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Ancient Horse Fossil Preserves Uterus with Unborn Foal

March 2015 by Sophie Barrington, Horses and People Magazine

A specimen of the ancient horse Eurohippus messelensis has been discovered in Germany with a preserved foetus, as well as parts of the uterus and associated tissues. This find demonstrates that reproduction in early horses was very similar to that of the modern horse, despite the differences in size and structure. 

The specimen was discovered by a team from the Senckenberg Research Institute nearly 15 years ago, but its extent was not fully appreciated until it was studied under micro x-ray. The micro x-ray analysis revealed a structure known as the broad ligament that connects the uterus to the backbone and helps support the developing foal.