I wanted to move the whole thread, but can't. I'm moving the specific posts where you and I were talking to it can continue here. It'll be broken up into a few posts. UTEOTW: The facts are these. Early on, biologists thought that evolution was slow and steady going from A to B to C. When they started finding horse fossils, they constructed a series that matched this. Well as more fossils came in, they found that the series actual had a number of branches and that it was slow at times and then there would be rapid change and that sometimes things would change in one direction and then the other. IOW, it was bushy and jerky instead of smooth and steady. And they wrote papers on this where they said that the smooth series was wrong and that additional information had yielded better and more accurate data. Imagine that, learning as you research a topic. What a concept. Gina: You are saying that there is fossil evidence of the evolution of horses, true fossils that show the inbetween stages, it's not simply a belief written down, there's literal physical fossil proof? Where? I want to see it. UTEOTW: This might be something for you. http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/natsci/vertpaleo/fhc/Stratmap1.htm You can see a greatly simplified tree. Clicking on each genus will bring up a page with more information on that animal. Many have complete skeletons or at least what is known of the genera. I say greatly simplified because it is broken down by genus and leaves out many of the known genera. I think less than half are represented on the tree. Furthermore, each genus is known by at least one species. I think some are know by 30 - 40 species. So the whole tree would be quite involving. And since it is so bushy, it might be difficult (I'd say impossible.) to get all of the ancestor / descendent relationships correct. In places, the trail is so well known that it is difficult to decide where to change the classification of individual species from one genus to another. For instance, the last of the Parahippus (Parahippus leonensis) is so similar to Merychippus that it is difficult to know where to swap. So parts are very detailed indeed. You might also find the following interesting. http://chem.tufts.edu/science/evolution/HorseEvolution.htm http://www.pbs.org/wildhorses/wh_origin/wh_origin3.html http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/horses/horse_evol.html Gina: I will look further into these links than the brief overview I have just now given them, but immediately two things come to mind. First, they are all what appear to be different types of horses, with whole bodies and characteristics drawn from imagination stemmed by extremely limited findings. The main point though, is they are all horses. Your statement was that these horses evolved. From what? Your links seem to show different variations of horses, but none show what they were before they were horses, or what they were between what they started from up until they became horses. That is the evidence I am looking for. That is the claim of evolution. I already believe in horses! UTEOTW: Strictly speaking, only the most recent genus, Equus, is really considered to be a horse. You would not recognize many of the animals on the list if you were to see them as horses, either. The differentation may be easiest if you go all the way back to eohippus, the "Dawn Horse." Labeled as Hyracotherium oon the chart. This animal was the size of a small to medium sized dog. It was 10 - 20 inches at the shoulder and about 30 - 40 lbs. It did not have hooves like a horse. Instead it had pads somewhat like a dog except that the toenails resembles small hooves. Instead of one toe per foot it had 4 toes in front, three in back. Its teeth were very generalized. It was small brained with a short snout, short neck and arched back. And its "legs were flexible and rotatable with all major bones present and unfused." It was quite unlike anything you would call a horse. From here, you can trace the development of various traits affecting most of the body. The legs are different, the feet are different, the teeth are different, the back and neck are different and so on. Specifically... "First, they are all what appear to be different types of horses, with whole bodies and characteristics drawn from imagination stemmed by extremely limited findings. " I hope I cleared up that they were very different from what you or I would call a horse. The quality of the evidence varies widely. Some may only be known from a jaw. Some from nearly complete skeletons. See these for example. http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/natsci/vertpaleo/fhc/hyraco1.htm http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/natsci/vertpaleo/fhc/oroh.htm http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/natsci/vertpaleo/fhc/mesoh1.htm http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/natsci/vertpaleo/fhc/parahippus.htm Those were just the first four I clicked on and you can see full skeltons. I clicked around until I found one without afull skeleton. http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/natsci/vertpaleo/fhc/megahippus.htm "Your statement was that these horses evolved. From what? Your links seem to show different variations of horses, but none show what they were before they were horses, or what they were between what they started from up until they became horses. " Well, not exactly. This is the evolution of the horses from a small, general perissodactyl. Other animals from today whose ancestors were closely related include rhinos and tapirs. One of the striking things is that the fossil record connects such unlike animals as a horse and a rhino as being closely related. But even more striking is that the DNA confirms it. I point you to Use of mitochondrial DNA sequences to test the Ceratomorpha (Perissodactyla:Mammalia) hypothesis, C. Pitra and J. Veits, Journal of Zoological Systematics & Evolutionary Research, Volume 38 Issue 2 Page 65 - June 2000. Without going down to your local university to find it, suffice it to say that genetic testing confirms the relationship. (The same technique can be used to confirm the fossil record that shows whales as being most closely related to hippos and deer and such. DNA testing looked at Hippopotamus, Cow, Sperm Whale, Humpback Whale, Red Kangaroo, Human, Mouse, Cat, Asiatic Elephant, Domestic Horse, Pig, and Bactrian Camel. Just as the fossil record predicts, the whales were most closely related to the cow and the hippo. Molecular evidence from retroposons that whales form a clade within even-toed ungulates, Shimamura et al, Nature 388,666 (14 August 1997). I don't know if you want to start tracing this back further in time. For instance, you could go back on additonal step to H. vassacciense if you wish. And Radinskya yupingae before that. And to the condylarths before that. And to Protungulatum before that. You let me know what you desire and I will try and provide it. If I can. I am not sure that I made it clear that the perissodactyls from which the rhinos and tapirs (plus some other extinct creatures such as the Indricotherium, a "house" sized mammal over 20 feet tall and twice as tall as an elephant. The largest land mammals ever!) were of the genus Homagalax. The differnce between Homagalax and Hyracotherium were extremely slight. All that I know of are some differences in the details of the shape of the teeth. As I said, you would not recognize these creatures as horses and especially not as rhinos or tapirs. Gina: UTE: From this link that you gave me CLICK HERE it appears to be implying by the photos that horses started out very tiny, and with evolution became larger. Is that an accurate statement? Also, perhaps I'm missing the link, but didn't you say there were ones that showed fossils of what these horses were before they were horses? These skeletons on the site still look really horselike to me! Except for the ones that look like dogs. LOL For example, I'd imagine if they came from a bird, there would be a stage where they had wings If they came from sea animals there would be in between fossils of horses with scales or other properties. I'll try to explain this more simply as I'm even confusing myself. What was the dawn horse before it was what is being called a dawn horse?