Education: Horse Evolution Models

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horse feet

Did you know that horses used to be smaller than some birds? Surprise your students with these four specially-made replicas of horse feet dating as far back as 55 million years ago to demonstrate how the horse’s foot has adapted to the changing climates in North America. The bone models come with an activity where students can clay imprints of the feet to explore their similarities and differences!

The replicas were created by the Pittsburgh company Mechanimal and based on the horse evolution display at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Through an innovative process of digital modeling, sculpting and etching, they are able to take million-year-old fossils and create durable and identical replicas!

Watch how the bone casts were made! (Photographer: Dani Kramer)

Bring these ancient horses to life at home or in the classroom!

The activity below contains background information for the teacher, a short demonstration of how the horse foot evolved and directions to create clay prints.

Download Activity Guide Download free lesson plan about the evolution of horses
Horse evolution poster
The poster above illustrates the changing environment in North America, from 55 million years ago to today.

These models and activity were originally created as an Exploration Station for the Carnegie Museum of Natural History >>

Horse evolution was also at Equustravaganza at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History >>

Bring this innovative learning tool to your school or museum!
Please contact John Pollock at pollock@duq.edu.

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