Ancient DNA Clarifies the Evolutionary History of American Late Pleistocene Equids

  title={Ancient DNA Clarifies the Evolutionary History of American Late Pleistocene Equids},
  author={Ludovic Orlando and Dean Male and Mar{\'i}a Teresa Alberdi and Jos{\'e} L Prado and Alfredo Prieto and Alan Cooper and Catherine H{\"a}nni},
  journal={Journal of Molecular Evolution},
Hippidions are past members of the equid lineage which appeared in the South American fossil record around 2.5 Ma but then became extinct during the great late Pleistocene megafaunal extinction. According to fossil records and numerous dental, cranial, and postcranial characters, Hippidion and Equus lineages were expected to cluster in two distinct phylogenetic groups that diverged at least 10 MY, long before the emergence of the first Equus. However, the first DNA sequence information… 

Revising the recent evolutionary history of equids using ancient DNA

Phylogenetic analyses support a major revision of the recent evolutionary history of equids and reveal two new species, a South American hippidion and a descendant of a basal lineage potentially related to Middle Pleistocene equids.

Mitochondrial genomes reveal the extinct Hippidion as an outgroup to all living equids

The dataset reveals that the two morphospecies sequenced formed a monophyletic clade, basal to extant and extinct Equus lineages, which supports Hippidion as a distinct genus, in agreement with palaeontological models.


The present study aims to provide a synthesis of already published data on the phylogeny, systematics, palaeobiogeography and palaeoecology of both the lineages recorded in South America, updating some taxonomic data.

Eurasian wild asses in time and space: morphological versus genetic diversity.

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    Annals of anatomy = Anatomischer Anzeiger : official organ of the Anatomische Gesellschaft
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Evolution of the Family Equidae, Subfamily Equinae, in North, Central and South America, Eurasia and Africa during the Plio-Pleistocene

Simple Summary The family Equidae enjoys an iconic evolutionary record, especially the genus Equus which is actively investigated by both paleontologists and molecular biologists. Nevertheless, a

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The mitochondrial genome of a late 16th century horse from the Spanish colonial site of Puerto Real (northern Haiti) represents the earliest complete mitogenome of a post-Columbian domestic horse in the Western Hemisphere offering a unique opportunity to clarify the phylogeographic history of this species in the Americas.

Cheek tooth morphology and ancient mitochondrial DNA of late Pleistocene horses from the western interior of North America: Implications for the taxonomy of North American Late Pleistocene Equus

Cheek tooth morphology and ancient mtDNA of late Pleistocene Equus specimens from the Western Interior of North America are investigated, with the objective of clarifying the species that lived in this region prior to the end-Pleistocene extinction.

Rostral Reconstruction of South American Hippidiform Equids: New Anatomical and Ecomorphological Inferences

An anatomical reconstruction of the muzzle of hippidiforms based on homologous patterns in the extant horse Equus caballus is presented, together with a morphofunctional analysis of their rostra and a comparative analysis of premaxillary shape.

Ancient DNA from the extinct South American giant glyptodont Doedicurus sp. (Xenarthra: Glyptodontidae) reveals that glyptodonts evolved from Eocene armadillos

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Molecular phylogeny and evolution of the Perissodactyla

An important implication of this study is that Equus asinus, the African wild ass was found to be the sister taxon of Asiatic asses and zebras, diverging from the common ancestor with caballine horses 2 Mya.



Morphological Convergence in Hippidion and Equus (Amerhippus) South American Equids Elucidated by Ancient DNA Analysis

DNA analysis reveals that a very Hippidion-like metapod might also have been possessed by another South American equid, i.e., Equus (Amerhippus), an interpretation supported by complementary anatomical observations that may lead paleontologists to limb bone misidentification.

Evolution, Systematics, and Phylogeography of Pleistocene Horses in the New World: A Molecular Perspective

It is shown that stilt-legged horses, commonly regarded as Old World migrants related to the hemionid asses of Asia, were in fact an endemic North American lineage, and the data suggest that there were fewer horse species in late Pleistocene North America than have been named on morphological grounds.

Geographic distribution of an extinct equid (Equus hydruntinus: Mammalia, Equidae) revealed by morphological and genetical analyses of fossils

DNA analysis supports the proximity of E. hydruntinus and Equus hemionus suggested by skull and limb bone analyses, and rejects proximity to either Equus burchelli or the asses suggested by tooth morphology, which suggests dental morphology may be of poor taxonomical value if used alone for establishing equid phylogenetic relationships.

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The North American species of Equus of Irvingtonian and Rancholabrean age, which were summarily reviewed by the present author in 1995, are described in detail. They are : Equus ferus, widespread in

Pleistocene horses from Tarija, Bolivia, and validity of the genus †Onohippidium (Mammalia: Equidae)

The genus Onohippidium is indeed valid and distinct from Hippidion based on facial characters, dental pattern, and metatarsal proportions, and Comparisons with relevant equids from North America confirm that the hippidiform ho...

Median-joining networks for inferring intraspecific phylogenies.

A method for constructing networks from recombination-free population data that combines features of Kruskal's algorithm for finding minimum spanning trees by favoring short connections, and Farris's maximum-parsimony (MP) heuristic algorithm, which sequentially adds new vertices called "median vectors", except that the MJ method does not resolve ties.

The Evolution of perissodactyls

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Considerations on the Paper “Morphological Convergence in Hippidion and Equus (Amerhippus) South American Equids Elucidated by Ancient DNAAnalysis’’, by Ludovic Orlando, Véra Eisenmann, Frédéric Reynier, PaulSondaar, Catherine Hänni

The results need a more exhaustive review and new analyses to be done because the material used in the study belongs to the genus Hippidion and not to the subgenus Equus (Amerhippus), Orlando et al. 2003 conclude.

The genus Equus in North America. The Blancan species

L'Equus du Blancan ancien derive du Dinohippus de l'Hemphillien (Miocene superieur/Pleistocene inferieur). Au debut du Blancan, on signale une seule espece, E. simplicidens, mais au Blancan superieur

DNA sequences from multiple amplifications reveal artifacts induced by cytosine deamination in ancient DNA.

It is shown that DNA molecules amplified by PCR from DNA extracted from animal bones and teeth that vary in age between 25 000 and over 50 000 years carry C-->T and G-->A substitutions, which are due to the occurrence of modified deoxycytidine residues in the template DNA.