Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Indricotherium

Artists reconstruction of Indricotherium
Indricotherium was the largest land mammal to have ever walked the planet. It weighed 3-4 what our modern elephant weighs, and stood almost 18 feet tall at the shoulder! The adults were so large that they were essentially invulnerable to attack!

Indricotherium sported a small head, huge legs, and three toes, making it a distant relative of today's Rhinoceroses. They had teeth that could snip and strip vegetation, and they were able to browse from trees as tall as 26ft. Because of their huge size they needed to eat an incredible amount of food... which eventually led to their demise.

You see, when its forest habitats dried up and gave way to grasslands, the Indricotherium lost its food supply and eventually went extinct in the Oligocene.

Status : Extinct for 23 million years
Location : Europe and Asia
Size : Shoulder height up to 18ft (5.5m), Weight up 20tons (18,100kg)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Mammalia -- Order : Perissodactyla
Family : †Hyracodontidae -- Subfamily : †Indricotheriinae -- Genus : †Indricotherium

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