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Temporal range: Early Miocene–Mid Miocene
Brachycrus laticeps.jpg
Brachycrus laticeps
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Merycoidodontidae
Subfamily: Merycochoerinae
Genus: Brachycrus
(Matthew, 1901)
Type species
Brachycrus rusticus
  • B. buwaldi
  • B. laticeps
  • B. rusticus
  • B. siouense
  • B. sweetwaterensis
  • B. vaughani
  • Pronomotherium Douglass, 1907

Brachycrus is an extinct genus of terrestrial herbivore of the family Merycoidodontidae, subfamily Merycochoerinae, (oreodont) endemic to North America during the Middle Miocene to Late Miocene subepochs (20.6—13.6 mya) existing for approximately 7 million years.[1]


Life restoration of Brachycrus laticeps

The 1 metre (3.3 ft) long creature resembled its bigger, earlier relative Merycoidodon, but was more specialized. Brachycrus had jaws which were short, and because the nostrils were placed far to the back the creature is presumed to have a tapir-like proboscis.[2] Brachycrus was named by Matthew 1901 as a subgenus of Merycochoerus and raised to genus level by Palmer in 1904. It was synonymized subjectively with Ticholeptus by Thorpe (1937).[3] It was assigned to Merycoidodontidae by Palmer (1904), Schultz and Falkenbach (1940), Schultz and Falkenbach (1968), Kelly and Lander (1988) and Lander (1998).[4]


A single specimen was examined for body mass by M. Mendoza and estimated to weigh 328.7 kilograms (725 lb).[5]


  1. ^ PaleoBiology Database: Brachycrus, basic info
  2. ^ Palmer, D., ed. (1999). The Marshall Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals. London: Marshall Editions. p. 271. ISBN 1-84028-152-9. 
  3. ^ M. R. Thorpe. 1937. The Merycoidodontidae, an extinct group of ruminant mammals. Peabody Museum of Natural History Memoir 3
  4. ^ T. S. Kelly and E. B. Lander. 1988.
  5. ^ 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