The ancient horse was up to four fingers, which they lost at least increase their size and the need to move quickly. To such conclusion the international group of scientists, which recently published scientific paper in the “Proceedings of the Royal society” (journal of the Royal society of London).
Researchers have traced the development of hoofed animals from their most ancient ancestor Hyracotherium (girlthere in Greek means “dawn horse”), who lived on the territory of modern North America 55 million years ago. It was an animal with a height at withers of only 20 cm, short legs and a long tail, feeding on leaves and fruit. He had four toes on its front feet and three on the back.
To trace the evolution of the finger of the horse, a paleontologist from Harvard University Brian Machart and his colleagues used to study the internal structure of the fossilized bones of the feet of 12 species of extinct horses a CT scan. They also analysed the feet of closely related horses of the South American tapir, which refers to the ancient ancestors of the horse cheropotamus. Consequent computer simulation allowed the researchers to assess how the bones of ancient horses would react to the stresses produced by them in physical activity, including jumping over obstacles and accelerate into a gallop. In the end, they came to the conclusion that the extra toes helped the ancestors of horses to carry your weight: one finger just broke without their help. They began to fall off later, as stronger middle toe.
As commented in the Institute of paleontology of the RAS, scientists have long known that the ancient horse was not even four, and five toes, and then their number was reduced to one. The horse is one big her finger. Loss others occurred over 5 million years ago, when horses became bigger. More precisely, unneeded fingers, her legs gradually collapsed into one. Innovation of Western scientists is that they are modeled on the computer, “revived” ancient horses with multiple toes, which once again proved the correctness of our theory.