Patterns of body size changes in fossil and living Equini (Perissodactyla)

Authors

  • MARÍA T. ALBERDI,

    1. Museo National de Ciencias Naturales, CSIC, José Gutierrez Abascal, 2, 28006-Madrid, Spain
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  • JOSÉ L. PRADO,

    1. Museo National de Ciencias Naturales, CSIC, José Gutierrez Abascal, 2, 28006-Madrid, Spain
    2. INCUAPA, Facultad Ciencias Sociales, UNC, Provincia de Buenos Aires, San Martín 3060, Olavarría, Argentina
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  • EDGARDO ORTIZ-JAUREGUIZAR

    1. Laboratorio de Sistemáticay Biología Evolutiva, Museo de la Plata, Paseo del Bosque s/n, 1900 La Plata, Argentina
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Abstract

The importance of body mass prediction from several cranial, dental and appendicular variables in living Equini are studied. Relationships between the body mass changes and the ecogeographic picture of Equini evolution are also analysed. The metapodial and phalanx variables, particularly antero-posterior diameters, are better correlated with body mass than cranial variables in living Equini. Large sized species are correlated with cold climates, open habitats and/or soft soils; small ones are correlated with warm climates, more closed habitats and/or hard soils. Pleistocene horses from Europe and Africa follow an evolutionary trend opposite to their North American counterparts, from larger sized species to smaller ones. In South America the pattern of body size is different to those of the other continents. Species of Hippidion reaching large body mass, whereas some species of Equus, E. andium, follow a diminishing trend.

Ancillary