Oldest horse brains: more advanced than previously realized

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Science  05 Nov 1976:
Vol. 194, Issue 4265, pp. 626-627
DOI: 10.1126/science.790567


Previous interpretations of early horse brains were based on an incorrectly identified fossil endocast, now believed to be from a condylarth. Newly prepared endocasts of Hyracotherium, the oldest horse and one of the earliest perissodactyls, reveal a relatively larger brain, with a more expanded neocortex, than existed in the condylarth ancestors of perissodactyls. Fifty million years ago, horse brains had suprasylvian, ectolateral, and lateral sulci, but the frontal lobe was undeveloped.