Merychippus is a horse from the Miocene period. During this period the Great Plains were developing and the horse population quickly adapted to their new environment. Merychippus had high crowned teeth with a hard covering, for grazing on the dust and sand covered grasslands. These horses lived in herds, and had a height of about 48 inches (122 cm). Their muzzles were longer, jaw deeper, eyes wider apart, and their brains were larger, making it smarter and more agile than its predecessors. Although they still had three toes, ligaments under the fetlock to the big central toe supported their weight. Merychippus gave rise to many species of grazers leading eventually to the line of 'true equines' we know and love today.
Our Merychippus skull replica shows many similarities to modern day horses.
Note: some portions of the original fossil may have been scientifically restored.