Three-toed Transitional Horse

  • Three-toed Transitional Horse
  • Three-toed Transitional Horse

This object is on permanent display in the Florida Fossils: Evolution of Life and Land exhibit, located on the center island in the Miocene Epoch.


Three-toed Transitional Horse by Bruce MacFadden

So Parahippus is a horse that evolved in North America about 18 million years ago and one of the best examples of Parahippus in all the United States comes from Thomas Farm, a fossil site that’s about an hour northwest of Gainesville.

Parahippus is interesting because based on the shape of its teeth, scientists know that it was what we might call a “transitional feeder,” where it was going from feeding on leaves of trees to horses that initially were feeding on grasses like they do today.

That skull was put back together back about 30 or 35 years ago when I first got here and we had somebody working in an exhibit —he was the exhibit—and he was putting the specimen back together. Bob Allen was his name.

Bruce MacFadden
Curator, Vertebrate Paleontology
Distinguished Professor
Florida Museum of Natural History


Three-toed Transitional Horse (Parahippus leonensis)
From Gilchrist Co., Florida
Lived ~18 million years ago

Exhibit Area

Always on Display

Three-toed Transitional HorseRadha Krueger