Titanotylopus

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Titanotylopus
Temporal range: late Miocene–late Pleistocene
Camelidae - Titanotylopus.jpg
Titanotylopus at the Peabody Museum of Natural History, Yale
Camelidae - Titanotylopus-001.jpg
Skull of Titanotylopus at the Peabody Museum of Natural History, Yale
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Camelidae
Tribe: Camelini
Genus: Titanotylopus
Barbour & Schultz, 1934
Species

Titanotylopus nebraskensis
Titanotylopus spatulus

Synonyms
  • Gigantocamelus fricki

Titanotylopus is an extinct genus of terrestrial herbivore the family Camelidae, endemic to North America from the Miocene through Pleistocene 10.3 mya—300,000 years ago, existing for approximately 10 million years.[1]

Its name is derived from the Greek words Τιτάν, τύλος and πούς — "Titan", "knob" and "foot"; thus, "giant knobby-foot."

Paleobiology[edit]

Titanotylopus is distinguished from other early large camelids by its large upper canines and other distinguishing dental characteristics, and absence of lacrimal vacuities in the skull. Unlike the smaller, contemporaneous Camelops, Titanotylopus had relatively broad second phalanges, suggesting that it had true padded "cameltoes," like modern camels.[1].

The species Titanotylopus spatulus was characterized by broad, spatula-like incisors. It has been found at Grand View, Red Light, Hudspeth County, Texas, Donnelly Ranch, White Rock, Kansas, Mullen II (Kansas), Sandahl Local Fauna (Nebraska) and Vallecito Creek, Colorado, 111 Ranch, Arizona in North America.

Appearance[edit]

Titanotylopus possessed long and massive limbs, a comparatively small braincase, and a convex slope between the eyes. Its average height was 3.5 m (11.5 ft).

Like modern camels, it possessed a hump for fat storage; evidence for this is provided by the long neural spines on its thoracic vertebrae [2].

Alternate classification[edit]

While some authors have considered Gigantocamelus and Titanotylopus to be congeneric, others have maintained them separately. Voorhies and Corner, based on previously unreported material, documented that the two are indeed worthy of separate generic status. Harrison (1985) followed Voorhies and Corner in advocating the use of Titanotylopus for only T. nebraskensis, based on a lower jaw, and Gigantocamelus for G. spatula, which includes G. fricki. There is a clear difference between the proximal phalanx of specimens assigned to Gigantocamelus and to Titanotylopus, based on skeletons associated with skull material.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Björn Kurtén and Elaine Anderson Pleistoceone Mammals of North America (New York : Columbia University Press, 1980), p. 301 ISBN 0-231-03733-3
  2. ^ ibid., 302.
  3. ^ loc. cit.
  • After the Dinosaurs: The Age of Mammals (Life of the Past) by Donald R. Prothero
  • Barry Cox, Colin Harrison, R.J.G. Savage, and Brian Gardiner. (1999): The Simon & Schuster Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Creatures: A Visual Who's Who of Prehistoric Life. Simon & Schuster.
  • The Book of Life: An Illustrated History of the Evolution of Life on Earth, Second Edition by Stephen Jay Gould
  • Classification of Mammals by Malcolm C. McKenna and Susan K. Bell