Information about Paraceratherium (Indricotherium)

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Dinosaur Jungle   >   Other Prehistoric Animals   >   Paraceratherium



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Scientific Classification
  Kingdom Animalia
  Phylum Chordata
  Class Mammalia
  Order Perissodactyla
  Family Hyracodontidae
  Subfamily Indricotheriinae
  Genus Paraceratherium
Paraceratherium (also sometimes known as "Indricotherium" or "Baluchiterium" or "Indricothere" - see the comments on naming below) was a genus of herbivorous (plant eating) mammals that lived in Asia between about 30 million years ago, and 20 million years ago. Its fossils have been found in a number of countries including China, Kazakhstan, India, Mongolia, and Pakistan. It was an odd-toed ungulate (part of the order Perissodactyla), and is believed to be related to modern rhinoceroses.

The animal was probably the largest land mammal in history, exceeding in size even the largest species of mammoths. An adult was perhaps 18 feet (5.5 meters) tall at the should, 25 feet (7.5 meters) tall when its head was raised, and about 28 feet (8 meters) in length not including the tail. Even the animal's skull was massive, at around 4½ feet (1.4 meters) long. Estimates of the animal's weight range from 10 to 20 tons.

The regions that Paraceratherium lived in during life would have been subtropical forests. Paraceratherium would have eaten leaves and twigs from trees and shrubs, and would have been particularly adept at stripping trees of their leaves.

The first description of Paraceratherium was by Forster Cooper in 1911, and a number of other similar animals by Forster Cooper and others in the next few years. Although the various animals of this type described by different scientists do have important differences, there are also many similarities, so it is not entirely clear whether the animals were all of the same genus or not, and hence the variety of names assigned by different scientists to different specimens. Assuming however that the animals were of the same genus, the various names would all in fact be synonyms, and the first chosen name, that is to say "Paraceratherium", would take priority.

Paraceratherium Timeline:

Paraceratherium was a massive mammalian herbivore that lived between 30 and 20 million years ago

Paraceratherium was a massive mammalian herbivore that lived between 30 and 20 million years ago

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