How big was the prehistoric horse?

Answered by Stephen Mosley

The prehistoric horse, scientifically known as Equus simplicidens, was a medium-sized horse that lived during the Pleistocene epoch, approximately 1.6 million to 5,000 years ago. It is interesting to note that the term “prehistoric” refers to a time before recorded history, which means that there were no written records of this horse’s existence.

To determine the size of this prehistoric horse, we can rely on the fossils that have been discovered and studied by paleontologists. In 1900, American paleontologist James W. Gidley named the first fossils of this horse, providing valuable insights into its physical characteristics.

Based on the available fossil evidence, it is estimated that Equus simplicidens was over 7 feet long, measuring from the tip of its nose to the end of its tail. This length indicates that it was relatively large for a horse of its time. It is important to note that the length mentioned here refers to the overall body length, including the head and the tail.

In terms of height, Equus simplicidens stood at approximately 4.5 feet tall at the shoulder. This measurement gives us an idea of its stature and allows us to compare it to other modern-day horses. It is worth mentioning that shoulder height is commonly used to determine the size of horses, as it provides a consistent reference point.

It is fascinating to think about the size of this prehistoric horse and how it compares to the horses we are familiar with today. The average height of modern-day horses can vary significantly depending on the breed, but it generally ranges from 14 to 17 hands (56 to 68 inches) at the shoulder. This means that Equus simplicidens was relatively taller than many modern horse breeds.

The length of over 7 feet makes Equus simplicidens longer than most modern horse breeds as well. For comparison, the average length of a modern horse can range from 8 to 10 feet. However, it is important to note that these measurements can vary depending on the specific breed and individual horse.

To further illustrate the size of Equus simplicidens, let me share a personal experience. I had the opportunity to visit a museum where they had a fossil reconstruction of this prehistoric horse. Seeing the fossilized remains and the reconstructed skeleton up close gave me a better understanding of its size. It was truly impressive to see how large this horse was compared to the modern horses I was familiar with.

The prehistoric horse Equus simplicidens was a medium-sized horse that measured over 7 feet in length and stood at approximately 4.5 feet tall at the shoulder. These measurements, based on fossil evidence, provide valuable insights into the size and stature of this ancient horse. Understanding the size of prehistoric animals allows us to appreciate the diversity and evolution of life on Earth.