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Mesohippus bairdi Skull Replica measures 8 inches. Mesohippus bairdi Skull Replica is museum quality polyurethane cast. 2-part skull (separate cranium & jaw). Made in USA. Our precise skull can be used as a teaching tool, museum skull exhibit, home decor skull, or office decor skull.
Mesohippus bairdi had low crowned teeth that would have been well suited to browsing leaves from bushes, small trees, and fruit. Its long tail was over 1/4 its total body length. North American horses including Mesohippus bairdi had 17 thoracic vertebrae, while European horses had 18.
Mesohippus bairdi had long legs and stood 6 hands tall. This equid is the first fully tridactyl horse in the evolutionary record, with the third digit being longer and larger than its second and fourth digits.
Mesohippus bairdi had pads like seen in Hyracotherium and Orohippus. The face of Mesohippus was longer and larger than earlier equids. It had a slight facial depression, in the skull. The eyes were rounder, and were set wider apart and farther back than in Hyracotherium.
Fossils of Mesohippus bairdi, the next important ancestor of the modern horse, are found in the early and middle Oligocene of North America (the Oligocene Epoch lasted from about 33.9 million to 23 million years ago).
Mesohippus was far more horse like than its Eocene ancestors: it was larger (averaging about 6 hands high); the snout was more muzzle like; and the legs were longer and more slender. Mesohippus bairdi also had a larger brain.
The fourth toe on the forefoot had been reduced to a vestige, so that both the forefeet and hind feet carried three functional toes and a footpad. The teeth remained adapted to browsing.
Mesohippus bairdi premolar teeth became more like molars. These premolars are said to be “molariform.” The primitive triangular premolar pulps food, while the squared molariform teeth crush and grind food.
This might reflect a shift from a more diverse diet including fruit to a more limited diet of leaves and possibly grass.
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