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Temporal range: Early Pleistocene to early Holocene
Euceratherium BW.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Bovidae
Subfamily: Caprinae
Tribe: Ovibovini
Genus: Euceratherium
Furlong & Sinclair, 1904
E. collinum
Binomial name
Euceratherium collinum
Furlong & Sinclair, 1904
  • Aftonius
  • Preptoceras

The shrub-ox (Euceratherium collinum) is an extinct genus and species of ovibovine caprine native to North America along with Bootherium (Bootherium bombifrons) and Soergel's ox (Soergelia mayfieldi).


Mounted skeleton (with missing ribs)
Restoration from 1913 by Robert Bruce Horsfall

Euceratherium was one of the first bovids to enter North America. It appeared on the continent during the early Pleistocene, long before the first bison arrived from Eurasia. It became extinct about 11,500 years ago. It was formally described in 1904.[1] It is possibly synonymous with Bootherium, although this is uncertain.[2]

Late Pleistocene shrub-ox remains are known from fossil finds spanning from northern California to central Mexico. In the East they were distributed at least into Illinois.

Euceratherium was massively built and in size between a modern American bison and a musk ox. A specimen was estimated to have a body mass of 607.5 kg (1,339 lb).[3] On the basis of preserved dung pellets, it has been established that they were browsers with a diet of trees and shrubs.[4] They seem to have preferred hilly landscapes.


  1. ^ Furlong, E. L. & Sinclair, W. J. (1904). Preliminary description of Euceratherium collinum. University of California Publications, American Archaeology and Ethnology, 2:18.
  2. ^ Bover, Pere; Llamas, Bastien; Thomson, Vicki A.; Pons, Joan; Cooper, Alan; Mitchell, Kieren J. (December 2018). "Molecular resolution to a morphological controversy: The case of North American fossil muskoxen Bootherium and Symbos". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 129: 70–76. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2018.08.008. PMID 30121342.
  3. ^ |Paleobiology Database- Euceratherium collinum
  4. ^ Kropf, M.; Mead, J. I.; Anderson, R. S. (January 2007). "Dung, diet, and the paleoenvironment of the extinct shrub-ox (Euceratherium collinum) on the Colorado Plateau, USA". Quaternary Research. Elsevier. 67 (1): 143–151. Bibcode:2007QuRes..67..143K. doi:10.1016/j.yqres.2006.10.002. Accessed 2008-08-19.

Further reading[edit]

  • P. S. Martin: Quaternary Extinctions. The University of Arizona Press, 1984 ISBN 0-8165-1100-4
  • Grundzüge der Faunen- und Verbreitungsgeschichte der Säugetiere, E. Thenius, 2.Auflage, Gustav Fischer Verlag, Stuttgart, 1980 ISBN 3-437-30312-0

External links[edit]