Many important studies have centered on the shoulder joint of Equus simplicidens. This has been a topic of great interest because Equus simplicidens is one of the first horses to have a shoulder that is free moving. This is a key adaptation that shows Equus simplicidens was capable of running in long strides, and thus at high speeds. This free movement is an early adaptation that paved the way for the athletic horses and zebras of today (Hermanson & Macfadden, 1992).
The other key adaptation that has been studied in Equus simplicidens is the knee joint. This is because modern horses are unique in having a special ridge on the kneecap that allowed for standing for longer periods of time. Equus simplicidens is one of the first horses to possess this ridge, although it is not quite as prominent as it is in modern horses (Hermanson % Macfadden, 1996).
- Hermanson, J. W., & Macfadden, B. J. (1992). Evolutionary and Functional Morphology of the Shoulder Region and Stay-Apparatus in Fossil and Extant Horses (Equidae). Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 12(3), 377–386.
- Hermanson, J. W., & MacFadden, B. J. (1996). Evolutionary and Functional Morphology of the Knee in Fossil and Extant Horses (Equidae). Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 16(2), 349–357.
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