24. October 2013 · Comments Off on Idaho’s first horses · Categories: Around The Campfire, Tips, Tricks and Tid Bits

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by  Kimberly Williams- Brackett

I was taught in school that the Spanish introduced horses to the Americas. But while the Spanish did bring them, plenty of horses were here before the Spanish arrived.

“The Spanish did indeed introduce the modern horse to the Americas, although one could argue that it was a re-introduction,” said Laura Walkup, a ranger at Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument and the Minidoka National Historic Site.

The Hagerman Horse remains mark the largest sample of this extinct species found in one area. Although remains of the same species have been found in several states, they’re all much younger. Hagerman’s is the oldest.

The first appearance of the modern genus Equus — which includes modern horses, donkeys, zebras, etc. — was Equus simplicidens, also known as the Hagerman Horse, Walkup said.

hh02“Horses originally evolved in North America, and specimens of Equus simplicidens as well as many earlier horse ancestors have been found throughout the continent,” she said. “The first specimen of the Hagerman Horse ever described by paleontologists was not found in Idaho; it was found and named in Texas by paleontologist Edward Drinker Cope in 1892. However, the most complete specimens ever found were found here in Hagerman — hence the nickname ‘Hagerman Horse.’   Read more

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