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Biology Textbook Fraud
The Horse Series
"The Second Piltdown man of Paleontology"

Use this fraud test on your own textbooks

Informed scientists call the horse series a fraud

The fraud exposed

Photo Gallery of the fraud: Straight line vs. "Bush" evolution

Photo Gallery of the fraud: fossil horses

Othniel Charles Marsh's original 1874 drawings of horse evolution, now rejected.

Argument /Counter argument!

Current textbooks that engage in classroom fraud

 

 

What is textbook fraud?

Click to ViewEvolutionists deliberately tolerate knowingly fraudulent pro-evolution evidence in School Textbooks.

Click to ViewNew Textbooks purchased by schools in the last year are full of fraud and lies to promote evolution.

Click to ViewSchool Teachers and professors know the material is fraud, but still teach it.

Click to ViewMisleading, deceptive things are still found in High School and University Textbooks that were exposed as fraud over 90 years ago!

Click to ViewEvolutionists turn a quite blind eye, because this fraudulent data is the best they have!

 

 

 

 

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Use this fraud test on your own text books:

We charge any school textbook with fraud and gross misrepresentation if it:

Click to ViewIllustrates horse evolution as a straight line pattern of development, which was rejected in 1920, but still pervades textbooks and museums.

Click to View Argues the "branching tree pattern" proves evolution is undirected. Evolutionists originally argued evolution was directed which indicates a director! (God) "This doesn't prove directed evolution is true, but only that the branching-tree pattern in the fossil record doesn't refute it." (Icons of Evolution, Jonathan Wells, p201)

Click to ViewThe ancestor of the horse is believed to be the size of a cat with four toes on the front and three on the rear. Textbook fraud occurs if the text book argues that the modern horse has the vestigial remnants of the two outer toes on the rear foot but fail to tell you that they find no vestigial remnants of the three outer toes of the front foot. Such basic information is devastating and unexplainable if horse evolution is true and proves the nubs on the rear foot of the modern horse are not vestigial remnants at all!

Click to ViewIf they fail to tell you that evolutionists believe North American ungulates evolved their rear foot from 3 toes to a single hoof, but that South American ungulates are believed to have evolved a single hoof to four toes at the same time!

Click to ViewThat many informed evolutionists who believe the horse evolved, reject all current explanations of the "stacking of the fossils."

Click to View They fail to tell you that the three-toed Neohipparion lived beside (same time) the one-toed Pliohippus.

Click to View If they fail to mention the fact that the extinct Hyracotherium (Eohippus) was almost identical in body design, feet, toes and size, to the modern living Hyrax, except for the skull and tail.

Click to ViewIf they fail to tell you that they find all "fossil horses" mixed throughout all the different time layers and that only a person looking to prove "horse evolution" would ever try to arrange them is any kind of orderly sequence.

Click to ViewThat the rib count, vertebrae count, tooth count and the size of the animal, varies widely and does not show any direct line of progression.

Click to ViewThat the fossils have been arranged in many different ways that contradict each other.

Click to View If they fail to tell you that modern Equus and Hyracotherium co-existed at the same time, since they are often found together in the same rock layers.

Click to ViewIf they fail to tell you that "Moropus" that lived in the Miocene Age, but is not included in the fossil series although it resembles a horse in great deal. If was not included in the horse sequence because it does not serve to the purpose of the evolutionists, since Moropus was two metres heigh and is larger than both Meryhippuston "horses" of the same age and the horses of today.

 

 

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What informed scientists say about the horse series

  1. George Gaylord Simpson, world's foremost evolutionary paleontologist said, "The uniform, continuous transformation of Hyracotherium into Equus, so dear to the hearts of generations of textbook writers never happened in nature." (George G. Simpson, Life Of The Past, p.119)
  2. Simpson, after stating that nowhere in the world is there any trace of a fossil that would close the considerable gap between Hyracotherium ("Eohippus"), which evolutionists assume was the first horse, and its supposed ancestral order Condylarthra, goes on to say "This is true of all the thirty-two orders of mammals...The earliest and most primitive known members of every order already have the basic ordinal characters, and in no case is an approximately continuous sequence from one order to another known. In most cases the break is so sharp and the gap so large that the origin of the order is speculative and much disputed." (Tempo and Mode in Evolution, G. G. Simpson,1944, p 105)
  3. "The first animal in the series, Hyracotherium (Eohippus) is so different from the modern horse and so different from the next one in the series that there is a big question concerning its right to a place in the series . . [It has] a slender face with the eyes midway along the side, the presence of canine teeth, and not much of a diastema (space between front teeth and back teeth), arched back and long tail."H.G. Coffin, Creation: Accident or Design? (1969), pp. 194-195.
  4. "The difference between Eohippus and the modern horse is relatively trivial, yet the two forms are separated by 60 million years and at least ten genera and a great number of species.. . . If the horse series is anything to go by their numbers must have been the 'infinitude' that Darwin imagined. If ten genera separate Eohippus from the modern horse then think of the uncountable myriads there must have been linking such diverse forms as land mammals and whales or mollusks and arthropods. Yet all these myriads of life forms have vanished mysteriously, without leaving so much as a trace of their existence in the fossil record" (M. Denton, p. 186).
  5. This regular absence of transitional forms is not confined to mammals, but is an almost universal phenomenon, as has long been noted by paleontologists. It is true of almost all orders of all classes of animals, both vertibrate and invertibrate. A fortiori, it is also true of the classes, and of the major animal phylia,.. (Tempa and Mode in evolution, G. G. Simpson, 1944, p 107)
  6. "It is evolution that gives rhyme and reason to the story of the horse family as it exists today and as it existed in the past. Our own existence has the same rhyme and reason, and so has the existence of every other living organism. One of the main points of interest in the horse family is that it so clearly demonstrates this tremendously important fact." (Horses, G.G. Simpson, 1961, p. xxxiii)
  7. "When asked to provide evidence of long-term evolution, most scientists turn to the fossil record. Within this context, fossil horses are among the most frequently cited examples of evolution. The prominent Finnish paleontologist Bjorn Kurten wrote: 'One's mind inevitably turns to that inexhaustible textbook example, the horse sequence. This has been cited -- incorrectly more often than not -- as evidence for practically every evolutionary principle that has ever been coined.' This cautionary note notwithstanding, fossil horses do indeed provide compelling evidence in support of evolutionary theory." (The Fossil Record And Evolution: A Current Perspective, B. J. MacFadden Horses, Evol. Biol. ISBN: 22:131-158, 1988, p. 131)
  8. "...over the years fossil horses have been cited as a prime example of orthogenesis ["straight-line evolution"] ...it can no longer be considered a valid theory...we find that once a notion becomes part of accepted scientific knowledge, it is very difficult to modify or reject it" (Fossil Horses, Bruce MacFadden, FL Museum of Natural History & U. of FL, 1994, p.27 )
  9. "Well, we are now about 120 years after Darwin, and the knowledge of the fossil record has been greatly expanded ...ironically, we have even fewer examples of evolutionary transition than we had in Darwin's time. By this I mean that some of the classic cases of Darwinian change in the fossil record, such as the evolution of the horse in North America, have had to be discarded or modified as a result of more detailed information." (Dr. David Raup, Curator, Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, "Conflicts Between Darwin and Paleontology", Field Museum of Natural History Bulletin, Vol. 50(1), 1979, p 25)
  10. "There have been an awful lot of stories, some more imaginative than others, about what the nature of that history [of life] really is. The most famous example, still on exhibit down-stairs, is the exhibit on horse evolution prepared perhaps fifty years ago. That has been presented as the literal truth in textbook after textbook. Now I think that that is lamentable, particularly when the people who propose those kinds of stories may themselves be aware of the speculative nature of some of that stuff." (Colin Patterson, Senior Paleontologist British Museum of Natural History, Harper's, p. 60, 1984.
  11. The sequence in the series which presents transitional forms between small, many-toed forms and large, one-toed forms, has absolutely no fossil record evidence. (Moore, John, N., and Harold S. Slusher, Eds., Biology: A Search for Order in Complexity, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1970, p. 548)
  12. "In the first place it is not clear that Hyracotherium was the ancestral horse. Thus Simpson (1945) states, 'Matthew [1926] has shown and insisted that Hyracotherium (including Eohippus) is so primitive that it is not much more definitely equid than tapirid, rhinocerotid, etc., but it is customary to place it at the root of the equid group.'" (Kerkut, G. A., Implications of Evolution, New York: Pergamon Press, 1960, p. 149)
  13. "In some ways it looks as if the pattern of horse evolution might be even as chaotic as that proposed by Osborn (1937, 1943) for the evolution of the Proboscidea, where "in almost no instance is any known form considered to be a descendant from any other known form; every subordinate grouping is assumed to have sprung, quite separately and usually without any known intermediate stage, from hypothetical common ancestors in the Early Eocene or Late Cretaceous' (Romer 1949)." (Kerkut, G. A., Implications of Evolution, New York: Pergamon Press, 1960, p. 149)
  14. "Much of this story [horse evolution] is incorrect ..." (Birdsell, J. B., Human Evolution, Chicago: Rand McNally College Pub. Co., 1975, p. 169)
  15. "Because its complications are usually ignored by biology textbooks, creationists have claimed the horse story is no longer valid. However, the main features of the story have in fact stood the test of time...." (Futuyma, D.J. 1982. Science on Trial: The Case for Evolution, p 85)
  16. "All the morphological changes in the history of the Equidae can be accounted for by the neo-Darwinian theory of microevolution: genetic variation, natural selection, genetic drift, and speciation." (Futuyma, D.J. 1986. Evolutionary Biology, p 409)
  17. "The fossil record [of horses] provides a lucid story of descent with change for nearly 50 million years, and we know much about the ancestors of modern horses." (Phylogeny of the family Equidae, R. L. Evander, 1989, p 125)
  18. Eohippus, presented as the ancestor of horse which has disappeared millions of years ago, resembles extraordinarily to an animal called Hyrax which still lives in Africa today. One of the evolution researchers, Hitchings comments as follows: "Eohippus, supposedly the first horse, doesn't look in the least like one, and indeed, when first found was not classified as such. It is remarkably like the present-day Hyrax (or daman), both in its skeletal structure and the way of like that it is supposed to have lived... Eohippus, supposedly the earliest horse, and said by experts to be long extinct, and known to us only through fossils, may in fact be alive and well and not a horse at all a-shy, fox-sized animal called a daman that darts about in the African bush." (The Neck of the Giraffe?, Francis? Hitchings, [Title and first name are not certain])

   

 

 

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The Fraud Exposed: 15 proofs

 

 

#1: Three toes to one?

or

One toe to three?

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(click photo for high resolution) 

"A rather astounding and revealing fact is discovered when we compare North American ungulates to South American ungulates. All of us are familiar with the series shown top left. These are the front feet (pes) of, a, "Eohippus"; b, Merychippus, with reduced lateral toes; and c, modern Equus. Now look at the figure below. Illustrated are the pes of the South American ungulates (order Litopterna), 3. Macrauchenia; 2. Diadiaphorus; and 1. Thoatherium. Again we see a three-toed hoofed ungulate (Macrauchenia); a three-toed hoofed ungulate with reduced laterals (Diadiaphorus); and, in this case, a one-toed hoofed ungulate (Thoatherium) which, Romer says, seems even more horse like than any true horse, for it was single-toed with splints more reduced than those of modem equids. Do they not thus provide another nice, logical evolutionary series? No, not at all, for they do not occur in this sequence at all! 2. Diadiaphorus, the three-toed ungulate with reduced lateral toes, and 1. Thoatherium, the one-toed ungulate, were contemporaries in the Miocene epoch. 3. Macrauchenia, with pes containing three full-sized toes, is not found until the Pliocene epoch, which followed the Miocene according to the geological column. In fact, it is said that the one-toed 1. Thoatherium became extinct in the Miocene before the three-toed 3. Macrauchenia made his appearance in the Pliocene. Thus, if evolutionists would permit the fossil evidence and their usual assumptions concerning geological time to be their guide, they should suppose that in South America a one-toed ungulate gave rise to a three-toed ungulate with reduced lateral toes, which then gave rise to an ungulate with three full-sized toes. This is precisely the opposite of the supposed sequence of events that occurred with North American horses. I don't know any evolutionist who suggests such an evolutionary sequence of events, but why not? Perhaps it is because the three-toed to one-toed sequence for North American horses became so popularized in evolutionary circles that no one dare suggest the reverse transition. Of course there is no more real evidence for transitional forms in South America than there is in North America." (The Origin Of Mammals, ICR Impact No. 87 Duane T. Gish, Ph.D, 1980; Cf. Romer, A. S., Vertebrate Paleontology, 3rd Ed., Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1966, p. 260-261)

 

 

#2: The missing vestigial fourth toe of Hyracotherium

  • As you can see from this photo of Hyracotherium's front foot, it had four toes. Evolutionists make a big deal out of pointing out the vestigial remnants of the two outer toes on modern horses REAR FOOT. Yet, none of the "evolutionary ancestors" of Hyracotherium have even the slightest "vestigial nub" FRONT FOOT. This is absolutely catastrophic to evolutionists, until they invoke their magic wand of punctuated equilibria to fix the mess.
  • So the fourth front toe of Hyracotherium just vanishes 100% on the first three toed "ancestor" (Mesohippus) but the two outer toes on the rear foot of Hyracotherium are supposed to be present as vestigial's on the "modern horse".

 

 

#3: Unknown ancestor before Hyracotherium

  • George Gaylord Simpson, after stating that nowhere in the world is there any trace of a fossil that would close the considerable gap between Hyracotherium ("Eohippus"), which evolutionists assume was the first horse, and its supposed ancestral order Condylarthra, goes on to say "This is true of all the thirty-two orders of mammals...The earliest and most primitive known members of every order already have the basic ordinal characters, and in no case is an approximately continuous sequence from one order to another known. In most cases the break is so sharp and the gap so large that the origin of the order is speculative and much disputed." (Simpson, G. G., Tempo and Mode in Evolution, New York: Columbia University Press, 1944, p. 105)
  • Nowhere, for example, are there intermediate forms documenting transition from a non-horse ancestor (supposedly a condylarth) with five toes on each foot, to Hyracotherium with four toes on the front foot and three on the rear. Neither are there transitional forms between the four-toed Hyracotherium and the three-toed Miohippus, or between the latter, equipped with browsing teeth, and the three-toed Merychippus, equipped with high-crowned grazing teeth. Finally, the one-toed grazers, such as Equus, appear abruptly with no intermediates showing gradual evolution from the three-toed grazers. (The Origin Of Mammals, ICR Impact No. 87 Duane T. Gish, Ph.D, 1980)
  • The earliest member of the horse evolution series, Hyracotherium (Eohippus), has no connection, by any sort of link, to its presumed ancestors, the condylarths. (Kofahl, R.E., Handy Dandy Evolution Refuter, Beta Books, San Diego, California, 1997, p. 159)
  • "In nowhere could be found the transitional intermediates showing the transition from the five-fingered ancestor to Hyracotherium (Eohippus) which has three fingers at its back foot and 4 fingers at its front foot. In this circumstance, the only way out is to accept the protrusions in Eohippus' feet as an atrophied finger and suppose that it comes from a five fingered ancestor." (Dr. Ali Demirsoy)

 

 

#4: Three-toed Neohipparion lived beside one-toed Pliohippus

  • It should also be noted that in the Rattlesnake Formation of the John Day Country of northeastern Oregon, the three-toed horse Neohipparion is found with the one-toed horse, Pliohippus. (cf. Nevins, S., Creation Research Society Quarterly, Vol. 10, 1974, p. 196) No transitional forms between the two are found. In other cases "primitive" species of a genus, such as those of Merychippus, are found in geological formations supposedly younger than those containing "advanced" species. (cf. Gregory, J. T., University of California Publications in Geological Sciences, Vol. 26, 1942, p. 428) (The Origin Of Mammals, ICR Impact No. 87 Duane T. Gish, Ph.D, 1980)

 

 

#5: Punctuated not gradual "change"

  • Although evolutionists project the illusion that there is a slow gradual, well documented change from Hyracotherium to Equus, in fact no evolutionary intermediates exist. Each of the animals abruptly appears in the fossil record (punctuated), with no physical signs of transitional species. (Bowden, M., The Rise of the Evolution Fraud, Creation-Life Publishers, San Diego, California, 1982, p. 117)

 

 

#6: The extinct Hyracotherium (Eohippus) was almost identical in body design, feet, toes and size, to the modern living Hyrax, except for the skull and tail, and is no more the ancestor of the horse than of a rhino!

  • We do not argue that the Hyracotherium is same animal as the Hyrax, but that there are remarkable similarities.
  • Was Hyracotherium (Eohippus) really a horse? Hyracotherium was discovered in Europe before "Eohippus" was uncovered in North America, and was given the genus designation of Hyracotherium by the famous British anatomist and paleontologist, Richard Owen, who was also its discoverer. Later, other specimens were discovered in North America and given the genus name Eohippus. It was subsequently concluded that the North American specimens were actually of the same genus as Hyracotherium. The latter thus has priority, so Eohippus is not a valid name for these creatures. It is most commonly used, however, undoubtedly because the name Eohippus means "dawn horse" while Hyracotherium was chosen by Owen because of the resemblance of this creature to creatures of the genus Hyrax (cony, daman). (The Origin Of Mammals, ICR Impact No. 87 Duane T. Gish, Ph.D, 1980)
  • Nilsson has pointed out that while Hyracotherium has little or no resemblances to horses, it apparently was morphologically and in habitat similar to living creatures of the genus Hyrax. (Nilsson, H., Synthetische Artbildung, Verlag CWE Gleerup, Lund, Sweden, 1954. [See F.W. Cousins, Ref. 16, for a summary on the horse.]) Hyrax, like Hyracotherium, is about the size of a rabbit or fox. Hyrax, also like Hyracotherium, has four toes on the front feet and three on the rear. The cheek teeth of these two creatures share many similarities and are more like those of rhinoceri than those of horses. The habitat and way of life of Hyrax are also similar to those postulated for Hyracotherium. Thus, Nilsson maintains, although Hyracotherium does not resemble present-day horses in any way, they were, apparently, remarkably similar to the present-day Hyrax. Others also doubt whether Hyracotherium was related to the horse. For example, Kerkut states, "In the first place it is not clear that Hyracotherium was the ancestral horse. Thus Simpson (1945) states, 'Matthew has shown and insisted that Hyracotherium (including Eohippus) is so primitive that it is not much more definitely equid than tapirid, rhinocerotid, etc., but it is customary to place it at the root of the equid group.'" (Kerkut, G. A., Implications of Evolution, New York: Pergamon Press, 1960, p. 149) In other words, Hyracotherium is not any more like a horse than it is similar to a tapir or a rhinoceros, and thus just as justifiably it could have been chosen as the ancestral rhinoceros or tapir. It seems, then, that the objectivity of those involved in the construction of the phylogenetic tree of the horse was questionable from the very start, and that the "horse" on which the entire family tree of the horse rests was not a horse at all. No definitive work on horses has been published since the publication of Kerkut's book that would materially affect his conclusion that "In some ways it looks as if the pattern of horse evolution might be even as chaotic as that proposed by Osborn (1937, 1943) for the evolution of the Proboscidea, where "in almost no instance is any known form considered to be a descendant from any other known form; every subordinate grouping is assumed to have sprung, quite separately and usually without any known intermediate stage, from hypothetical common ancestors in the Early Eocene or Late Cretaceous' (Romer 1949)." (Kerkut, G. A., Implications of Evolution, New York: Pergamon Press, 1960, p. 149) If indeed "horse evolution" is that chaotic and patchy, this classic case for evolution is without real merit. The actual evidence, on the other hand, neatly fits the Creation Model. (The Origin Of Mammals, ICR Impact No. 87 Duane T. Gish, Ph.D, 1980)

 

 

#7: Fossils patched together from many places as guess work clouded with bias.

  • The "evidence" has been garnered spanning geologically isolated regions. The series starts in North America, jumps suddenly to Europe, and then back to America. (Wysong, R.L., The Creation-Evolution Controversy, Inquiry Press, Midland, Michigan, 1981, p. 455)
  • A complete series of fossils in the correct evolutionary order does not exist anywhere in the world. (Kofahl, R.E., Handy Dandy Evolution Refuter, Beta Books, San Diego, California, 1997, p. 159)
  • The horse series was constructed from fossils found in many different parts of the world, and nowhere does this succession occur in one location. The arrangement of the evolution of horse is made by aligning various fossils found in India, South America, North America and Europe, in a series from the smallest to the largest. (Modern horses range from 17" to 80" in size)

 

 

#8: Rib count changes

  • The rib numbers first decrease, then increase suddenly, and then decrease again. Hyracotherium had 18 pairs of ribs, Orohippus had 15, Pliohippus had 19, the horse has 18.

 

 

#9: Vertebrae count changes

  • The number of lumbar vertebrae also changes from six to eight and then back to six.

 

 

#10: Many different horse bushes proposed

  • There is no consensus on horse ancestry. Instead of the single series that is depicted in textbooks, more than 20 different "horse bushes" have been invented, in order to desperately stretch the theory over conflicting evidence. This proves the bushes are guesswork and speculation. (cf. Bowden, M., The Rise of the Evolution Fraud, Creation-Life Publishers, San Diego, California, 1982, p. 117)

 

 

#11: Equus and Hyracotherium co-existed

  • Two modern-day horse species, equus nevadenis and equus occidentalis, have been found in the same rock formation in Nebraska USA as Eohippus proving that both lived at the same time. (cf. Wysong, R.L., The Creation-Evolution Controversy, Inquiry Press, Midland, Michigan, 1981, p. 455, see also Hitching)
  • Pettingrew, a Paleontologist, says that modern horse pre-existed Hyracotherium by 70 million years. According to him, the horse lived in the Mesozoik Age, 120 million years before Hyracotherium appeared in Eocene Age, 50 million years ago.

 

 

#12: Modern horses come in a wide variety of sizes
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  • Cope's Rule, at the left, is to line up horses from smaller to larger. Yet the Fallabella horse of Argentina is fully grown at 43 centimeters (17 inches) high. This is about the same size as Hyracotherium. Horse size varies considerably from the tiny Fallabella to the massive Clydesdale. Both are horses. This proves that lining up the horse ancestors under the assumption of increasing size is wrong.
  • Click photo at left for high resolution of textbook fraud.

 

 

#13: Teeth number change

  • The same disorder is seen in the teeth number of the imaginary ancestors of horse and the teeth number of the horse of our day.
  • The only types of teeth found for the horses have been either grazing or browsing types. No other types of teeth have been discovered. So, not even transitional teeth exist. (Moore, John, N., and Harold S. Slusher, Eds., Biology: A Search for Order in Complexity, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1970, p. 548)

 

 

#14: Moropus not included in horse series

  • "Moropus" that lived in the Miocene Age, is not included in the fossil series although it resembles a horse in great deal, just because it does not serve to the purpose of the evolutionists. It is thus expressed in the encyclopedia of Prehistoric Animals that Moropus of two metres height is larger in size than both Meryhippuston of the same age and the horse of today.

 

 

#15: Hyracotherium are often to be found at the surface

  • Horse fossils are not found below one another in the rocks. On the contrary, bones of Hyracotherium (Eohippus) are often to be found at the surface, and the only reason for calling these strata 'Eocene' is that Hyracotherium fossils have been found in them!

 

 

 

 

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Photo Gallery of the Horse Fraud
Straight line or bush ... Makes no difference

 

 

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Since 1879, there have been books and museum exhibits showing this "horse series".

The straight line evolution of the horse?
In fact the entire horse series is three distinct creatures mis-classified into many genus's. The bush of evolution is merely various fossils of sub species of these three animals. The different teeth within each of your three creatures you ask? Why different species of cats, dogs, deer have different dental designs!

Creature #1: (4 front & 3 rear toes)
55 Million years Hyracotherium (Eohippus)
50 Million years Orohippus
45 Million years Epihippus
40 Million years Mesohippus
Creature #2: (3 front & rear toes)
35 Million years Miohippus
25 Million years Kalobatippus
23 Million years Parahippus
17 Million years Merychippus
Creature #3: (one toe: horse)
12 Million years Dinohippus
10 Million years Pliohippus
4 Million years Equus (modern horse)

The straight line of evolution of the horse from Hyracotherium to the modern Horse is taught by almost all evolutionists. This in spite of the fact that they claim the evolution of the "horse family" is a whole is a bush and not a straight line. Did we miss something? Yes they added a bush to the straight line, but does not change the fact they still propose a straight line as listed below.

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New bush theory of Horse evolution.

Exactly what was wrong with the story as told in school textbooks? If the textbooks got the story wrong what does the addition of several side branches and the need to have all the various toed animals live at the same time correct? We still have the same straight line that was supposed to be inaccurate! Notice this version differs from the one below in that Orohippus gave rise to Eohippus (Hyracotherium) where as the one below has them reversed! Evolutionists have so many different versions of horse evolution today because it is all speculation and guess work!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is one of about 20 current versions of the horse bush:
(Notice the same straight line exists from Hyracotherium - Equus in all 20 versions)

2My        Old & New World Equus
                \  |  /
                 \ | /
4My   Hippidion  Equus                                           Stylohipparion
         |        |                   Neohipparion   Hipparion   Cormohipparion
         |        |    Astrohippus         |           |             |
         |        |    Pliohippus          ---------------------------
12My     Dinohippus    Calippus                     \  |  /
             |          |         Pseudhipparion     \ | /
             |          |              |               |
             -------------------------------------------     Sinohippus
15My                  \  |  /                                 |
                       \ | /                     Megahippus   |
17My                Merychippus                      |        |
                         |           Anchitherium    Hypohippus
                         |                 |           |
23My                Parahippus             Anchitherium          Archeohippus
                         |                       |                    |
                  (Kalobatippus?)--------------------------------------
25My                              \  |  /
                                   \ | /
                                     |
35My                                 |
                                Miohippus  Mesohippus
                                      |        |
40My                                  Mesohippus
                                          |
                                          |
                                          |
45My                      Paleotherium    |
                              |          Epihippus
                              |              |
                       Propalaeotherium      |       Haplohippus
                              |              |       |
50My         Pachynolophus    |              Orohippus
                   |          |                 |
                   |          |                 |
                   ------------------------------
                                    \  |  /
                                     \ | /
55My                             Hyracotherium

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Photo Gallery of the Horse Fraud
The Fossil "Horses"

55 Million years Hyracotherium (Eohippus)
50 Million years Orohippus
45 Million years Epihippus
40 Million years Mesohippus
35 Million years Miohippus
25 Million years Kalobatippus
23 Million years Parahippus
17 Million years Merychippus
12 Million years Dinohippus
10 Million years Pliohippus
4 Million years Equus (modern horse)

 

 

 

 

 

Hyracotherium
(Eohippus)
(55 million years)

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Hyracotherium is as "horse-like" as it is "rhinoceros-like" or "tapir-like" and could equally qualify (given the same evolutionary assumptions) as the ancestor of all three!

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Hyracotherium ("dawn horse" eohippus)

  • Totally unlike modern horses, both morphologically and in habitat. Some scientists believe that Hyracotherium is simply an extinct subspecies of Hyrax. Robert Owen named the first specimen "Hyracotherium" because of its resemblance to the genus Hyrax (cony). When the error margin is taken into account for fleshing out the skeleton of Hyracotherium (left top) into a fleshed out photo (left middle), it becomes almost identical to the modern Hyrax. (Even closer than pictured (left middle). Some evolutionists draw Hyracotherium as looking like a mini horse. This is way outside the error margin of the bone to fur guess.
  • Arched back that stood about 16 inches to the soldier about the size of a fox terrier
  • Had 18 pairs of ribs with short neck, snout & legs and a long tail.
  • Each toe has a pad like dogs. Three toes on hind feet, four on front feet with a shorter leg/longer head to body ratio compared to horses. Tiny stubs (vestiges) of the 1st and 2nd toes.
  • Major bones not fused, legs both flexible and rotatable
  • Short face, with eye sockets in the middle and a short diastema (the space between front and cheek teeth).
  • Low-crowned teeth unlike horses and more teeth than horses. Teeth sets: 3 incisors, 1 canine, 4 premolars, 3 grinding molars in each side of each jaw. Teeth of a typical omnivorous browser.
  • "The first animal in the series, Hyracotherium (Eohippus) is so different from the modern horse and so different from the next one in the series that there is a big question concerning its right to a place in the series . . [It has] a slender face with the eyes midway along the side, the presence of canine teeth, and not much of a diastema (space between front teeth and back teeth), arched back and long tail."H.G. Coffin, Creation: Accident or Design? (1969), pp. 194-195.

Skull differences

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Hyrax skulls

Differences between Hyracotherium and Hyrax:

The Hyrax is not a Hyracotherium. Although the extinct Hyracotherium and modern Hyrax are not the same animal, they are remarkably similar in body design. There are some clear differences in the skull, teeth and some minor differences in the tail.

Hyrax dental formula: 1.0.4.3 / 2.0.4.3
Hyracotherium dental formula: 3.1.4.3 / 3.1.4.3
Hyrax tail is shorter than the Hyracotherium.
Hyrax skull is shorter than the Hyracotherium.

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Hyracotherium skull

 

 

Orohippus

(50 million years)

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  • MacFadden, the leading world authority on horse evolution claims that there was a smooth, gradual transition from Hyracotherium to a close relative, Orohippus (MacFadden, 1976).
  • Pad-footed with three toes on hind feet, four on front feet identical to Hyracotherium except for the lack of "vestiges" of the 1st and 2nd toes.
  • Teeth: 3 premolars, 4 grinding molars. (one more molar and one less premolar than Hyracotherium.
  • Orohippus had 15 pairs of ribs. (3 less than Hyracotherium)

 

 

Epihippus

(45 million years)

  • Identical to Hyracotherium and Orohippus except for the teeth which sported 2 premolars, 5 grinding molars.
  • Pad-footed with three toes on hind feet, four on front feet.
  • Duchesnehippus is basically indistinguishable from Epihippus except for minute differences in some tooth shape typical of the variation you would find in different breeds of dogs, cats etc.)

 

 

Mesohippus

(40 million year)

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  • Slightly larger than Hyracotherium, 24" at the shoulder.
  • Mesohippus was pad-footed with three toes on all four feet with a tiny 4th vestigial front toe.
  • Compared to Hyracotherium, the back less arched, legs a bit longer, the neck a bit longer, the face longer, cerebral hemispheres larger.
  • One lone premolar in front plus three "molar-like" premolars, three molars.
  • Has same tooth crests as Epihippus

 

 

Miohippus 

(35-25 million years)

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  • Miohippus is reported to have a slightly longer skull than Mesohippus as well as minute ankle joint and dentine differences.
  • Miohippus was pad-footed with three toes on all four feet with a tiny 4th vestigial front toe.
  • Miohippus and Mesohippus (and Parahippus) are really the same animal. They are classified differently because different skeletons of the same animal can exhibit minute differences. They may be two closely related cross-fertile species like Mule deer and White Tail deer for example. The differences are also easily accounted for by if adult and juvenile specimens had been found. There is a huge amount of speculation among evolutionists and this is another example!

 

 

Kalobatippus

(25 million years)

Very sparse fossil evidence with incomplete skeletons. Extremely speculative. Yet if you notice the evolution bush, this is an important link critical for evolutionists. Again a theory based on evidence missing!

 

 

Parahippus

(23 million years)

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  • Parahippus, like was pad-footed with three toes on all four feet with a tiny 4th vestigial front toe.
  • Parahippus was a little larger than Miohippus and Miohippus was a little larger than Mesohippus. They had the same legs and teeth with miniscule differences.
  • Parahippus, Miohippus and Mesohippus are really the same animal. They are classified differently because different skeletons of the same animal can exhibit minute differences. They may be two closely related cross-fertile species like Mule deer and White Tail deer for example. The differences are also easily accounted for by if adult and juvenile specimens had been found. There is a huge amount of speculation among evolutionists and this is another example!
  • Teeth and leg differences between these three animals (Parahippus, Miohippus and Mesohippus) are no different that we find within men or dogs given "race and age" differences.

 

 

Merychippus 

(17 million years)

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  • Same pad-feet as Parahippus, Miohippus and Mesohippus with three toes on all four feet with a tiny 4th vestigial front toe.
  • Merychippus was merely a larger (40" tall) specimen or species of Parahippus, Miohippus and Mesohippus giving it longer legs and face and larger teeth.
  • Evolutionists claim that Merychippus walked on its largest toe (spring footed), elevating the two smaller toes. (Even though the two smaller toes were both full size and fully functional.) Such a claim is as speculative as it is wishful.

 

 

Pliohippus

(15 million years)

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  • Pliohippus, Dinohippus and Equus are all cross-fertile horses. They are one toed with hoofs. Dinohippus and Pliohippus are merely an extinct variety of true horse.
  • Pliohippus is classified distinct from Equus because of very its curved teeth whereas Equus's teeth are straight.
  • Pliohippus had 19 pairs of ribs.

 

 

Dinohippus

(12 million years)

  • A small part of the skull is all that this "separate species" is based upon!
  • Dinohippus, Pliohippus and Equus are all cross-fertile horses. They are one toed with hoofs. Dinohippus and Pliohippus are merely an extinct variety of true horse.
  • Dinohippus is classified distinct from Equus because of teeth curved midway between Equus and Pliohippus. (Equus had straight and Pliohippus has very curved teeth)

 

 

Modern Horse

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  • Equus, Dinohippus and Pliohippus are cross-fertile horses. They are one toed with hoofs. Dinohippus and Pliohippus are merely an extinct variety of true horse.
  • Modern horses are merely those horses that are not extinct. These include onagers, Quagga, kiang and various Zebra, asses & donkeys. All horses are cross-fertile.
  • Genus of Species includes: Equus burchelli, Equus zebra, Equus grevyi, Equus caballus, Equus africanus, Equus hemionus, Equus asinus
  • Horses have 18 pairs of ribs.

 

 

 

Othniel Charles Marsh's original 1874 drawings of horse evolution, now rejected.

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When Charles Darwin published his Origin of Species in 1859, there was not much evidence that supported the theory of evolution and its mechanism of natural selection. While Darwin observed variation, such as the finches on the Galápagos, there was no direct evidence available at the time to show development through the ages; nothing to show how animals (including humans) evolved. It wasn't until Othniel Charles Marsh discovered fossil records of extinct horses that Darwin's theory was taken seriously.

Othniel Charles Marsh, born in Lockport, New York, on October 29, 1831, developed a love for the outdoors at an early age. He also had associated himself with the geologist Colonel Ezekial Jewett. It was when Marsh discovered some small halibut fossils while looking for minerals to add to his collection that he first became aware of fossils. Though he wasn't interested in the fossils at the time, Marsh attended school where he met Louis Agassiz who became excited about Marsh's fossils. He described them as looking like they belonged to an animal that hadn't been seen before - a combination between fish and reptile. However, Marsh convinced Agassiz that he was wrong about the fossils and then went on to publish a paper about them seven years after the discovery, naming the fossil Eosaurus acadianus. With this paper, Marsh established himself as a promising paleontologist. He later became a professor at Yale - the first professor in paleontology in America and only the second in the world in 1866. However, the discovery that would make him famous, as well as show Darwin's theory to be correct, had yet been made.

While traveling West in 1868, Marsh heard reports of "human remains" at the bottom of a well at Antelope Station, Nebraska. He was skeptical, but upon viewing them, he could clearly see that they were from ancient equines. He had the conductor save some for his return back East. When Marsh examined the bones, he determined that they had come from an animal from Pliocene times that was barely a yard in height and had long slender legs which ended with three toes on each foot. He dubbed the small horse Equus parvulus (now Protohippus). It would later be one of the "missing links" in understanding the genealogy of modern Equus. Subsequent expeditions out West with his students from Yale and often military escorts followed in the early 1870's. By the mid-1870's, Marsh had an exceptional collection of early mammals. A large percentage of those were equine, as they were abundant in the region of Nebraska and the Dakotas. In a paper published in 1874 in American Naturalist, Marsh describes some of the horse fossils he found on an expedition in Wyoming and Utah. One of these skeletons, he named Eohippus, or "the dawn horse." However, instead of using Eohippus in this paper, he used Orohippus, as the former hadn't yet been described. The different skeletons had different numbers of toes and different degrees of variation, which would eventually be Marsh's main proof of development. He believed that the correct line of descent was Orohippus, Miohippus and Anchitherium, Anchippus, Hipparion, Protohippus and Pliohippus, and Equus, the most recent. The way Marsh determined the line of descent was mostly by examining the metacarpal bones of the different horses. Orohippus (the next horse after Eohippus) had four main digits: metacarpals II through V (the I being used for thumbs, which horses do not have). After looking at the bones from Orohippus, from the Eocene, Marsh looked at the other horses that came afterward. The later the horse was from, the shorter the metacarpal bones V, IV, and II became. He compared what he found to the legs of modern Equus, and found remnants of digits IV and II along the cannon bones (this is more evident in the forefeet that hind). (See Figure 1.d.) Marsh also examined the forearms, legs, as well as and upper and lower molars to confirm what he thought was the right line of descent. From his examinations, he found that through time as the horse evolved to be a larger and faster animal, the forearms and legs became stronger to support the weight (a horse's leg in phases of the gallop has to support its entire weight). The molars evolved from browsing teeth to teeth for a grazing animal - such as today's horse.

The evidence so strongly proved Marsh's theory for horse evolution that even Thomas Henry Huxley, known as an ardent advocate of evolution, was taken with Marsh's collection of fossils and his findings. Marsh recalled, that after seeing the Yale collection, Huxley believed that these specimens "demonstrated the evolution of the horse beyond question, and for the first time indicated the direct line of descent of an existing animal," as quoted from MacFadden, 31. Charles Darwin himself at one point expressed a desire to travel to America for the sole purpose of seeing Marsh's collection at Yale. Though Marsh collected specimens from many species of animals, some extinct and some whose descendents exist today, no other collection of fossils showed a direct line of descent as those from the family Equidae. This evidence probably convinced many people in Marsh's time to support evolutionary naturalism, which is to believe that our traits evolved through natural means. There was renewed interest in Darwin's theory of evolution, though the notion of Lamarckism was still popular. Lamarckian ideas are the beliefs that animals evolved features through use and disuse, not natural selection. Edward D. Cope tried to promote neo-Lamarckian ideas of acquired characteristics, but eventually, people adopted Darwinian ideas - especially after a mechanism for variation was discovered by Hugo de Vries, mutation that led to alterations of characteristics. Marsh's work with the horses made him one of the most prominent paleontologists in 1870's till his death in 1899.

With the help of O.C. Marsh, Charles Darwin's theories presented in his Origin of Species became recognized as being truth. The fact that larger faster horses were better able to survive than small slower many-toed horses supported the idea of natural selection as well as survival of the fittest. Marsh's evidence was in the fossil horses in his collection - the changing bone structure through the ages to support a changing environment and to better adapt for survival from predators. Though Marsh examined many different species of animals in his lifetime, it is his work with the line of descent of the horse that he is recognized with, as well as his vast fossil collection which he donated to Yale. He is also recognized as the first professor of paleontology in America, the second in the world, also adding to Yale's prestige.

 

 

 

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Evolutionists arguments and rebuttals

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Evolutionist argument: This diagram shows the fetal development of a horse foot. (a) is the foot at 6 weeks. Note, there are three toes. (b) is the foot at 8 weeks. The middle toe now dominates. (c) is the foot at 5 months. The middle toe is now the hoof. So, modern horses have vestigial extra toes, which are too small to be easily noticed.
Evolutionist argument rebutted: These structures are not vestigial but perform a critical function of assisting the horse to run with balance. These additional side structures not only reinforce the leg for strength, but aid in balance. Think of them as laminates that strengthen the leg in the same way the layers of plywood makes it stronger than unlamintated wood. The three sections are fused together in such a way as to resist breaking and increase torsion strength of the leg of the horse. Without such, the horse would break its leg more often.

 

 

 

 

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Proof that textbooks in use this school year engage in classroom fraud.

 

 

Vertebrates, Kenneth V. Kardong, 1998, ISBN 0-697-28654-1, McGraw-Hill, p 194

In use April 2000 2nd - 4th year biology at McMaster University.

It is tempting to interpret other specialized structures in a similar light. Among modern horses, only a single toe (the middle or third toe) persists on each leg to form the functional digit (figure 5.42a). However, ancestral horses, such as Protorohippus, had four toes on the front foot and three on the back. Occasionally, modern horses develop vestiges of these old second and fourth toes (figure 5.42b-d). When this occurs, we get a glimpse Of the underlying developmental pat-tern that produces the foot. The reduction of toes in horses enjoyed adaptive favor because it contributed to locomotor performance. Literally hundreds of structural changes occurred in bones, muscles, ligaments, nerves, and blood vessels from the four (or five) toed ancestors to the single-toed modern horses. If this, like the evolution of limblessness in some lizards, was based on a narrowing of the underlying developmental pattern, then these hundreds of changes could be accomplished with relatively few gene mutations. (Vertebrates, Kenneth V. Kardong, 1998, ISBN 0-697-28654-1, McGraw-Hill, p 194)

FIGURE 5.42 (above) Extra toes in modern horses. (a) Modern horses have only one enlarged digit on each foot, a single toe. The one toe evolved from ancestors with three or four toes. During the course of their evolution, the peripheral toes IV, II, and I were lost and the central toe (III) emphasized. (b, c) On rare occasions, however, these "lost" toes or their remnants reappear, testifying to the lingering presence of the underlying ancestral developmental pattern. (d) On rare occasions, modern horses, such as the one illustrated, exhibit additional toes. Such toe remnants in modern horses apparently represent the partial reemergence of an ancient ancestral pattern. For more information on extra toes in modern horses, see Gould, S. J. 1983. Hen's teeth and horse's toes. Further reflections in natural history. New York-.W. W. Norton. (Vertebrates, Kenneth V. Kardong, 1998, ISBN 0-697-28654-1, McGraw-Hill, p 195)

 

 

Evolutionary Biology, Douglas J. Futuyma, Third Edition, 1998 ISBN: 0-87893-189-9

In use April 2000 2nd - 4th year biology at McMaster University.

Although single characters do not convey an adequate sense of the evolution of the organism as a whole, they are easier to describe in quantitative terms. Because of the mosaic nature of evolution, this approach often suffices to describe the rate of evolution of taxonomically or adaptively important features. Thus one may describe the change in, say, the height of a horse's tooth in millimeters per million years. Evolutionary rates are usually described in relative terms. Two measures are often used (Box 6.A). The number of standard deviations by which the mean of the character changes per unit of time scales the change to the amount of variation within the population (Figure 6.36); thus if the mean changes by three standard deviations, it has shifted to a phenotypic value that formerly characterized less than 1 percent of the population. Another measure of evolutionary rate is the darwin, which is a change by a factor of 2.718 (the base of natural logarithms) per million years. The paleontological literature on rates of evolution does not necessarily represent a random sample of evolutionary rates, because paleontologists often focus on characters that display evolutionary change and ignore characters that do not distinguish taxa (i.e., CONSERVATIVE CHARACTERS, those with a very low rate of evolution). When rates of character evolution have been measured for ancestor-descendant series of dated fossils, the most striking result is that average rates of evolution are usually extremely low. For example, Figure 6.37 shows the rate of evolution of the height of one of the molar teeth in a lineage of horses, one of the most important adaptive changes in the evolution of the grazing lineages. The maximum rate was 94 millidarwins (about 7 percent per million years). Expressed another way, the maximum rate was 1.7 standard deviations per million years, and the average rate was 2.8 standard deviations per million generations, meaning that it took this long for the average tooth height to shift less than one-third of the span between the smallest and the largest specimens that the population harbored at any one time. Another example, again from the Equidae, is provided in Figure 6.38, which presents the estimated body weights of fossil equids and the rate of change in body weight for some ancestor-descendant series. Note that the rate of evolution of this feature was very low until the early Miocene (25-15 Mya), when the horses began an adaptive radiation into diverse browsing and grazing lineages, some of which increased in size rather rapidly. Even the most rapid rates are quite low, however: 280 millidarwins, or about a 21 per-cent increase in size per million years on a logarithmic scale. (Note also that some lineages decreased in size, at various rates.) These are average rates, calculated from the difference between the mean values at the beginning and at the end of a time interval, divided by the interval [(Y1, - Y0)/t]. In all cases the time interval is on the order of millions of years. One can readily see that very rapid evolutionary rates would be masked if within this interval the rate fluctuates (e.g., long periods of stasis alternate with bursts of very rapid change) or the direction of evolution changes (e.g., the mean increases and then declines to its original value, yielding no net change). Such changes in rate and direction are indeed evident when successive fossil deposits are close-ly spaced in time, as the data from sticklebacks and plank-tonic protozoans illustrate (see Figures 6.6-6.8). In almost all instances in which data of this kind have been analyzed (Charlesworth 1984), the variation in the rate of change between successive samples is much greater than the average rate of change over the whole sequence, largely because of rapid fluctuations in the mean. Over very short intervals, rates of change may be very rapid, in the tens or even hundreds of darwins (Figure 6.39). Differences between Pleistocene species (less than a million years old) and their living descendants represent some very rapid rates of change, and even faster changes have been documented in populations that have been introduced by humans into new geographic regions. For ex- ample, house sparrows (Passer domesticus), introduced into North America from Europe about 100 years ago, have be- come differentiated into geographic races that are adapted in size and coloration to different North American environments (Johnston and Selander 1,964). Some of their skeletal dimensions have diverged from those of European populations at rates of 50 to 300 darwins. In absolute terms, many of the changes in introduced or post- Pleistocene populations have been slight, and would not be noticed without measuring them; but they have transpired over such a short time that the rate of change is very great. The overall messages of the data in Figure 6.39 are that in discussing evolutionary rates, it is important to specify the time interval involved, and that a high rate of evolution is not sustained in one direction for very long. Both proponents and opponents of the hypothesis of punctuated equilibrium have claimed that data on evolutionary rates support their views. "Punctuationists" expect the average evolutionary rate to be low, because they expect brief intervals of rapid change to punctuate much longer periods of stasis. The Globorotalia lineage (see Figure 6.6), in which there was a rapid shift from one relatively stable phenotype to another, is an example of the pattern they predict. Opponents of punctuated equilibrium hold that the rapid fluctuations in these characters, even when there is no overall directional trend, provide strong evidence against punctuated equilibrium. These features, they argue, are not constrained from evolving, as the punctuationists propose; rather, the characters are continually evolving, but simply are not going in any particular direction. (Evolutionary Biology, Douglas J. Futuyma, Third Edition, 1998 ISBN: 0-87893-189-9, p 159-161)

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FIGURE 6.37 [above left] Analysis of the rate of evolution of a morphological character in the fossil record. Changes in the height of a molar tooth in the horse lineage Hyracotherium to Neohipparion are plotted arithmetically (black circles) and logarithmically (colored circles). The average standard deviation (s = 0.055) on the log scale is shown by horizontal bars. For each interval in this sequence, several calculations are shown: (1) the estimated number of generations (g) between successive time points; (2) the change in mean tooth height (A P), measured in standard deviations on the log scale; and (3) the average fraction (f) of the population dying, per generation, if natural selection were responsible for the change and if the change occurred at a constant rate during the time interval. Over this history, the average rate of change was 2.8 mm per million generations (on an arithmetic scale), or 2.6 standard deviations per million generations (on a log scale). The average fraction of mortality that would account for this rate of change, if natural selection were responsible, is 1.0 x 10--6 of the population per generation (see Chapter 14). (After analyses by Lande 1976a.) (Evolutionary Biology, Douglas J. Futuyma, Third Edition, 1998 ISBN: 0-87893-189-9, p 161)

FIGURE 6.38 [above right] Evolution of estimated body mass in fossil horses. (A) The body masses of 40 species, plotted against geological time. Notice that although the mean increases toward the present (an instance of Cope's rule), this is largely because of an increase in variation; small species existed throughout much of the history of the Equidae. (B) Rates of evolution of body mass (in darwins) between various pairs of ancestral and descendant taxa, plotted against the midpoint between their geological ages. Both increases (solid circles) and decreases (open circles) in size occurred. The most rapid changes occurred late in equid history, during the evolution of large grazers. Even the highest rate of evolution is much lower than some rates calculated over shorter intervals (see text). (After MacFadden 1986.) (Evolutionary Biology, Douglas J. Futuyma, Third Edition, 1998 ISBN: 0878931899, p 161)

 

 

Fundamental concepts of Biology, Nelson Robinson, Boolootian, 1970, p284, isbn: 75-100329

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"Figure 20.11. Diagrams illustrating stages in the evolution of the forefoot of the modem horse. Note the changes that have taken place from the five- toed ancestor Eohippus to the contemporary species Equus. ... Fossils sometimes provide a history of the changes that have taken place in a group of plants or animals. One of the best documented of these is the horse. Its evolution has been traced from a tiny, five-toed ancestor to the modem highly specialized creature we now term a horse." (Fundamental concepts of Biology, Nelson Robinson, Boolootian, 1970, p284, isbn: 75-100329)

 

 

Biology in Action, N. J. Berrill, Strathcoma Professor of Zoology, McGill University, p 790

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HORSE EVOLUTION: When an attempt is made to trace back the evolutionary history of any group of animals or plants we inevitably find ourselves groping much further into the past than was anticipated. To find the origins of the phyla themselves, the basic divisions, we cross the Cambrian period into Pre-Cambrian time and lose the trails. To find the beginnings of life on land the indications, for both animal and plant, lead us as far back as the Silurian. To find the first signs of reptilian life we must go back to the Carboniferous, with its predominant coal-forest-amphibian assembly. To find mammalian trends among the reptiles we go back as far as the early Permian, long before the reptiles them-selves had evolved to any great extent. Birds and flowering trees were opening their door to the future in time to see the Age of Reptiles get under way, and in like manner the mammals were already fully mammalian, widespread, and diversifying during the Cretaceous, well be-fore the Age of Mammals was worthy of its name. Each order and most of the families of mammals seem to have become set in their courses at least from the very beginning of the Cenozoic Age, in each case pointing in a certain general direction and, like a rocket shot through time, diverging more and more from its companions; and all the time changing into diverse forms during its passage, some to succeed but most to falter and fail. Two cases signify more than most: the horse family, the Equidae, because its evolutionary history is so completely documented by fossils, and the order Primates, because we ourselves are its most successful survivors. The evolution of horses is a progressive adaptation of originally unspecialized mammals to life on the plains, where grasses are the principal food and predators a constant menace. Primate history has been mainly progressive adaptation to arboreal life above the ground, a relatively safe but equally specialized way of life. In each case once the initial trend became established, the general course of evolution appears inevitable in retrospect. Horse Evolution: We have already referred to the evolution of horses in connection with the rate of evolutionary change and in an incidental way in the general account of the Cenozoic era. The evolution of the family is given here in some-what greater detail to illustrate further the pattern of survival, the force of selection, and also to supply a sort of comparative calendar of events against which the evolution of the primates, including man, can be more clearly seen. The first members of the horse family became recognizable early in the Eocene fifty or so millions of years ago, in the form of Hyracotherium (better known as Eohippus, a name which means dawn horse). Hyracotherium did not look in any way like a horse, being about the size of a cat, with a flexible back and a long Sail. Its face was short and its eyes near the front, but its toes were equipped with hoofs, with the little toe of the front feet and both the little and big toes 'of the hind feet already beginning to dwindle. In other words, its feet were already designed for speed and a running start. And even in Hyracotherium the teeth show the first signs of specialization characteristic of horses, with distinct cusps and a trend toward strengthening and enduring. TEETH AND SURVIVAL The evolution of teeth has played a great role not only in the evolution of horses, and in fact in the evolution of vertebrates as a whole, but because of their hardness and consequent survival as fossils, teeth have often been the main key to deciphering the fossil record (Fig. 38-1). So far as the animal itself is concerned the teeth have a double significance. An animal can feed and live only until its teeth wear out. Fish and reptiles have no problem in this respect since replacement of old teeth by new continues indefinitely. Birds bypass the issue by having no teeth at all and are able to maintain the horny beak with ease. Mammals have reduced their tooth replacement to a single occasion the replacement of the milk teeth of the small jaws of the very young by the one and only set of permanent teeth. With the exception of man, when these teeth wear out, the animal dies of starvation no matter how healthy its body may have been until then. As a general rule larger animals live much longer than small ones. Their teeth must there-fore be correspondingly large to serve their immediate function and must also endure for periods corresponding to the potential life span of the animal. With the exception of elephants, even the largest mammals become senescent and die. in their third decade, and at the end of twenty years or so of incessant use, most mammalian teeth have had their day. Elephants, which may live four times as long and must continue to eat, have huge complex molars for grinding heavy vegetation. Even an elephant molar wears out long before an elephant does, and the problem has been solved by having the several molars of each half move into position and action in succession instead of all at once, thereby extending the potential life of the animal to over 70 years. Mammalian teeth are distinctive in being differentiated. Reptilian teeth are essentially all alike, but even in the most primitive mammals, the insectivores, the teeth of each half -jaw are differentiated into three incisors, one canine, four premolars, and three molars, a dental formula of 3.1.4.3/ 3.1.4.3 for upper and lower half-jaws. Man has departed from this basic mammalian dental formula to only a moderate extent, having lost one incisor and two pre-molars in each set. The human dental formula is 2.1.2.3/2.1.2.3 a formula which we have in common with the Old World monkeys and apes. In horses and grazing mammals generally, the canines and first premolars are lost, with the emphasis placed on incisors for cropping grass and molars and the more posterior premolars for grinding this tough siliceous material. A large part of horse evolution has been as much an adaptation of the animal to certain general changes in its own nature as it has to external circumstance. Because of the incessant threat of increasingly fast, large, and efficient predators, the horse family for the most part has been relentlessly driven toward becoming larger and, if possible, faster. Whether the modern horse can run any faster than could Hyracotherium is a moot point. It is significant that a racing horse and the small, slender racing greyhound dog of today have much the same top speed, about 35 miles per hour. Hyracotherium, with its arched, flexible back like that of a greyhound, hoofs for protecting hard-driven feet from the wear and tear of impact against the ground, and reduced lateral toes indicating that it ran on its central toes only, was as much built for speed as any animal has ever been. Its need for speed was to escape the carnivorous catlike predators of the time. Increase in body size would have lessened vulnerability with regard to the small predators, but as predatory animals gradually increased in size (concurrently with the appearance of larger prey), the advantage would be lost and further increase in size would be desirable. Progressive increase in size meant not only increasing weight to be propelled over the ground but also a gradual lengthening of the span of life to several times its original duration. Much of the change that we see in the evolution of the modern horse from its small Eocene ancestor has been a progressive adjustment of structure to the demands of increasing mass and time, assuming that the initial efficiency at least must be maintained. Above all, legs and muscles must propel forward an ever -increasing mass without loss of speed or the wearing out of feet, and teeth must last longer and longer as the natural life span becomes extended. Increasing body height involved a lengthening of the neck and head so that the mouth could be used for close-cropping grass. The forepart of the face lengthened; the eyes were kept high and were shifted to the side to raise vision above grass level to watch for predators. Leg and foot bones enlarged, lengthened, and fused along the weight- supporting axis, at the expense of lateral components, including toes. Operating muscles became short and bulky and associated only with the upper parts of the limbs. Hoofs have been no problem, once in existence, since the horny hoof, evolved from a horny claw, is continually growing through-out an animal's life, just as do our own nails. Teeth became hardened with cement to cope with the siliceous character of grasses, and lengthened so as to serve the longer life. None of these changes imply any increase in efficiency but only the maintenance of original efficiency of the small, fast, and relatively short-lived primitive creature represented by Hyracotherium. HORSES AND PLAINS Disregarding the curtain raiser in which typically five-toed herbivorous Paleocene mammals, of a kind now extinct, gave rise to the first small members of the hoofed, odd-toed members of the horse family, the first scene opens in North America in the early Eocene. At this time the land bridge connecting North America and Asia, at the site of the Bering Strait, was in existence and Hyracotherium spread across into Asia, where it persisted for a while, then died out. By the middle Eocene the land connection was replaced by a water barrier, and horse evolution continued mainly in North America through the remainder of the Eocene and through the Oligocene epochs. During this period the Hyracotherium stock grew to sheep size and flourished as the genus Miohippus, a slender type with an arched back, three toes now on both fore and hind feet, and the median bone in each foot becoming a straight, cylindrical cannon bone. The first three-toed horses now existed. They had a better brain, eyes farther to the side, and ran more on their. toes. Premolar as well as molar teeth became specialized for grinding the abrasive grass. At the same time both the true cats and the saber-toothed cats were larger and more powerful. The second scene begins with the Miocene and is associated with a cooling climate, elevating lands, restriction of forests, and expansion of grasslands. Certain of the primitive horses took more to the forests and survived as somewhat flat-footed forest horses for mil-lions of years, some of them crossing a temporarily re-established bridge to Asia, only to die out eventually. The main trend was toward larger size, longer heads with eyes set farther back, more powerfully constructed legs for running, and side toes that now barely touched the ground. Teeth became longer and harder. Such was the nature of Parahippus, the most successful of the early Miocene horses, which gradually gave way to more progressive, rapidly evolving descendants called Merychippus. These had long grazing teeth well embedded in the bony jaws for greater anchorage. The herds of Merychippus far outnumbered all others. Then in the Pliocene came the greatest surge of horse evolution, associated with further expansion of grassland plains and steppes. This was, in fact, a period of great expansion for other groups of large mammals, particularly the family of elephants which were to give rise to the elephants, mammoths, and various kinds of mastodons of later times. The land bridge between Asia and North America again became established during this time, and the three-toed horses spread across into Asia from their North American homeland. These invading horses, descended from Merychippus and known as Hipparion, flourished in Eurasia for some millions of years, giving rise to several new kinds, although Hipparion itself had died out in North America. Other descendants of Merychippus in North America, however, gave rise to several other types, such as the medium-sized, slender, three-toed Nannihippus, which in turn yielded the larger and equally abundant three-toed Neohipparion, the two coexisting for about 11 million years. Hipparion in Asia and the other two pre-horses in North America survived abundantly until the end of the Pliocene, when the. Pleistocene Ice Age was already imminent. In North America Merychippus gave rise to a group of larger, one-toed horses known as Pliohippus, and it is from this animal that the presently surviving horses-the horse proper, the ass, and the zebra-arose. All the other stocks, including some not mentioned in the foregoing account, died out at the end of the Pliocene, or in the early Pleistocene, with the increasing onslaught of the cold from the north. With the Ice Age imminent, the history of the horse family continues in a single narrow line, Equus, the true horses, representing a single branch of the wide spreading family tree of the past 50 million years. At every level of general advance, one branch usually has been exceptionally successful and has given rise to branches of its own, while other, older branches have come to the ending of their line. In the early Pleistocene the true horses, including the zebras and asses, had spread not only over North America but into Eurasia-the third great dispersal into that area-where they displaced Hipparion. (Biology in Action, N. J. Berrill, Strathcoma Professor of Zoology, McGill University, p 790)

 

 

 

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