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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Fossil range: 54–0 Ma
Early Eocene to Recent
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Perissodactyla
Family: Equidae
Gray, 1821

Equidae (sometimes known as the horse family) is the taxonomic family of horses and related animals, including the extant horses, donkeys, and zebras, and many other species known only from fossils. All extant species are in the genus Equus. Equidae belongs to the order Perissodactyla, which includes the extant tapirs and rhinoceros, and still more fossils.

The term equid refers to any member of this family, including any equine.


The oldest known fossils assigned to Equidae date from the early Eocene, 54 million years ago. They formerly were assigned to the genus Hyracotherium (sometimes known as Eohippus), but the type species of that genus now is regarded to be not a member of this family (see Hyracotherium). These early Equidae were fox-sized animals with three toes on the hind feet, and four on the front feet. They were herbivorous browsers on relatively soft plants, and already adapted for running. The complexity of their brains suggest that they already were alert and intelligent animals.[1] Later species reduced the number of toes, and developed teeth more suited for grinding up grasses and other tough plant food.

The family became relatively diverse during the Miocene, with many new species appearing. By this time, equids were more truly horse-like, having developed the typical body shape of the modern animals. Many of these species bore the main weight of their bodies on their central, third, toe, with the others becoming reduced, and barely touching the ground, if at all. The sole surviving genus, Equus, had evolved by the early Pleistocene, and spread rapidly though the world.[2]




  1. ^ Palmer, D., ed (1999). The Marshall Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals. London: Marshall Editions. pp. 255. ISBN 1-84028-152-9.  
  2. ^ Savage, RJG, & Long, MR (1986). Mammal Evolution: an illustrated guide. New York: Facts on File. pp. 200–204. ISBN 0-8160-1194-X.  

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
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From LoveToKnow 1911

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary




From the stem of Equus (a genus) + -idae (a zoological family name suffix).

Proper noun


  1. A taxonomic family within order Perissodactyla, all extant members in genus Equus.

Derived terms


External links

Wikipedia has an article on:


See also

  • Anchilophus
  • Anchitherium
  • Archaeohippus
  • Astrohippus
  • Calippus
  • Cormohipparion
  • Dinohippus
  • Epihippus
  • Equus
  • Eurohippus
  • Haplohippus
  • Hipparion
  • Hippidion
  • Hypohippus
  • Hyracotherium
  • Lophiotherium
  • Megahippus
  • Merychippus
  • Mesohippus
  • Miohippus
  • Nannippus
  • Neohipparion
  • Onohippidium
  • Orohippus
  • Pachynolophus
  • Paleotherium
  • Parahipparion
  • Parahippus
  • Pliohippus
  • Propachynolophus
  • Propalaeotherium
  • Pseudohipparion
  • Scaphohippus
  • Sinohippus
  • Stylohipparion


Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies

Equus caballus


Main Page
Cladus: Eukaryota
Supergroup: Unikonta
Cladus: Opisthokonta
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Classis: Mammalia
Subclassis: Theria
Infraclassis: Placentalia
Ordo: Perissodactyla
Superfamilia: Equoidea
Familia: Equidae
Subfamiliae: †Anchitheriinae - Equinae - †Hyracotheriinae - incertae sedis


  • Equidae on Mammal species of the World.
    Don E. Wilson & DeeAnn M. Reeder (editors). 2005. Mammal Species of the World. A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed).

Vernacular names

English: Horses
Español: Équidos
Հայերեն: Ձիազգիներ
Italiano: Equidi
Magyar: Lovak
Português: Equídeos
Suomi: Hevoseläimet
Svenska: Hästdjur
Türkçe: Atgiller
Українська: Конячі
中文: 馬科
Wikimedia Commons For more multimedia, look at Equidae on Wikimedia Commons.

Simple English

Plains Zebras
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Perissodactyla
Family: Equidae
Gray, 1821
Genus: Equus
Linnaeus, 1758

Equidae is a family of odd-toed ungulate mammals. The family has only one surviving genus: Equus. Horses, donkeys and zebras belong in this genus.

Animals of the Equus genus can have hybrid children, but the children are mostly sterile.

They can have many different colours.

Look up Equidae in Wikispecies, a directory of species
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