from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A genus of fossil horses, of the family Equidæ founded by Leidy in 1856 upon remains from the Pliocene of North America. It is one of the more recent extinct forms, related to Hipparion and to Protohippus.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
But what gained greatest attention, especially from ranchers in the west, was his discovery in subsequent years of handsome skeletons of four of the progenitors of the horse: eohippus, mesohippus, miohippus and the crucial, determinative merychippus.
"Paleohippus, " of the many capacities, eohippus of the subtle form, merychippus with the horse-like appearance, pliohippus with the single hoof'these attributes persisted; there were dozens of other variations equally interesting which died out because they did not contribute to the final form.
Had not merychippus developed these self-renewing grinders, the horse as we know it could have neither developed nor survived.