One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The earliest fossil ancestor of the horse, which was a small forest animal of the Eocene epoch, with four toes on the front feet and three on the back.
Genus Hyracotherium, family Equidae
- ‘The hyracotherium was a small fox-sized four-toed creature, similar to the modern day hyrax.’
- ‘Scientists now believe that the hyracotherium ate meat and lived in the forest.’
- ‘A close look at the teeth of hyracotherium, reveals a simple pattern of bumps and ridges on their chewing surfaces.’
Modern Latin: from hyraco- (combining form from hyrax) + Greek thērion ‘wild animal’.
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