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Prehistoric Mammals Theme Unit
The Dawn Horse, Eohippus



The Dawn Horse, Eohippus

A Short Reader

Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.1

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    deer-like, eohippus, hyracotherium, hyrax-like, long-crowned, ungulate, exception, primarily, underside, woodland, scientific, skull, specimen, million, which, complete
     content words:    Ice Age, Northern Hemisphere, North America, Richard Owen, Natural History


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The Dawn Horse, Eohippus
By Joyce Furstenau
  

1     Many Ice Age mammals were much larger than mammals of today. One exception was the hyracotherium, which means "hyrax-like beast." This mammal was later known as the eohippus or "dawn horse." It is believed to be the earliest horse. The eohippus lived about 45 to 60 million years ago.
 
2     It was a very small ungulate (hoofed mammal) about the size of a dog. It was only about fourteen inches tall at the shoulders. It had a slender, deer-like body. It weighed around fifty pounds. Its legs ended with four hoofed toes on its front feet and three hoofed toes on its hind feet. Each toe had a pad on its underside, like a dog's foot. It had a long skull that included forty-four long-crowned teeth.

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Prehistoric Mammals Theme Unit
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