dawnhorse1‘Dawn Horse’ is a film, made in Herne Bay about a little known, but significant, local scientific discovery. The film is attracting interest and acclaim around the world. In only seven minutes, it tells a fascinating story, through an engaging merge of live actors and animation.

The first horse to be scientifically named, was found near the modest coastal town of Herne Bay. A tiny fossil, part of the skull, was discovered in the cliffs at Studd Hill in 1838 by a palaeontologist, William Richardson. It was given to Sir Richard Owen for identification. Owen was then working at the British Museum but would later go on to found the Natural History Museum (NHM) in Kensington. He thought it to be a rodent and called it, Hyracotherium. It was to be three years before he realised the fossil was that of a horse, from 54 million years ago. He had an uncanny ability to identify species and this was proved when, 38 years later, Othniel Marsh in Wyoming discovered a full skeleton of the early horse. To Owen’s delight, the Herne Bay skull fragment perfectly fitted into the skeleton. Palaeontologists use the fossil, as the starting point, commonly called Dawn Horse, for the story of the evolution of the horse.

The makers of the film are Al Reffell (film-maker – writer, animator & director), Nicholas Godsell (film-maker – assistant director, designer & photographer) and Alan Porter (producer) – for more information search HorseDrawnMedia (one word), or email [email protected]

Enjoy the film, Dawn Horse, at https://vimeo.com/207450994

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