Hyrachyus

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Hyrachyus
Temporal range: Eocene
Hyrachyus sp.jpg
Fossil
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Perissodactyla
Family: Hyrachyidae
Genus: Hyrachyus
Leidy, 1871
Species
  • H. affinis
  • H. bicornutus
  • H. douglassi
  • H. eximius
  • H. modestus
  • H. minimus
  •  ?H. stehlini

Hyrachyus (from Hyrax and Ancient Greek: ὗς "pig") is an extinct genus of perissodactyl mammal that lived in Eocene Europe,[1] North America and Asia. Its remains have also been found in Jamaica.[2] It is closely related to Lophiodon.[3]

Description[edit]

Restoration of H. eximius
Skeleton

The 1.50 m (5 ft) long beast was related to palaeotheres, and suspected to be the ancestor of modern tapirs and rhinoceroses. Physically, it would have looked very similar to modern tapirs, although it probably lacked the tapir's characteristic proboscis. Its teeth, however, resembled those of a rhino, supporting the idea of its relationship with that group.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Savage, RJG, & Long, MR (1986). Mammal Evolution: an illustrated guide. New York: Facts on File. p. 191. ISBN 0-8160-1194-X. 
  2. ^ Domning, D. P.; Emry, R. J.; Portell, R. W.; Donovan, S. K.; Schindler, K. S. (December 1997). "Oldest West Indian Land Mammal: Rhinocerotoid Ungulate from the Eocene of Jamaica". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology (Society of Vertebrate Paleontology) 1 (4): 638–641. JSTOR 4523853. 
  3. ^ Hayden, F.V. Report of the United States Geological Survey of the Territories, Volume III. (1883)