A small herbivorous equid of the genus Hyracotherium (syn. Eohippus ) of the Eocene Epoch, having an arched back, relatively short neck, four-toed front feet, and three-toed hind feet.
A small primitive horse that lived about 50 million years ago during the early Eocene Epoch. It had three or four hoofed toes on each foot and is considered by some to be the ancestor of modern horses. It is sometimes called the “dawn horse,” a translation of its earlier scientific name, Eohippus.
Origin of hyracotherium
New Latin Hyracothēriumgenus namehyraxhyrac-hyrax (from certain shared skeletal characteristics)hyrax Greek thērionwild beasttreacle
American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
Hyracotherium Sentence Examples
The connecting link with Hyracotherium was formed by Pachynolophus (Pro palaeotherium), and the line apparently terminated in Palo plotherium, which is also Oligocene.
Outer columns of upper molars similar, the hinder ones not flattened; ridges of lower molars oblique or directly transverse, a third ridge to the last molar in the earlier forms. The Lophiodontidae, which date from the Eocene, come very close to Hyracotherium in the horse-line; and it is solely on the authority of American palaeontologists that the division of these early forms into equoids and tapiroids is attempted.
The final stage, or rather the initial stage, in the series is presented by Hyracotherium (Protorohippus), a mammal no larger than a fox, common to the Lower Eocene of Europe and North America.
From Hyracotherium, which is closely related to the Eocene representatives of the ancestral stocks of the other three branches of the Perissodactyla, the transition is easy to Phenacodus, the representative of the common ancestor of all the Ungulata.