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A horse to fit in your lap.

A horse to fit in your lap

Paleontologists have discovered fossils of cat-sized horses that scampered across northwestern Wyoming about 50 million years ago, during the Eocene epoch. Called Hyracotherium sandrae, the newly identified species is the oldest known horse in North America, reports Philip D. Gingerich of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

H. sandrae, which resembled a Siamese cat in size and build, shared the landscape with other early forms of modern mammals such as primates and small, deer-like animals, whose fossils also appear at the Wyoming site. Scientists have found no predecessors to these species in North America, suggesting they migrated there after evolving on another continent, says paleontologist Gregg Gunnell of the University of Michigan, who studies the Wyoming fossils with Gingerich. At that time in Earth's history, land bridges may have connected North America to Europe and to Asia, Gunnell adds.
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Title Annotation:fossil horses
Publication:Science News
Date:Apr 14, 1990
Words:147
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