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Temporal range: Clarendonian-Hemphillian
~13.6–5.3 Ma
Protohippus simus.jpg
Protohippus simus skeleton
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Perissodactyla
Family: Equidae
Subfamily: Equinae
Tribe: Equini
Genus: Protohippus
Leidy, 1858[1][2]
Type species
Equus (Protohippus) perditus
Leidy, 1858

Protohippus is an extinct three-toed genus of horse.[3] It was roughly the size of a modern donkey. Fossil evidence suggests that it lived during the Late Miocene (Clarendonian to Hemphillian), from about 13.6 Ma to 5.3 Ma.[4]

Analysis of Protohippus' skull and teeth suggests that it is most closely related to the genus Calippus.[4]

Species include:

  • P. vetus
  • P. perditus
  • P. supremus (also P. simus)
  • P. gidleyi

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Leidy, Joseph (1858). "Notice of Remains of Extinct Vertebrata, from the Valley of the Niobrara River, collected during the Exploring Expedition of 1857, in Nebraska, under the command of Lieut. G. K. Warren, U. S. Top. Eng., by Dr. F. V. Hayden, Geologist to the Expedition". Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. 10: 20–29. JSTOR 4059296.
  2. ^ Leidy, Joseph (1869). "The Extinct Mammalian Fauna of Dakota and Nebraska: Including an Account of Some Allied Forms from Other Localities, Together with a Synopsis of the Mammalian Remains of North America". Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. Ser. 2. 7: 275–279, 401.
  3. ^ MacFadden, Bruce J.; Dobie, James L. (1998). "Late Miocene Three-Toed Horse Protohippus (Mammalia, Equidae) from Southern Alabama". Journal of Paleontology. 72 (1): 149–152. doi:10.1017/S0022336000024082. JSTOR 1306685.
  4. ^ a b Hulbert, Richard C., Jr. (1988). "Calippus and Protohippus (Mammalia, Perissodactyla, Equidae) from the Miocene (Barstovian-Early Hemphillian) of the Gulf Coastal Plain" (PDF). Bulletin of the Florida State Museum Biological Sciences. 32 (3): 221–340.