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Temporal range: 6.5–1.8 Ma
Late Miocene to Early Pleistocene
Ancylotherium pentelicum arms.jpg
A. pentelicum arms
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Perissodactyla
Superfamily: Chalicotherioidea
Family: Chalicotheriidae
Subfamily: Schizotheriinae
Genus: Ancylotherium
  • A. hennigi
  • A. pentelicum Gaudry and Lartet 1856

Ancylotherium (from Greek, meaning "hooked beast") is an extinct genus of the family Chalicotheriidae, subfamily Schizotheriinae, endemic to Europe, Asia, and Africa during the Late Miocene-Early Pleistocene (9.0—1.8 mya), existing for approximately 7.2 million years.[1]


Ancylotherium was named by Gaudry (1863) and was assigned to Chalicotheriidae by Carroll (1988); and to Schizotheriinae by Geraads et al. (2007).[2][3]


Model head

At 2 metres (6.6 ft) high at the shoulder and a weight of 450 kilograms (990 lb), Ancylotherium was relatively large, and was built rather like a goat.[4] While it had long forelimbs and short hind limbs like other chalicotheres, it did not walk on its knuckles. It was similar to the North American genus Moropus.


Ancylotherium's habitat was the savannahs of Eurasia, East and South Africa. As an herbivore, it evolved to browse on vegetation on the trees in the grassy savannahs of Africa. Ancylotherium's closest relatives are the other perissodactyls, or "odd-toed" ungulates, including the extinct brontotheres and modern-day mammals such as horses, tapirs, and rhinoceroses.

Fossil distribution[edit]

Fossil remains of Ancylotherium have been found at many of the hominid fossil sites in Plio-Pleistocene Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa and Tanzania, including sites in Laetoli, Olduvai and Omo.[1] Furthermore, Miocene era fossils sites are located in Afghanistan, Greece, Kenya, former Serbia and Montenegro and Turkey.[1]

See also[edit]

  • Moropus (a North American chalicothere)


  1. ^ a b c "Fossilworks: Ancylotherium". Retrieved 2016-04-19.
  2. ^ R. L. Carroll. 1988. Vertebrate Paleontology and Evolution. W. H. Freeman and Company, New York 1-698
  3. ^ D. Geraads, E. Tsoukala, and N. Spassov. 2007. A skull of Ancylotherium (Chalicotheriidae, Mammalia) from the late Miocene of Thermopigi (Serres, N. Greece) and the relationships of the genus. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology
  4. ^

External links[edit]