Blunt-toothed giant hutia

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Blunt-toothed giant hutia
Temporal range: Pleistocene
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Heptaxodontidae
Genus: Amblyrhiza
Cope, 1868
Species: A. inundata
Binomial name
Amblyrhiza inundata
Cope, 1868

The blunt-toothed giant hutia (Amblyrhiza inundata) is an extinct species of giant hutia from Anguilla and Saint Martin that is estimated to have weighed between 50 and 200 kg (110 and 440 lb).[1]

Discovered by Edward Drinker Cope in 1868 in a sample of phosphate sediments mined in an unknown cave (possibly - Cavannagh Cave) in Anguilla and sent to Philadelphia to estimate the value of phosphate sediments.[2]

Some authors have suggested that its extinction may have resulted from an overhunt by pre-columbian populations.[3] Nevertheless, it is not an established fact that this species would have been contemporaneous with human populations. Actually, fossil specimens discovered at the end of the 20th century on Anguilla island have been related to the last interstadial period.[4] while very recent discoveries made on Coco ilslet (Saint-Barthélemy) are dated to 400 - 500 000 years.[5] No bone has been recovered yet from a pre-columbian archaeological site.

Amblyrhiza inundata is the sole species of the genus Amblyrhiza of the fossil family Heptaxodontidae.


  1. ^ Biknevicus, A. R.; McFarlane, D. A.; MacPhee, R. D. E. (1993). "Body size in Amblyrhiza inundata (Rodentia: Caviomorpha), an extinct megafaunal rodent from the Anguilla Bank, West Indies: Estimates and implications". American Museum Novitates. New York: American Museum of Natural History. 3079: 1–25. hdl:2246/4976. 
  2. ^ "Cavannagh Cave, Anguilla". Wondermondo. 
  3. ^ "Late Quaternary vertebrate faunas of the Lesser Antilles: historical components of Caribbean biogeography", 1994, Bulletin of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Pregill, G. K., D. W. Steadman, and D. R. Watters.
  4. ^ "Body size variability and a Sangamonian extinction model for Amblyrhiza, a West Indian megafaunal rodent", 1998, Quaternary Research, D.A. McFarlane, R.D.E. MacPhee & D. Ford
  5. ^ "New specimens of Amblyrhiza inundata (Rodentia, Caviomoprha) from the Middle Pleistocene of Saint Barthélemy, French West Indies", 2014, Caribbean Journal of Earth Science, D.A. McFarlane, J. Lundberg & G. Maincent