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Temporal range: Eocene–Early Miocene
Cainotherium 1.JPG
Fossil with incomplete skull
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Suborder: Tylopoda
Family: Cainotheriidae
Genus: Cainotherium
Bravard, 1828
Type species
Microtherium renggeri[1]
von Meyer 1837
  • C. renggeri (von Meyer, 1837)
  • C. laticurvatum Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 1833
  • C. commune Bravard, 1835
  • C. miocaenicum Crusafont-Pairó et al., 1955
  • C. bavaricum Berger, 1959
  • C. lintillae Baudelot & Grouzel, 1974
  • C. huerzeleri Heizmann, 1983
  • Microtherium renggeri von Meyer, 1837
  • C. minimum Bravard 1835
  • C. elegans Pomel 1846
  • C. metopias Pomel 1851
  • C. laticurvatum ligericum Ginsburg et al. 1985
Cainotherium laticurvatum skulls

Cainotherium is an extinct genus of rabbit-sized herbivore that lived in Europe from the Eocene[2] until the early Miocene.[3] The skeletal anatomy of these hare-like animals suggest they, along with other members of Cainotheriidae, belong to the artiodactyl suborder Tylopoda, together with oreodonts and modern camelids. Species had cloven hooves, similar to those of bovids or deer, although the shape and length of the limbs suggests that the living animals moved by leaping, like a rabbit. The shape of the teeth also suggests a rabbit-like diet of nibbled vegetation, while the size of the auditory bulla and shape of the brain suggest that it would have had good senses of hearing and smell.[4][5]


  1. ^ Lyell, Charles (1871). The student's elements of geology. p. 209. 
  2. ^ Prothero, Donald (2007). The Evolution of Artiodactyls. Baltimore, Maryland: The Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 69. ISBN 978-0-8018-8735-2. 
  3. ^ Prothero, Donald (2007). The Evolution of Artiodactyls. Baltimore, Maryland: The Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 71. ISBN 978-0-8018-8735-2. 
  4. ^ Savage, RJG, & Long, MR (1986). Mammal Evolution: an illustrated guide. New York: Facts on File. p. 214. ISBN 0-8160-1194-X. 
  5. ^ Palmer, D., ed. (1999). The Marshall Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals. London: Marshall Editions. p. 270. ISBN 1-84028-152-9.