Old world hemiones and new world slender species (Mammalia, Equidae)
Amerhippus; biometry; Equus; Holocene; New World; Old World; Osteology; Pleistocene; Pliocene
Morphological and biometrical description of skulls, teeth, and limb bones of extant and fossil Old World herniones (including E. hydruntinus) and of New World 'stilt-Iegged' and other slender species from Blancan to Holocene. An Appendix presents ways in which the approximate size of some missing bones or dimensions may be deduced from available ones.
The discussed and/or illustrated fossils were found in Bolivia (Tarija), Canada (Yukon), China (Choukoutien, Gulongshan, Jiling, Loufangzi), Ecuador (Oil Fields), Ethiopia (Melka Kunturé), France (Lunel-Viel), Germany (Süssenborn), Greece (Agios Georgios, Petralona), Hungary (Dorog), Italy (Romanelli), Mexico (Cedazo, San Josecito), Mongolia (Sjara-osso-gol), Spain (Venta Micena), ex-Soviet Union (Akhalkalaki, Binagady, Chokurcha, Chukochya, Kabazi, Kolyma, Krestovka, Kurtak, Staroselie, Tologoj), USA (Alaska, Arkalon, Cedar Meadow, Channing, Conkling, Dry Mountains, Hay Springs, Leisey Shell Pit A, Lissie Formation, Natural Trap, Pool Branch, Powers Ranch, Rock Creek, San Diego, Santo Domingo, Seymour Formation, Shelter, Slaton, Trinity River). Numerous raw or statistically elaborated data are given in Tables.
There is no evidence for the existence of Old World hemiones in the New World nor of 'stilt-Iegged' equids in the Old World. The first 'stilt-Iegged' equid was found at Santo Domingo, New Mexico, and is believed to be Late Blancan. It was probably at the origin of E. calobatus (Arkalon, Rock Creek) and of the smaller E. semiplicatus (Channing, Rock Creek). Slender, but not 'stilt-Iegged', equids found at Natural Trap, Wyoming, ca. 12 ky ago belong to Amerhippus. AlI these species share with Oid World Sussemiones (and some hemiones) peculiar patterns on the lower cheek teeth.
The slender Equus sp. B of Leisey Pit A, Florida, ca. 1.2 Ma, as weIl as Amerhippus francisci and E. tau (probably a senior synonym of E. quinni) share conventional lower cheek teeth patterns. The skulls of A. francisci and E. tau, however, are quite different.
Paleontological data suggest a common origin of Amerhippus, Sussemiones, and 'stilt-Iegged' equids during the late Blancan. Old World hemiones seem to have differentiated later.
Published in Vol. 36, Fasc. 1-4 (2008)