The Messel Pit achieved its greatest fame for the discovery of fossilized prehistoric horses. More than 40 skeletons of stallions, foals and mares have been found, with several of the latter being pregnant. The largest horses from the Maar lake stood a mere 60 cm tall at the shoulder, and some species only reached 35 centimeters. Their front legs still bore four and their hind legs three hooves, respectively.


  • Title: Early horse
  • Location: Messel pit, Hesse, Germany
  • Type: original
  • Rights: Sven Tränkner Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung
  • size: 30 - 35 cm
  • scientific name: Eurohippus messelensis
  • geological Age: Middle Eocene
  • age: 48 mil. years

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