Blastomeryx

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Blastomeryx
Temporal range: Early Miocene–Middle Miocene
Scientific classification edit
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 Miocene epoch (20.43—10.3 mya), existing for approximately 10.13 million years.[1] There is only one species, Blastomeryx gemmifer.[2]

Size and appearance[edit]

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 Blastomeryx (as well as modern musk deer) lacked antlers, a Middle Miocene species had bony knobs on its skull, which have been interpreted as incipient horns.[3]

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)[full citation needed]
  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