Protylopus

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Protylopus
Temporal range: Middle Eocene–Late Eocene
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Oromerycidae
Genus: Protylopus
Wortman, 1898
Species
  • P. petersoni (type)
  • P. annectens
  • P. pearsonensis
  • P. robustus
  • P. stocki

Protylopus is an extinct genus of camel that lived during middle to late Eocene some 45-40 million years ago in North America.

The oldest camel known, it was also the smallest, reaching a length of 80 centimetres (2.6 ft), and probably weighing around 26 kilograms (57 lb). Based on its teeth, it probably fed on the soft leaves of forest plants. Protylopus's front legs were shorter than the hind legs, and ended in four-toed feet. The hind legs also ended in four toes, but most of the weight was carried by the third and fourth, so it may have raised itself up on its back legs like the modern day gerenuk antelope to feed. The shape of the toes suggests that the animal possessed hooves, rather than the foot-pads of modern camels.[1] The Protylopus later made a change and became the poebrotherium. This new kind was a great link to show how the protylopus became the camel of today.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Palmer, D., ed. (1999). The Marshall Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals. London: Marshall Editions. p. 275. ISBN 1-84028-152-9.