Propalaeotherium was an early genus of perissodactyl ancestral to the horse. Its name means "before Palaeotherium", as it is the ancestor of Palaeotherium, another relative of early horses. Although they were descended from the earliest ancestral horse, Hyracotherium, the Propaleotheres and Paleotheres were not the ancestors of the modern horse; their line died out around 45 million years ago (Middle Eocene) , leaving no descendants.
Propalaeotheres were small animals, ranging from 30–60 cm at the shoulder. They looked rather like very small tapirs. They had no hooves, having instead several small nail-like hooflets. They were herbivorous, and the amazingly well-preserved Messel fossils show that they ate berries, and leaf matter picked up from the forest floor.
The Messel Pit is a disused quarry near the village of Messel, about 35 km southeast of Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Bituminous shale was mined there. Because of its plethora of fossils, it has significant geological and scientific importance. The Messel Pit was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site on December 9, 1995.
Get more information about Messel Pit in wikipedia.
Seen in the special exhibition "Messel on Tour", Hessian State Museum (Darmstadt).