Thomashuxleya

Last updated

Thomashuxleya
Temporal range: Early Eocene (Casamayoran-Mustersan)
~48.6–48.0  Ma
O
S
D
C
P
T
J
K
Pg
N
Thomashuxleya.jpg
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Notoungulata
Family: Isotemnidae
Genus: Thomashuxleya
Ameghino 1901
Species

Thomashuxleya is an extinct genus of notoungulate mammal, named after famous 19th-century biologist Thomas Huxley.

Description

Thomashuxleya was about 1.3 metres (4.3 ft) in length and weighted an estimated 113 kilograms (249 lb), with a heavy body and strong limbs. [1] Its large skull had 44 teeth in its jaws, including large tusks which may have been used to dig around in earth. It had four toes on each foot, and probably walked somewhat like a modern peccary. It was a relatively generalised animal, not specialised for any particular way of life. [2] There's an almost complete skeleton of this animal in exhibition in the American Museum of Natural History. This skeleton was discovered during the Scarrit expedition to Patagonia, Argentina, that was led by the paleontologist George Gaylord Simpson. Fossils of Thomashuxleya have been found in the Sarmiento and Casamayor Formations of Argentina. [3]

Related Research Articles

Stellers sea cow Extinct species of sirenian from the Bering Sea

Steller's sea cow is an extinct sirenian described by Georg Wilhelm Steller in 1741. At that time, it was found only around the Commander Islands in the Bering Sea between Alaska and Russia; its range extended across the North Pacific during the Pleistocene epoch, and likely contracted to such an extreme degree due to the glacial cycle. It is possible indigenous populations interacted with the animal before Europeans. Steller first encountered it on Vitus Bering's Great Northern Expedition when the crew became shipwrecked on Bering Island. Much of what is known about its behavior comes from Steller's observations on the island, documented in his posthumous publication On the Beasts of the Sea. Within 27 years of its discovery by Europeans, the slow-moving and easily-caught mammal was hunted into extinction for its meat, fat, and hide.

<i>Megatherium</i> An extinct genus of mammals related to sloths, anteaters, and armadillos

Megatherium is an extinct genus of ground sloths endemic to South America that lived from the Early Pliocene through the end of the Pleistocene. It is best known for the elephant-sized type species M. americanum, sometimes called the giant ground sloth, or the megathere, native to the Pampas through southern Bolivia during the Pleistocene. Various other smaller species belonging to the subgenus Pseudomegatherium are known from the Andes. Megatherium is part of the sloth family Megatheriidae, which also includes the similarly elephantine Eremotherium, which was native to tropical South America and southern North America. Only a few other land mammals equaled or exceeded M. americanum in size, such as large proboscideans and the giant rhinoceros Paraceratherium. Megatherium was first discovered in 1788 on the bank of the Luján River in Argentina. The holotype specimen was then shipped to Spain the following year wherein it caught the attention of the paleontologist Georges Cuvier, who was the first to determine, by means of comparative anatomy, that Megatherium was a sloth. Megatherium became extinct around 12,000 years ago during the Quaternary extinction event, which also claimed most other large mammals in the New World. The extinction coincides with the settlement of the Americas, and a kill site where a M. americanum was slaughtered and butchered is known, suggesting that hunting could have caused its extinction.

<i>Cynognathus</i> Genus of cynognathian cynodonts

Cynognathus is an extinct genus of large-bodied cynodontian therapsids that lived in the Middle Triassic. It is known from a single species, Cynognathus crateronotus. Cynognathus was a 1.2-metre long predator closely related to mammals and had a southern hemispheric distribution. Fossils have so far been recovered from South Africa, Argentina, Antarctica, and Namibia.

<i>Dimetrodon</i> Genus of non-mammalian synapsid

Dimetrodon is an extinct genus of non-mammalian synapsid that lived during the Cisuralian, around 295–272 million years ago (Ma). It is a member of the family Sphenacodontidae. The most prominent feature of Dimetrodon is the large neural spine sail on its back formed by elongated spines extending from the vertebrae. It walked on four legs and had a tall, curved skull with large teeth of different sizes set along the jaws. Most fossils have been found in the Southwestern United States, the majority coming from a geological deposit called the Red Beds of Texas and Oklahoma. More recently, fossils have been found in Germany. Over a dozen species have been named since the genus was first erected in 1878.

Entelodont An extinct family of pig-like omnivores from North America and Eurasia

Entelodonts are an extinct family of pig-like omnivores of the forests and plains of North America, although they were more common in western regions than the east, and Eurasia from the late Eocene to early Miocene epochs, existing for about 18.2 million years.

<i>Paraceratherium</i> Extinct genus of hornless rhinoceros from Eurasia

Paraceratherium is an extinct genus of hornless rhinoceros. It is one of the largest terrestrial mammals that has existed and lived from the early to late Oligocene epoch. The first fossils were discovered in what is now Pakistan, and remains have been found across Eurasia between China and the Balkans. It is classified as a member of the hyracodont subfamily Indricotheriinae. Paraceratherium means "near the hornless beast", in reference to Aceratherium, the genus in which the type species A. bugtiense was originally placed.

Toxodonta Extinct suborder of mammals

Toxodonta or Toxodontia is a suborder of the meridiungulate order Notoungulata. Most of the members of the five included families, including the largest notoungulates, share several dental, auditory and tarsal specializations. The group is named after Toxodon, the first example of the group to be discovered by science.

<i>Thylacosmilus</i> Extinct family of mammals

Thylacosmilus is an extinct genus of saber-toothed metatherian mammals that inhabited South America from the Late Miocene to Pliocene epochs. Though Thylacosmilus looks similar to the "saber-toothed cats", it was not a felid, like the well-known North American Smilodon, but a sparassodont, a group closely related to marsupials, and only superficially resembled other saber-toothed mammals due to convergent evolution. A 2005 study found that the bite forces of Thylacosmilus and Smilodon were low, which indicates the killing-techniques of saber-toothed animals differed from those of extant species. Remains of Thylacosmilus have been found primarily in Catamarca, Entre Ríos, and La Pampa Provinces in northern Argentina.

<i>Macrauchenia</i> Extinct genus of mammals

Macrauchenia was a large, long-necked and long-limbed, three-toed native South American mammal in the order Litopterna. The genus gives its name to its family, the Macraucheniidae or "robust litopterns". Like other litopterns, it is most closely related to the odd-toed ungulates (Perissodactyla), from which litopterns diverged approximately 66 million years ago. The oldest fossils in the genus date to the late Miocene, around seven million years ago, and M. patachonica disappears from the fossil record during the late Pleistocene, around 20,000-10,000 years ago. M. patachonica is one of the last and best known member of the family and is known primarily from the Luján Formation in Argentina, but is known from localities across southern South America. Another genus of macraucheniid Xenorhinotherium was present in northeast Brazil and Venezuela during the Late Pleistocene. The type specimen was discovered by Charles Darwin during the voyage of the Beagle. In life, Macrauchenia may have resembled a humpless camel, though the two taxa are not closely related. It fed on plants in a variety of environments across what is now South America. Among the species described, M. patachonica and M. ullomensis are considered valid; M. boliviensis is considered a nomen dubium; and M. antiqua has been moved to the genus Promacrauchenia.

<i>Lagosuchus</i> Genus of fossil bipedal reptile closely related to dinosaurs

Lagosuchus is an extinct genus of avemetatarsalian archosaur from the Late Triassic of Argentina. The type species of Lagosuchus, Lagosuchus talampayensis, is based on a small partial skeleton recovered from the early Carnian-age Chañares Formation. The holotype skeleton of L. talampayensis is fairly fragmentary, but it does possess some traits suggesting that Lagosuchus was a probable dinosauriform, closely related to dinosaurs.

<i>Pakicetus</i> Genus of mammals

Pakicetus is an extinct genus of amphibious cetacean of the family Pakicetidae, which was endemic to Pakistan during the Eocene, about 56 to 41 million years ago. It was an animal rather like a wolf, about 1 metre to 2 metres long, and lived in and around water where it ate fish and small animals. The vast majority of paleontologists regard it as the most basal whale, representing a transitional stage between land mammals and whales. It belongs to the even-toed ungulates with the closest living relative being the hippopotamus.

<i>Lycaenops</i> Extinct genus of therapsids

Lycaenops ("wolf-face") is a genus of carnivorous therapsids. It lived during the late mid-Permian to the early Late Permian, about 270.6-251 mya, in what is now South Africa.

<i>Erythrosuchus</i> Extinct genus of reptiles

Erythrosuchus is an extinct genus of archosauriform reptile from the Triassic of South Africa. Remains have been found from the Cynognathus Assemblage Zone of the Beaufort Group in the Karoo of South Africa.

<i>Prosqualodon</i> Extinct genus of mammals

Prosqualodon is an extinct genus of Early to Middle Miocene cetacean from Argentina, Australia, New Zealand and Venezuela.

<i>Chriacus</i>

Chriacus was a genus of placental mammals that lived in what is now North America during the Paleocene epoch and died out after the early Eocene. In life, members of the genus would have looked something like a kinkajou or binturong, though they were not closely related to any living mammal. Well preserved fossils allow clear information on what they looked like. They were about 1 metre (3.3 ft) long including a long, robust tail, which may or may not have been prehensile. Other features include a light build, weighing approximately 7 kg (15 lb), and many adaptations typical of animals that live in trees. These include walking on the soles of their five-toed feet, and having long, curved, compressed claws. The powerfully built limbs had flexible joints, especially the ankles, an adaptation that allows an animal to turn its hind feet behind it, like modern tree squirrels, in order to climb downward. They were probably omnivores, eating fruit, eggs, insects and small mammals.

<i>Diadiaphorus</i>

Diadiaphorus is an extinct genus of litoptern mammal from the Miocene of Argentina and Bolivia, South America.

<i>Notostylops</i> Extinct genus of mammals

Notostylops is a genus of extinct South American ungulates from Eocene Argentina. Fossils of the genus have been found in the Sarmiento, Casamayor, Andesitas Huancache and Koluel Kaike Formations.

<i>Megacerops</i> Extinct Perissodactyle ungulate genus from Late Eocene epoch

Megacerops is an extinct genus of the prehistoric odd-toed ungulate family Brontotheriidae, an extinct group of rhinoceros-like browsers related to horses. It was endemic to North America during the Late Eocene epoch, existing for approximately 4.1 million years .

Several mammals are known from the Mesozoic of Madagascar. The Bathonian Ambondro, known from a piece of jaw with three teeth, is the earliest known mammal with molars showing the modern, tribosphenic pattern that is characteristic of marsupial and placental mammals. Interpretations of its affinities have differed; one proposal places it in a group known as Australosphenida with other Mesozoic tribosphenic mammals from the southern continents (Gondwana) as well as the monotremes, while others favor closer affinities with northern (Laurasian) tribosphenic mammals or specifically with placentals. At least five species are known from the Maastrichtian, including a yet undescribed species known from a nearly complete skeleton that may represent a completely new group of mammals. The gondwanathere Lavanify, known from two teeth, is most closely related to other gondwanatheres found in India and Argentina. Two other teeth may represent another gondwanathere or a different kind of mammal. One molar fragment is one of the few known remains of a multituberculate mammal from Gondwana and another has been interpreted as either a marsupial or a placental.

<i>Necrolestes</i> Extinct family of mammals

Necrolestes is an extinct genus of non-therian mammals, which lived during the Early Miocene in what is now Argentine Patagonia. It contains two species, N. patagonensis and N. mirabilis, and is the most recent known genus of dryolestoid. The type species N. patagonensis was named by Florentino Ameghino in 1891 based on remains found by his brother, Carlos Ameghino in Patagonia. Fossils of Necrolestes have been found in the Sarmiento and Santa Cruz Formations.

References

  1. D. Patterson, Bruce (€2012) Bones, Clones, and Biomes: The History and Geography of Recent Neotropical Mammals p.83
  2. Palmer, D., ed. (1999). The Marshall Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals. London: Marshall Editions. p. 251. ISBN   1-84028-152-9.
  3. Thomashuxleya at Fossilworks.org