In a recently published study, an international research team has shaken the equine family tree and discovered a new old equine genus.
Till now, horses from the Pleistocene period (from 2.6 million to 11,700 years ago) were divided into two groups: the stout-legged horses and the stilt-legged horses. Both groups are extinct. Till this new study, it was believed that the second group, the stilt-legged horses, were related to the Asiatic wild ass species, which includes today’s asses, zebras, and horses.

This new study shows that the stilt-horses of the New World are not related to any living population of horses on Earth.

The research team of Peter Heintzman tried to resolve the issue of where in the horse family tree are the stilt-legged horses by analyzing more ancient DNA. Their analysis showed that this group of horses actually belonged outside of the Equus genus. They named the newly discovered genus Haringtonhippus and showed that all horses from the stilt-legged group belong to this new genus Haringtonhippus francisci (named after the Canadian zoologist Charles Richard Harington).


Read more about this groundbreaking study here: