Scaphohippus, A New Genus of Horse (Mammalia: Equidae) from the Barstow Formation of California
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- Pagnac, D. J Mammal Evol (2006) 13: 37. doi:10.1007/s10914-005-9002-2
A new genus of hypsodont equid, Scaphohippus, is recognized from the Green Hills Division (Ba1), Second Division (Ba1), and Barstow Faunas (Ba2) of the medial Miocene Barstow Formation, as well as from Ba1 and Ba2 faunas in the Punchbowl Formation of California, the Tesuque Formation of New Mexico, the Pawnee Creek Formation of Colorado, and the Olcott Formation of Nebraska. The genus includes two species, Scaphohippus sumani n. sp. and Scaphohippus intermontanus n. sp. Scaphohippus is a member of the “protohippine” clade, but is differentiated from its more derived sister taxon, Protohippus, by an arc-shaped incisor battery, a shorter I3-P1 diastema, and a more rounded protocone. The upper cheek teeth of S. sumani n. sp. have an unworn crown height of 40 mm. The protocone remains isolated until as much as 60% of wear, and the enamel fossettes are more complex than those of S. intermontanus n. sp. S. intermontanus n. sp. has an unworn crown height of 48–50 mm, the protocone opens by 30% of wear, and the enamel fossettes are simpler than those of S. sumani n. sp. Phyletic analysis shows S. sumani n. sp. to be the more primitive species. Similar facial and dental characteristics reveal a likely common ancestor with Merychippus insignis. The wider geographic and temporal range of S. sumani n. sp. reported here allows for useful phyletic and biogeographic interpretations. S. sumani n. sp. and M. insignis diverged during the late Hemingfordian (He2) of the Great Plains and both taxa dispersed throughout the western United States. S. intermontanus n. sp. is only recognized from the Barstow Formation, where it was likely directly descended from S. sumani n. sp.