Articles | Volume 24, issue 1
Foss. Rec., 24, 151–169, 2021
https://doi.org/10.5194/fr-24-151-2021
Foss. Rec., 24, 151–169, 2021
https://doi.org/10.5194/fr-24-151-2021
Research article
10 Jun 2021
Research article | 10 Jun 2021

Determining the gait of Miocene, Pliocene, and Pleistocene horses from fossilized trackways

Alan Vincelette

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Short summary
This study compares footprints made by modern horses with two fossil trackways. One shows a Pleistocene horse in a gallop of 9 m/s, perhaps fleeing predators or migrating. More intriguing is the trackway of a Miocene horse with diagonal couplets in a gait of 2 m/s. This best matches the artificial gait of the rack/tölt only found in breeds such as the Saddlebred, Icelandic, and Paso, providing more evidence that early horses possessed a greater variety of useful gaits than most modern horses.