It would be interesting to survey visitors to the Fossil Discovery Center and discover which of the numerous exhibits, models, fossils, digs and tours created the most interest or added most to the knowledge of the participant. From my observations, high on the interest list would be the horse display, including the relatively numerous fossils from horses that have been recovered from the landfill.
Fossils from horses are the most numerous of the fossils in the collection and on exhibit. Lots of teeth are included since our teeth are the hardest bones in our bodies.
The display we are using is a gift from Danville High School and presents a fine visual display of changes in horses over a very long period of time. It’s nice to have talent at hand — site manager Blake Bufford patched, painted and polished and the exhibit looks like new. You’ll see a model of the probable size and shape of a very early horse and successive models indicating changes that occurred over time and environment to the fine animals that are part of Madera County’s cattle industry and many people’s recreational pleasure today.
Certain scientists have focused their expertise on horses from all over the world, changes that have taken place as food sources, climate, predators and other environmental factors caused changes in leg and hoof structure to allow these useful and beautiful creatures to adapt and thrive...