million years ago from the late Eocene to the mid-Oligocene. Like many fossil horses, Mesohippus was common in North America.
Unlike earlier horses, its teeth contained a single gap behind the front teeth, where the bit now rests in the modern horse. In addition, it had another grinding tooth, making a total of six. Mesohippus was a browser that fed on tender twigs and fruit. The cerebral hemisphere, or cranial cavity, was notably larger than that of its predecessors; its brain was similar to that of modern horses.
1. ^ a b Palmer, D., ed (1999). The Marshall Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals. London: Marshall Editions. p. 255. ISBN 1-84028-152-9.
Source: Wikispecies, Wikipedia: All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License