Paraceratherium

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Paraceratherium
Skeleton cast of P. transouralicum, National Museum of Nature and Science, Tokyo
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Class: Mammalia
Order: Perissodactyla
Superfamily: Rhinocerotoidea
Family: Hyracodontidae
Subfamily: Indricotheriinae
Borissiak, 1923
Genus: Paraceratherium
Borissiak, 1915
Size (dark grey) compared to that of a human and other rhinos

Paraceratherium [1] was a huge fossil mammal. It lived in Asia during the late Oligocene and early Miocene epoch of the Tertiary period, (37–32 million years ago).

It is the largest land mammal known. The average size of adults was 5 m (16.5 ft) tall, 8 m (26.5 ft) in length, with a weight of about 15 tons. It had a long, low, hornless skull and long frontal and nasal bones.

It was a herbivore that stripped leaves from trees. Its front teeth had a single pair of incisors in either jaw. They were round, pointed, and so large that they looked like small tusks. The upper incisors pointed straight downwards, while the lower ones jutted outwards. The upper lip was evidently extremely mobile. The neck was very long, the body big and strong, and the limbs long and thick, column-like.[2]

References[change | change source]

  1. previously called Indricotherium or Baluchitherium or just Indricothere
  2. Prothero D. 2013. Rhinoceros giants: the palaeobiology of Indricotheres. Indiana: Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0-253-00819-0
P. transouralicum skull, American Museum of Natural History