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Red Rock Canyon Horse

Three-toed Horse
As implied by its name, this ancient horse has three toes as opposed to one-toed horse of today. Fossil three-toed horses are common in the Red Rock Canyon area and they formed a major component of the plant eating community of the late Cenozoic of Southern California.


Left uppercheek teeth of a three-toed horse, Hipparion forcei, showing six cheek teeth (three premolars on the left half and three molars on the right). Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County specimen number LACM 138261

A reconstruction of a late Miocene (about 9-7 million years ago) three-toed horse illustrated by Spanish artist Mauricio Antón in his book “Mammoths, Sabertooths, and Hominids.” (Reproduced with permission of the author.)

Did you know?
The fossils of prehistoric animals during the past 7-12 million years ago can be found entombed in the sediments, including extinct elephants, rhinos, three-toed horses, giraffe-like camels, saber-toothed cats, and bone-crushing dogs. There are also fascinating small creatures such as ancestral skunks, alligator lizards, and shrews.