Großes "Hessisches" Urpferd, Propalaeotherium hassiacum

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    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).

    billbalance, Swami Stream, penny pea, and 1 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    1. carl_lexicon [deleted] 92 months ago | reply

      Amazingly well-preserved. Fascinating info. Thanks for posting this....

    2. boverboard 92 months ago | reply

      Great shot and again a wonderful description,

    3. MyOakForest 92 months ago | reply

      ein interessantes Objekt schön fotografiert und in Szene gesetzt!

      This Great Photographic Art was made by a Diamond Class Photographer!
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    4. Joaquim Antunes 92 months ago | reply

      Always surprising me!!
      Now, a pre-historic image...!!
      Great print. And I learn so much with your information!

      (gallery & instructions)

    5. billbalance 91 months ago | reply

      OMG . . . Super Shot Claude . . . Long time no see . . .

    6. Swami Stream 91 months ago | reply

      Awesome capture Claude

    7. "alley cat photography' 91 months ago | reply

      A very special specimen. Thanks for the info link.

    8. juanmiguel [deleted] 91 months ago | reply

      BEautiful light.
      Regards.

    9. Pervez 183A 91 months ago | reply

      great info..also a good photo !!!

    10. perry3213 81 months ago | reply

      Yes I looked for fossil there too, but in the short time, I found nothing. Meanwhile the "Grube Messel" is closed.

    11. Candle Tree 71 months ago | reply

      I was searching on Flickr about Messel Pit (again greatly in news due to Ida - Darwinius masillae) and came across your capture! This is truly facinating, thanks a lot for sharing!!!

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