For A. burmeisteri
For A. magnum
For A. ruderarium
Astrapotherium ("Lightning Beast") is an extinct genus of South American mammal which vaguely resembled a cross between a small elephant, and a very large tapir. This peculiar-looking animal was unrelated to elephants or tapirs, and was instead related to other extinct South American ungulates. The beast lived in the Early to Middle Miocene. Fossil remains of the type species A. magnus ("Great Lightning Beast") have been found in the Santa Cruz Formation in Argentina. Other fossils have been found in the Deseado, Sarmiento and Aisol Formations of Argentina and Chile (Cura-Mallín Group).
Astrapotherium had an elongated body, with a total length of about 2.5 metres (8.2 ft), a weight of nearly 1,000 kilograms (2,200 lb), and relatively short limbs. It had small plantigrade feet, and the hind limbs were significantly weaker than the fore limbs. Its four canine teeth were elongated to form short tusks, and it had broad protruding lower incisors which likely ground against a horny pad in the upper jaw, as in many modern ruminants.
The nostrils were placed high on the head, which might indicate the presence of a trunk, but could equally be due to other reasons, such as an inflatable nasal cavity.
- Alejandro Kramarz; Alberto Garrido; Mariano Bond (2019). "Astrapotherium from the Middle Miocene Collón Cura Formation and the decline of astrapotheres in southern South America". Ameghiniana. in press.
- Astrapotherium at Fossilworks.org
- Palmer, Douglas, ed. (1999). The Marshall Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals. London: Marshall Editions. p. 248. ISBN 1-84028-152-9.
- Vallejo-Pareja, M. C.; Carrillo, J. D.; Moreno-Bernal, J. W.; Pardo-Jaramillo, M.; Rodriguez-Gonzalez, D. F.; Muñoz-Duran, J. (January 2015). "Hilarcotherium castanedaii, gen. et sp. nov., a new Miocene astrapothere (Mammalia, Astrapotheriidae) from the Upper Magdalena Valley, Colombia" (PDF). Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 35 (0): 1–10. doi:10.1080/02724634.2014.903960. Archived (PDF) from the original on 14 July 2019 – via the Colombian Geological Survey.
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