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Tooth characters of protohippine horses with special reference to species from the Merychippus zone, California

Bode, Francis D. (1934) Tooth characters of protohippine horses with special reference to species from the Merychippus zone, California. In: Papers concerning the palaeontology of California, Nevada and Oregon. Publications of the Carnegie Institution of Washington. No.453. Carnegie institution of Washington , Washington, DC, pp. 39-63.

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The critical review of equine tooth characters attempted in this paper is the result of a study of the protohippine horses obtained from the Merychippus Zone of the north Coalinga district, California. During the conduct of extensive excavations in this zone since 1928 by the California Institute, more than two thousand teeth of the genus Merychippus have been collected. In addition to the types represented by the equine material, a number of associated land mammals have been secured. The faunal list, which includes some fifteen species, suggests that this locality occupies a stratigraphic position approximately late middle Miocene in age. The variation displayed in the dental characters of the merychippine material from the Merychippus Zone necessitated comparisons with cheek-teeth of Equidae from practically all of the Miocene formations furnishing vertebrate remains in the Pacific Coast and Great Basin Provinces. A comprehensive study of these collections clearly demonstrates that many of the cheek-tooth characters employed in the description of type specimens of fossil horses are variable to an extent which renders them unreliable in a determination of species. The variation of these characters within a large collection also indicates that it is possible for teeth referable to a particular species to have a wider stratigraphic range than has been hitherto appreciated. The conclusion is reached that the presence of a species has less value in reaching an age determination of the strata in which it occurs than evidence furnished by an association of several species.

Item Type:Book Section
Additional Information:© 1934 Carnegie institution of Washington. Indebtedness is acknowledged to the Museum of Paleontology, University of California, for a generous loan of fossil material, including type specimens, from the Barstow and Mascall formations. The writer takes this opportunity to thank Dr. Chester Stock for advice given during the course of the investigation. The illustrations have been prepared by John L. Ridgway. The enamel patterns of cheek-teeth reproduced in the text were accurately outlined on photographs of the specimens. The photographic prints were then treated in a bleaching solution, which obliterated the photograph but did not affect the ink outline.
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Balch Graduate School of the Geological Sciences146
Series Name:Publications of the Carnegie Institution of Washington
Issue or Number:453
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200203-132225898
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:101076
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:03 Feb 2020 21:34
Last Modified:03 Feb 2020 21:34

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