Europe, France, Middle Eocene, ca. 48 million years ago. An extremely rare, primitive horse (Plagiolophus sp.) from the earliest era of horse evolution, this is a three-toed horse's maxillae (upper jawbone) fossil in the original rock matrix. The three-toed horse is particularly significant because it represents a time before horses had hooves (which are just a large single toe). Size: 5.75" W x 9" H (14.6 cm x 22.9 cm)
Primitive horse fossils are usually limited to isolated finds of teeth and some bones. These fossils are often from either the Pliocene or Miocene Periods. This is an extremely rare fossil of a primitive three-toed horse from BEFORE these periods. This is both maxillae from the same skull of a three-toed prehistoric little primitive horse called Plagiolophus. All teeth including rare canines are present and original. This horse dates to the Eocene Era which is the FIRST geologic period of the emergence of the horse! This specimen is a valuable example of Eocene mammalian evolution and would make a cornerstone specimen of horse evolution and early development. This RARE specimen was prepared by us and is 100% AUTHENTIC WITH NO FABRICATION OR COMPOSITING OF TEETH OR BONE ON ORIGINAL MATRIX. There is NO repair to the bone portions or the matrix as this specimen was found in one large thick (over 1.25 inches in places) slab. Bone and teeth are in superb condition and we removed the matrix from around the crown of the teeth so that the tops of the molars can be seen.
Most people do not realize that the earliest of primitive horses like this specimen was about the size of a modern fox and date back to 60 million years ago. This is a perfect fossil to educate and demonstrate the long past history of horses.
Provenance: Purchased from a US collection in 2004.
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