“Hyracotherium (“the dawn horse”) is presented as an ancestor of horse which was supposed as disappearing millions of years ago but it actually closely resembles the Hyrax (a fox sized mammal) which still lives in Africa today.”
Could the Hyrax be the supposed Hyracotherium (or “the dawn horse” of horse evolution)? The Hyrax is a fox sized mammal alive today in Africa. It is ironically the closest genetic relative to the elephant.
This so called “straight line of evolution of the horse” from Hyracotherium (aka “Dawn Horse”) to the modern Horse is taught in almost every evolutionary textbook despite scientists knowing that the fossils actually construct a “horse family bush” and not a straight line. Additionally, upon a closer examination, fossil evidence is lacking and crowded with conjecture.
Genetics have provided an even bigger “puzzles” for the Hyrax and horse evolution. The closest living relative today to an elephant is the Hyrax! Despite how huge the elephant itself is and how small the Hyrax is– genetically they are close. Wait– what about horses? Well the Hyrax was a fossil used as the “dawn horse” but it is no closer to being a horse then being an elephant!