• View of the Monument across the Snake River

    Hagerman Fossil Beds

    National Monument Idaho

Animals

Much has changed in Idaho since the Hagerman Horse and other native species, such as the camel and mastodon, lived and prospered on the then fertile floodplains of the area. Over 20 inches of precipitation a year created a lush environment for the development and survival of a wide variety of animals.

Today the Hagerman area receives less than 10 inches of precipitation. However, due to the Snake River, natural springs, and other water sources, the area is still able to support an incredible diverse species population. The riparian zones of the Hagerman area support habitat that is important for migratory waterfowl and other many other species.

Plant and animal communities have been greatly impacted by man’s activities over time, including livestock grazing, water diversions, road construction, and recreational uses. Despite these difficulties a wide variety of animals still successfully populate the area.


 

Did You Know?

Drawing of how the Hagerman Horse may have appeared.

The zebra-like horse fossil Equus simplicidens was originally named Plesippus shoshonensis by Dr. Gidley, Smithsonian paleontologist, who led the 1929 excavation at Hagerman. He felt the fossil was different enough to represent a new species distinct from any other fossil horses.