Name: Hyracodon ‭(‬Hyrax tooth‭)‬.
Phonetic: ‭H‬y-rac-o-don.
Named By: Joseph Leidy‭ ‬-‭ ‬1856.
Synonyms: Aceratherium nebrascensis,‭ ‬Epitriplopus medius,‭ ‬Hyracodon apertus,‭ ‬Hyracodon arcidens,‭ ‬Hyracodon doddi,‭ ‬Hyracodon ischyrolophus,‭ ‬Hyracodon primus,‭ ‬Hyracodon selenidens,‭ ‬Mesamynodon medius,‭ ‬Rhinoceros nebraskensis.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Mammalia,‭ ‬Perissodactyla,‭ ‬Hyracodontidae.
Species: H.‭ ‬browni‭ (‬type‭)‬,‭ ‬H.‭ ‬leidyanus,‭ ‬H.‭ ‬medius,‭ ‬H.‭ ‬nebraskensis,‭ ‬H.‭ ‬petersoni,‭ ‬H.‭ ‬priscidens.
Diet: Herbivore.
Size: About‭ ‬1.5‭ ‬meters long.
Known locations: Across North America.
Time period: Lutetian of the Eocene through to Aquitanian of the Miocene.
Fossil representation: Remains of well over‭ ‬100‭ ‬individuals.

       Although Hyracodon looks a lot like a primitive horse,‭ ‬this genus actually represents a form of prehistoric rhino.‭ ‬Hyracodon is the type genus of the Hyracodontidae,‭ ‬a group of so called‭ ‘‬running rhinoceroses that fulfilled a similar ecological niche as primitive horses such as Mesohippus.‭ ‬Hyracodon seem to have inhabited a variety of ecosystems,‭ ‬and were probably browsers because the forward teeth in the mouth were not as well suited to cropping grass as those of dedicated grazers.‭ ‬This may in part be why Hyracodon declined and disappeared during the late Oligocene and early Miocene,‭ ‬because during this time,‭ ‬starting back in the Eocene,‭ ‬the landscape of North America was changing from large expanses of forest to open grasslands.‭ ‬This meant a loss of suitable habitat along with the appearance of better adapted herbivores,‭ ‬and in turn better adapted predators,‭ ‬that all combined together to out compete earlier forms of animals like Hyracodon into extinction.

Further reading
-‭ ‬A new species of Hyracodon‭ (‬H.‭ ‬priscidens‭) ‬from the Oligocene of the Cypress Hills,‭ ‬Assiniboia,‭ ‬L.‭ ‬M.‭ ‬Lambe‭ ‬-‭ ‬1905.


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