Astrohippus ("Star horse") is an extinct member of the Equidae tribe Equini, the same tribe that contains the only living equid genus, Equus. Fossil remains have been found in the central United States, Florida, and the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Jalisco, and Guanajuato. The fossils date in time from the oldest dating from the Barstovian in the Miocene to the youngest dating in the Hemphillian faunal stage of the early Pliocene.[1]

Temporal range: 16.3–4.9 Ma Barstovian to Late Hemphillian[1]
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Perissodactyla
Family: Equidae
Subfamily: Equinae
Tribe: Equini
Genus: Astrohippus
Quinn, 1955
  • A. ansae
  • A. stockii (syn. A. albidens)

Based on study of the tooth morphology it is considered unlikely that Astrohippus could be an ancestor of modern horses[dubiousdiscuss], with the most likely ancestor of Astrohippus being Pliohippus.[2]

The species Astrohippus ansae was originally described by W. D. Matthew and R. A. Stirton based on several cheek teeth found in the Coffee Ranch quarry, Hemphill County, Texas. This quarry has produced the remains of six other equid genera including Dinohippus and Nannippus.[3] Astrohippus stockii was described from the Yepomera locality in Chihuahua, Mexico, by J.F. Lance in 1950 as Pliohippus stockii.[1] The species was moved to Astrohippus five years later by Quinn.[1] The species Astrohippus albidens was named by O. Mooser in 1965 from Mexico, the taxon was reassigned to the genus Dinohippus in 1988 by T. S. Kelly and E. B. Lander.[1] In 1998 A. stockii and A. albidens were combined by T. S. Kelly, with the older A. stockii name being retained and A. albidens becoming a junior synonym.[1]

Both species of Astrohippus have been reported to occur in the Ocote Local Fauna of Guanajuato, Mexico by O. Mooser in 1973.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d e f The Paleobiology Database 1/21/09 [dead link]
  2. ^ MacFadden, B. J. (1984). "Astrohippus and Dinohippus". J. Vert. Paleon. 4(2):273–283.
  3. ^ Ranch Quarry at the Paleobiology Database 1/2109 Archived 2012-10-12 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Mooser, O. 1973 "Pliocene Horses of the Ocote Local Fauna, Central Plateau of Mexico Pliocene Horses of the Ocote Local Fauna, Central Plateau of Mexico" The Southwestern Naturalist 18(3):257–268