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Shellseeker

Three-Toed

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Shellseeker

I have found three toed horse teeth before, but most of them had isolated protocones. This one does not. It measures 11mmx12mmx24mm and while chipped seems to be all there.

Hopefully, the squiggly shape on the occusal surface is diagnostic.

I recall a web source of three toed horse teeth drawn side by side for comparisons and identification. If anyone has such a link, please add it to this thread. Thanks SS

post-2220-0-17963500-1401418650_thumb.jpgpost-2220-0-66526000-1401418659_thumb.jpg

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jpevahouse

The term "three toed horse" is not necessarily applicable to all ancient horses before the equus. I have several charts showing the evolution of the horse. If these charts are correct the last of the true three toed horses lived during the late Micocene era, the protohippus. I read an article in which the author theorized most horse fossils found in Florida post date the Micocene era. However, an exception the parahippus, a Miocene horse, is found in Florida?

I have a big box of fossil horse teeth from all over the country which I've studied very carefully. No expert but not all early fossil horse teeth show the independent protocone. Wear affects the appearance of the enamel ridges. Even in the early horses, like the parahippus with crested molars, when worn they assumed a pattern similar to later horses with a flat surface.

I'll take a chance and date the molar to the Pliocene, one of the early horses to walk on a single hoof before the equus. A transitional species.

.

post-10605-0-93158600-1401452783_thumb.jpg

Edited by jpevahouse

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siteseer

In North America, a few species of three-toed horses (one of Cormohipparion or Pseudhipparion perhaps and certainly at least one species of Nannipus) survived into the Pliocene. In Africa, at least one genus survived into the Pleistocene.

Parahippus lived during the Early Miocene - found with Archaeohippus remains as well. It is known from a few Florida sites such as Thomas Farm.

In the Bone Valley Formation a good diversity of genera and species have been studied. The University of Florida has a large collection of them. In the Late Miocene layers you can find Cormohipparion, Neohipparion, Pseudhipparion, and Nannipus. I think other Bone Valley horses, Astrohippus and maybe Calippus, are also considered three-toed forms.

The term "three toed horse" is not necessarily applicable to all ancient horses before the equus. I have several charts showing the evolution of the horse. If these charts are correct the last of the true three toed horses lived during the late Micocene era, the protohippus. I read an article in which the author theorized most horse fossils found in Florida post date the Micocene era. However, an exception the parahippus, a Miocene horse, is found in Florida?

I have a big box of fossil horse teeth from all over the country which I've studied very carefully. No expert but not all early fossil horse teeth show the independent protocone. Wear affects the appearance of the enamel ridges. Even in the early horses, like the parahippus with crested molars, when worn they assumed a pattern similar to later horses with a flat surface.

I'll take a chance and date the molar to the Pliocene, one of the early horses to walk on a single hoof before the equus. A transitional species.

.

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jpevahouse

In North America, a few species of three-toed horses (one of Cormohipparion or Pseudhipparion perhaps and certainly at least one species of Nannipus) survived into the Pliocene. In Africa, at least one genus survived into the Pleistocene.

Parahippus lived during the Early Miocene - found with Archaeohippus remains as well. It is known from a few Florida sites such as Thomas Farm.

In the Bone Valley Formation a good diversity of genera and species have been studied. The University of Florida has a large collection of them. In the Late Miocene layers you can find Cormohipparion, Neohipparion, Pseudhipparion, and Nannipus. I think other Bone Valley horses, Astrohippus and maybe Calippus, are also considered three-toed forms.

See attached chart. Depends on what a person calls "three toed".

post-10605-0-19067400-1401489554_thumb.jpg

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Harry Pristis

I think that the Pliocene marked the end of stripe-rumped horses.

"Three-toed" is short-hand, not to be taken too literally. Even modern Equus has traces of the three toes.

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Shellseeker

I think that the Pliocene marked the end of stripe-rumped horses.

"Three-toed" is short-hand, not to be taken too literally. Even modern Equus has traces of the three toes.

Thanks to all who replied with comments and guidance. As Harry indicates, I was (maybe incorrectly) using the term to refer to a horse that predates Equus with the hope that someone might be able to identify to a specific horse. I would be really pleased if it turns out to also not be three-toed, but some other pliocene horse.

When Miatria (who hunts the same location where I found this tooth) and sent the following photo that seems remarkably similar to my photo above.

post-2220-0-08168300-1401660978_thumb.jpg

This is also a complete tooth.

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Harry Pristis

Here's another example of Calippus:

post-42-0-98268900-1401667251_thumb.jpg

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Shellseeker

Thanks Harry also Calhounensis and jpevahouse, I found a paper by Richard Hulbert and will read up on Callippus. http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00099410/00001

It is always a good feeling to name a find. SS

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siteseer

That is an out-dated chart since it does not include Dinohippus as close to if not ancestral to Equus. The "Hyracotherium" position has more recently been interpreted as more complicated than indicated as well. The Dinohippus-Equus connection is discussed in "The Fossil Vertebrates of Florida" (Hulbert, editor, 2001) but in more detail in "Fossil Treasures of the Anza-Borrego Desert" (Jefferson and Lindsay, eds. 2006). While these books appear to be of primarily regional interest, they contain information that applies to forms known across North America and to some extent Central America. Anyone interested in fossil horses, or Cenozoic mammals in general, should have both these books.

I have understood "three-toed" to refer to horses that normally exhibited three external toes on each of the four limbs and that would include most fossil genera. That doesn't count genera which usually exhibit discernible side splints rather than actual toes as in Onohippidium. Every once in a while, a modern Equus individual is born with actual side toes reflecting its ancestry but that wouldn't qualify it as a three-toed horse.

Dinohippus, Onohippidium, Hippidion, and Equus would be considered one-toed horses. I'm not sure about Astrohippus and Pliohippus though the latter has been used as a "wastebasket taxon" in the past. Some species once assigned to it have been placed in other genera including Dinohippus..

See attached chart. Depends on what a person calls "three toed".

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Harry Pristis

Thank you for the clarification, Siteseer. Perhaps I could have said, 'three-toed horse' is not a taxon in the phylogeny of horses. Nor does the fact of three toes seem to be a significant morphological feature.

I found no reference to 'three-toed horse' when I reviewed Hulbert's account of Florida horses.

Bruce MacFadden leads off his 1984 monograph on hipparionine horses with, "During the Miocene and Pliocene the three-toed hipparion horses were a geographically and temporally widespread element of terrestrial mammalian faunas throughout North America and the Old World." Then he spends 190 more pages describing skull and tooth characters of these horses without reference to three toes.

How do Jefferson & Lindsay treat the three-toed horses, Siteseer?

External toes on these early horses seem to be a matter of morphological detail, when the important characters seem to be in the skull and teeth. Certainly, most collectors know these various horses only by the teeth or by phylogeny charts published in the popular press.

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Auspex

"Three toed horse" seems to be more of a popular meme than a scientific descriptor, embracing the most memorable piece of trivia about the evolution of horses.

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siteseer

Hi Harry,

The book covers fossils of the Anza-Borrego area going back seven million years back when the Gulf of California extended into what is now California almost as far north as Riverside. Hipparion horses were extinct in the region by the time the sea retreated.

I think it's a book you should check out. Some nice photos of fossils - California versions of some of the animals you've seen from Florida sites. UF might have a copy at the Marston Library.

By the way, welcome back after a noticeable absence.

Jess

How do Jefferson & Lindsay treat the three-toed horses, Siteseer?

Edited by siteseer

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Shellseeker

Thanks Harry also Calhounensis and jpevahouse, I found a paper by Richard Hulbert and will read up on Callippus. http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00099410/00001

It is always a good feeling to name a find. SS

Using the link above, I looked at a large number of cheek teeth that were identified as specific horses in the Calippus family. The closest match to the tooth I found in both size and details of the occusal surface was a lower right M1 or M2 identified as "D" in the picture below (Taken from page 250), While not definitive this would seem to be a close relation to Calippus Elachistus. and I learned some things by reading a 30 year old paper.

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post-2220-0-66191400-1401922015_thumb.jpg

The similarities are striking.

Edited by Shellseeker

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calhounensis

If there is a closer match I would like to see it, I'm glad you could track down an ID.

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fossillarry

This specimen is without doubt from Calippuc and is almost certainly from the species elachistus. The last Calippus so far as is known became extinct at the end of the early Hemphillian Dinohippus mexacanus is also found in the earliest Blancan  Palmetto fauna.Astrohippus is a monodactyl horse.

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Harry Pristis
3 hours ago, fossillarry said:

This specimen is without doubt from Calippuc and is almost certainly from the species elachistus. The last Calippus so far as is known became extinct at the end of the early Hemphillian Dinohippus mexacanus is also found in the earliest Blancan  Palmetto fauna.Astrohippus is a monodactyl horse.

 
"...the earliest Blancan Palmetto Fauna..."  ???

Hemphillian (early Pliocene) Palmetto Fauna of Florida. This composite fauna comes
from fluvioestuarine sediments of the upper Bone Valley Formation exposed in
diverse mines within the Central Florida Phosphate District. The fauna, including 18
carnivorans and 22 ungulates, lived at a time of high sea level when the Florida
peninsula was only about 5% of its present land area....
 
For many years, the
fossils were assumed to be a chronologically
 unified fauna (Sellards 1915a, 1916; Simpson
1930; Olsen, 1959). In the past several decades,
however, field parties of the Florida Museum o f
Natural History (FLMNH) have augmented the
faunal diversity and elucidated the stratigraphic
complexity of the Bone Valley faunal succession.

In this contribution, we summarize the current
status of the terrestrial mammals from the
uppermost (and richest) faunal horizon of the
Bone Valley Formation, the Palmetto Fauna.

Webb and Hulbert (1986) proposed formal
names for the three most commonly found
mammalian assemblages from the Bone Valley
Formation: the late Barstovian Bradley Fauna; the
early Clarendonian Agricola Fauna; and the latest
Hemphillian Palmetto Fauna. A rarer, fourth
assemblage, the early Hemphillian Four Corners
Fauna, was recognized by Hulbert et al. (2003). 
As documented here, most, but not all, of the
terrestrial fossils of the classic ‘‘Bone Valley Fauna’’
of Sellards (1916) and Simpson (1930)
belong to the Palmetto Fauna....
 
The Palmetto Fauna is a composite vertebrate
assemblage derived from an area of several
hundred square kilometers that is sometimes
informally referred to as the ‘‘Bone Valley,’’ but
 which is more properly called the Central Florida
 Phosphate District (CFPD). The fossils occur
 within a stratigraphic interval of about 10 m in
the upper Bone Valley Formation (Morgan,
1994). The richest samples of the Palmetto Fauna
were found in the southwest corner of Polk
County and the northwest corner of Hardee
County, south of the towns of Brewster and Fort
Meade, north of the town of Fort Green, and west
of the Peace River,...
 

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fossillarry

Harry I was incorrect when I included  the Bone Valley fauna in Blancan LMA. The latest Hemphillian  is earliest Pliocene not Blancan. What was I thinking? My bad.

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Shellseeker
22 hours ago, Harry Pristis said:

The fauna, including 18
carnivorans and 22 ungulates, lived at a time of high sea level when the Florida
peninsula was only about 5% of its present land area....

Harry,

I value your post and the insights it contains. I will have to read it slowly and think about meanings.

Sometime in the past I stumbled across this Map which may have come from a book called Geologic History of Florida. It gave me the sense that my favorite hunting area did not exist in the Oligocene, barely existed in the early Miocene, and was everywhere sporadically during the Pleistocene.

5% leaves a huge amount of the State left underwater. Is there a way to make both statements consistent? Thanks Jack

florida-history-map.jpg.8d7ec7d710c994af739cd3ca061c4b78.jpg

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Harry Pristis
16 hours ago, Shellseeker said:

Harry,

,,,

5% leaves a huge amount of the State left underwater. Is there a way to make both statements consistent? Thanks Jack

 

"In his review of the effects of sea level change on Florida peninsular faunas, Emslie (1998) calculated that at times of such high sea levels, Florida occupied only 5% of its present land area."   From TERRESTRIAL MAMMALS OF THE PALMETTO FAUNA (EARLY PLIOCENE, LATEST HEMPHILLIAN) FROM THE CENTRAL FLORIDA PHOSPHATE DISTRICT.  S. David Webb, Richard C. Hulbert, Jr., Gary S. Morgan, and Helen F. Evans. (2008)

 

Emslie, S.D., 1998. Avian Communities, climate, and sea-level changes in the Plio-Pleistocene of the Florida Peninsula.  Ornithological Monographs 50:1-113.

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Harry Pristis

 

Land Mammal Ages, in this case, the North American Land Mammal Ages (NALMAs) are a scheme to organize deep time by the species that characterize a segment of time.  In other words, it is a biochronology of mammals.  NALMAs are commonly delineated by "last appearance of [species]" and "first appearance of [other species]" and other factors.  So, biochronologically speaking, the Pleistocene is divided in two subdivisions:  the Rancholabrean (Late Pleistocene) and the Irvingtonian (Earlier Pleistocene).

 

NALMAs.jpg.2aabad4fda1be0f9bf4f6cdc2f87e291.jpg

 

 

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fossillarry

Harry what publication is this illustration from? It is substantially different from the two LMA charts  I usually consult. They are in The Fossil Vertebratres of Florida by  Richard C Hulbert and Late Cretaceous and Cenozoic Mammals of North  America edited by Michael O Woodburne. I look forwards to seeing the new characteirzation and definition  of the North American LMAS.

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Harry Pristis
7 minutes ago, fossillarry said:

Harry what publication is this illustration from? It is substantially different from the two LMA charts  I usually consult. They are in The Fossil Vertebratres of Florida by  Richard C Hulbert and Late Cretaceous and Cenozoic Mammals of North  America edited by Michael O Woodburne. I look forwards to seeing the new characteirzation and definition  of the North American LMAS.

 

The NALMA chart is from the Hulbert book.  The "first appearance/last appearance" mention is from Woodburne.

 

 

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