Vera Eisenmann

Equus lambei

Sunday 20 November 2022 by Véra Eisenmann

E. lambei Hay 1917, type: USNM 8426 Gold Run Creek (=Dawson 32), Yukon, ca 15000 years old. The skull L 1-1222 probably comes from the same localitry (Harington and Clulow, 1973).
Probably best adapted to cold as shown by short muzzles and to hard food as shown by big teeth and long protocones.
The typical E. lambei have rather small skulls and seem restricted to the north of America. A larger form, however, may be present at Blanco Creek, Texas (BEG 31058-2) and similar crania were found in the Old World.

The type belongs to an old mare (Fig.1). It has a long palate, and a short and broad muzzle (2-5, 5 and 17) on (Fig.2).
Similar crania (L 1-1222, NMC 9924, 33992, 17262, 34803a, FAM 60012, 60013, 60019, 60020, 60023, 60038, 60045, 60048, 60066) were found at Sixty Mile (Yukon); Cripple Creek, Eldorado, Fairbanks, Goldstream (Alaska). See Photographs at:

Similar skulls were also found in NE Siberia (E. lenensis IA 33) and in France (Jaurens).

Cheek Teeth
The upper usually have very long protocones (Fig.3).
On the lower, the ectoflexid (vestibular valley) is shallow even on the molars. The lower cheek teeth of the type seem ‘compressed’ mesio-distally, as if by a shortening of the tooth row (Fig.4).

HARINGTON, C.R. & CLULOW, F.V., 1973. — Pleistocene Mammals from Gold Run Creek, Yukon Territory. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 10 : 697-759.
HAY, O.P. 1917. - Description of a new species of extinct horse, Equus lambei, from the Pleistocene of Yukon Territory. A.S. Natural Museum Proceedings, 53: 435-443.


Fig.1 E. lambei Type skull Fig.2 Simpson' diagram of E. lambei crania Fig.3 Upper cheek teeth of E. lambei Fig.4 Lower cheek teeth of E. lambei
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