Prehistoric Mesohippus

Michelle Tribble

Fircrest, United States

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Artist's Description

“Mesohippus bairdi and Fagopsis longifolia” is watercolor and ink on illustration board (14″ x 18″). The inspiration behind this was the Florissant fossil collection from Colorado, NA, and my interest in the evolution of the Equus species. I felt that my Mesohippus stallion, whom I’ve nicknamed “Rocket”, shouldn’t be without a snack from another extinct species of his period. Rocket stood about 60cm at the withers. I used various skull, leg, and complete skeleton fossil examples to reconstruct and give you my interpretation of him. Fossils of these two species have been found in the Florissant Formation of the Eocene/Oligocene age in central Colorado state.

Fagopsis longifolia, an extinct species of the Beech family, has many beautiful fossil examples of lovely serrated leaves. This represents a young sapling. It’s one the most abundant fossils of the formation, and was determined to be part of a wetter and warmer climate than in the region today.

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