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Temporal range: Miocene to Pliocene
|Samotherium boissieri skull|
Samotherium is an extinct genus of giraffe from the Miocene and Pliocene of Eurasia and Africa. Samotherium had two ossicones on its head, and long legs. The ossicones usually pointed upward, and were curved backwards, with males having larger, more curved ossicones, though, in the Chinese species, S. sinense, the straight ossicones point laterally, not upwards. The genus is closely related to Shansitherium. The skull of a Samotherium is portrayed almost intact on an ancient Greek vase as a monster that Heracles is fighting.
The genus name translates as "Beast of Samos," to commemorate where the first fossils were found.
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