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Merychippus insignis

Mammalia - Perissodactyla - Equidae

Taxonomy
Merychippus insignis was named by Leidy (1856) [genotype; also said to be 1857]. It is a 3D body fossil. Its type locality is Niobrara River (coll. Hayden 1857), which is in a Miocene terrestrial horizon in the Loop Fork Formation of Nebraska. It is the type species of Merychippus.

It was recombined as Protohippus insignis by Cope (1874); it was synonymized subjectively with Protohippus medius by Cope (1893); it was recombined as Protohippus (Merychippus) insignis by Scott (1895); it was recombined as Merychippus (Merychippus) insignis by Stirton (1940).

Synonyms
Synonymy list
YearName and author
1856Merychippus insignis Leidy p. 311
1857Merychippus insignis Leidy p. 89
1874Hippotherium paniense Cope
1874Protohippus insignis Cope p. 13
1880Merychippus insignis Leidy
1889Hippotherium paniense Cope p. 447
1894Hippotherium paniense Cope
1895Protohippus (Merychippus) insignis Scott p. 59
1896Hipparion paniensis Roger
1898Merychippus insignis Osborn
1898Hipparion paniensis Trouessart
1899Hipparion paniensis Matthew
1902Hipparion paniensis Hay
1902Merychippus insignis Hay
1905Merychippus insignis Trouessart
1907Merychippus insignis Gidley
1907Merychippus paniensis Gidley p. 890
1908Merychippus insignis Douglass p. 275
1908Merychippus insignis Gidley
1909Merychippus paniensis Matthew
1909Merychippus insignis Matthew and Cook
1916Merychippus insignis Sellards
1918Merychippus insignis Matthew
1918Merychippus paniensis Osborn p. 109 figs. Plates 11.2, 16.4,5,6, 18.1,5, 25.5, 34.1,2, 43.2, 48.2, 50.2,6, 53.2. Text Fig. 83
1918Merychippus insignis Osborn p. 122 figs. Plates 17.5, 25.3. T ext Fig. 97
1930Merychippus insignis Hay
1930Merychippus paniensis Hay
1940Merychippus (Merychippus) insignis Stirton p. 181
1940Merychippus (Merychippus) paniensis Stirton p. 181
1942Merychippus paniensis Henshaw
1953Merychippus paniensis Galbreath
1995Merychippus insignis Kelly p. 25
1998Merychippus insignis MacFadden p. 547

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RankNameAuthor
kingdomAnimalia()
Triploblastica
Nephrozoa
Deuterostomia
phylumChordataHaeckel 1847
OlfactoresJefferies 1991
subphylumVertebrata
Gnathostomata()
Osteichthyes()
Sarcopterygii
subclassDipnotetrapodomorpha(Nelson 2006)
subclassTetrapodomorpha()
Tetrapoda()
Reptiliomorpha
Anthracosauria
Batrachosauria()
Cotylosauria()
Amniota
Synapsida()
Therapsida()
RankNameAuthor
infraorderCynodontia()
Epicynodontia
infraorderEucynodontia
Probainognathia
Mammaliamorpha
Mammaliaformes
classMammalia
subclassTribosphenida()
infraclassEutheria()
Placentalia
orderPerissodactyla()
suborderLophodontomorpha
infraorderEuperissodactyla
Hippomorpha
superfamilyEquoidea
familyEquidae
subfamilyEquinaeSteinmann and Döderlein 1890
genusMerychippus
speciesinsignis

If no rank is listed, the taxon is considered an unranked clade in modern classifications. Ranks may be repeated or presented in the wrong order because authors working on different parts of the classification may disagree about how to rank taxa.

Diagnosis
ReferenceDiagnosis
H. F. Osborn 1918 (Merychippus paniensis)(Cope, 1874, Osborn, 1918) (1) Enamel borders of hypostyle, of metaloph, and crochet region ptychoid;
(2) protocone separate in incompletely worn crown; (3) marked curvature of the crown; (4) crown of intermediate length, hypsodont. Cope considered this animal an hipparion. Gidley (1907) considered the species not well characterized. Matthew (1913) refers to it a number of characteristic specimens from the Pawnee Creek formation, namely, parts of skull and jaws, fore and hind limbs and feet, Amer. Mus. 9382; also Amer. Mus. 9039, 9093, 9413, 9460, and adds the following characters (1913): (1) size median, same as M. sejunctus; (2) hypsodonty as in M. sejundus; (3) protocone separate to near base or united half way up crown; (4) protocone typically small, round-oval; (5) pli caballin fo!d well developed; (6) lachrymal fossa deep, abrupt, commencing close to border of orbit; (7) limbs relatively shorter than in M. sejundus, lateral digits more robust; (8) ungual phalanges short and narrow. Matthew (1913) regards it as close to M. isonesus of the Mascall but somewhat more progressive.
H. F. Osborn 1918(Leidy, 1857) "The teeth are inserted by distinct fangs; and the crowns strikingly resemble the true
molars of ruminants. There are four demiconoidallobes holding the same relationship with one another as in the latter, especially as in the Deer. The outer lobes have almost the exact form as in the true molars of Oreodon. The inner lobes resemble those of ruminants, but are complicated with accessory folds as in the horse. No cementum fills up the inter- spaces of the lobes nor does it appear to have existed as part of the structure of these teeth."