Blastomeryx

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Blastomeryx
Temporal range: Early Miocene–Late Pliocene
Blastomeryx.jpg
Sculpture in cross section
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Moschidae
Genus: Blastomeryx
Cope, 1877
Species: B. gemmifer
Binomial name
Blastomeryx gemmifer
(Cope, 1877)
Synonyms
  • B. cursor
  • B. elegans
  • B. francesca
  • B. medius
  • B. mollis
  • B. pristinus
  • B. tantillus

Blastomeryx is an extinct genus of musk deer of the family Moschidae, subfamily Blastomerycinae, endemic to North America during the Oligocene-Miocene epochs (24.8—10.3 mya), existing for approximately 14.5 million years.[1] There is only one species, Blastomeryx gemmifer.[2]

Morphology[edit]

Restoration

It was 75 cm (2 ft 6 in) long and looked like a modern chevrotain. Its canines were elongated into tusks which it probably used to uproot plants and fend off predators. While most species of Blastomeryx (as well as modern musk deer) lacked antlers, a Late Miocene species had bony knobs on its skull, which have been interpreted as incipient horns.[3]

Body mass[edit]

Two specimens were examined by M. Mendoza for body mass. The first specimen was estimated to have a weight of 55 kg (120 lb). The second specimen was estimated to have a weight of 16 kg (35 lb).[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ PaleoBiology Database: Blastomeryx, basic info
  2. ^ Prothero, 2007 (p. 221-226)
  3. ^ Palmer, D., ed. (1999). The Marshall Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals. London: Marshall Editions. p. 273. ISBN 1-84028-152-9. 
  4. ^ M. Mendoza, C. M. Janis, and P. Palmqvist. 2006. Estimating the body mass of extinct ungulates: a study on the use of multiple regression. Journal of Zoology