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Palaeotheriidae


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(order Perissodac-tyla, suborder Hippomorpha)

An extinct family of horse-like animals which lived in Europe during the Eocene and Oligocene. They appear to have diverged from the main line of equid evolution and in some respects anticipated developments that were to occur later among the true horses. Several grew to large size, one (Palaeotherium magnum) to about the size of a rhinoceros but they had only three toes on each foot, and had molarized premolars. One form had slim lateral metapodials and cement on the crowns of its molars. The family had disappeared by the end of the Oligocene.

Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences.


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