|“||This is Propalaeotherium - an early form of the horse.||„|
|— Allen, about Propalaeotherium|
Propalaeotherium (name meaning "Before Palaeotherium") is a genus of equid that originated during the Early Eocene epoch in what is now Europe and Asia. Only the size of a house cat, this diminutive prehistoric mammalian is an ancestor of the modern horses.
In the Series 3 premiere, a small herd of Propalatherium were brought back to the park. They were rescued from 50 million years ago in Germany to the poisonous gas.
Era & DiscoveryEdit
Discovered and named by Paul Gervais in 1986, Propalaeotherium is part of a well-charted evolution of the horse and is one of the earliest known.
By modern standards, ranging from only 30–60 cm at the shoulders, Propalaeotherium were small primitive horses. However, this is how horses started out – small forest-dwelling animals. At this stage, they were not much bigger than cats. Rather than having hooves, they instead possessed four, clawed hoof-like toes.
Propalaeotherium had very powerful and acute senses and thus would run at the slightest sound they perceived as a danger, even something as minor as a leave falling on the ground. However, there were times when these small mammals would appear less alert than normal. This is because they fed on fermenting grapes, and while they contained only the smallest amount of alcohol, it was, however, enough to dull their usually sharp sense.
Behavior & TraitsEdit
Propalaeotherium lived in small groups to fairly large herds, living in both forests and even open grasslands. These herbivores feed on soft leaves and fruits, such as grapes and berries. These animals relied heavily on their acute sense to protect themselves in the dangerous and weird forests of the Early Eocene. The giant Terror Bird Gastornis would have been a common predator of Propalaeotherium; needing to ambush such skittish and agile little horse ancestors.
- The sound effects of Propaleotherium are sped up horse sound effects as well as pig squeals and zebra sounds.