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Extinct Animals  5
The Giants
 
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Uintatherium anceps, Beast of the Uinta Mountains

Unitatherium anceps

Uintatherium anceps, "Beast of the Uinta Mountains" was a mammal that lived during the Eocene epoch beginning around 52 million years ago. Uintatherium fossils were discovered near the Uinta Mountains in Wyoming and in Utah.

Uintatherium was a herbivore that could grow to 13 feet long, almost 6 feet tall and weigh more than 4,000 lbs. It had robust pillar like legs similar to a rhinoceros. Its most unusual feature was the protruding knobs on its snout and brow. It had a thick, oddly shaped skull, with downward pointing canines somewhat similar to saber-toothed tigers, but was not carnivorous and the canines must have been for defense.


 

 

 

 

 

Arsinoitherium

Arsinoitherium

These extinct mammals with spectacular horns were herbivores that lived in areas of tropical rainforests and mangrove swamps of northern Africa during the late Eocene and the early Oligocene from 36 to 30 million years ago. They stood 6 feet tall at the shoulders, were 10 feet long and weighed more than 2 1/2 tons.

Arsinoitherium were related to elephants and they had thick, hairless skin resembling elephant hide. Their enormous horns were solid bone as well as a second pair of small knob like horns on top of the head. Arsinoitherium size and form was best suited for wading and swimming. They likely lived in small groups and would have been in the water most of the time, similarly to hippos. They ate fruit and leaves, probably continually.
 

 

 

 

 

 

Toxodon Nesodon imbricatus

Toxodon

Toxodon is a mammal that lived in South America during the late Pliocene and Pleistocene from about 2.6 million to 16,500 years ago. Toxodon had a large muscular body similar to a rhinoceros, was almost 5 feet high at the shoulders, 9 feet long, and weighed up to 1500 kg.

Charled Darwin studied a toxodon fossil discovered near the Sarandis, a small stream entering the Rio Negro, which is a tributary of the Amazon. The have also been discovered near present day Monte Hermoso, Argentina.
 

 

 

 

 

 

Horned Toxodon, Trigodon guadryi

Horned Toxodon, Trigodon gaudryi

Trigodon gaudryi, of the family Toxodonta, is another large mammal which which lived in South America during the Miocene from about 11 to 7 million years ago.  Although not related, it resembled a rhinoceros. It had a horn, a robust body supported by pillar like legs.

 

 


 

 

 


Glyptodon

Glyptodon

Glyptodon was a huge armored mammal that lived in South and North America during the Pleistocene (1.8 million to 11,000 years ago). Some were as long as 16 feet and would have weighed about as much as a small car. They were related to modern day armadillos.  Glyptodon is believed to have been an herbivore, grazing on grasses and other plants.

 

 

 

 

 


Toxodon

Toxodon, Toxodon platensis

Toxodons, named for the curvature of their teeth, were a numerous species of mammal that lived in South America during the Pliocene and Pleistocene epochs from about 2.6 million to 16,000 years ago. Toxodons became extinct around the end of the Pleistocene. Some Toxodon fossils have been found with arrow heads indicating that they were hunted by humans who likely caused or contributed to their extinction.

 

 

 

 

 


Baluchitherium

Baluchitherium

Baluchitherium was an early hornless rhinoceros which lived in Asia and fed on tree leaves during the late Oligocene (24 to 38 million years ago ) and early Miocene (5 to 24 million years ago). It was the largest known land mammal to have lived, estimated to be 18 feet tall at the shoulder, 33 feet long and weighing more than 20 tons.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Giant Kangaroos

Giant Kangaroos

Giant Kangaroos, Procoptodon goliah, as large as 500 lbs once lived in Australia during the Pleistocene epoch as recently as 20,000 to 40,000 years ago before going extinct, possibly due to human influence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Giant Australian Marsupial Diprotodon

Giant Australian Marsupial Diprotodon

The Giant Australian Marsupial, Diprotodon, looked like and sometimes referred to as a giant Wombat and lived from 1,600,000 to 40,000 years ago during the Pleistocene.  It was  the largest marsupial that ever lived, the size of a hippopotamus, 9 feet long and 6 feet high at the shoulders. It probably ate tree leaves, shrubs and grasses. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Giant Ground Sloth

Giant Ground Sloth

The Giant Ground Sloth, Megatherium americanum, was 18 feet long, as big as an elephant, and lived in South America during the Pleistocene until just a few thousand years ago.  Other species from the size of a cat to that of the the giant ground sloth lived from the Arctic to  Antarctica.  They were hunted by humans and some believe humans may even have farmed them. 

 

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