Temporal range: Mid Miocene (Friasian)
|Mounted skeleton of Homalodotherium cunninghanni in the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago|
Homalodotherium is an extinct genus of the order Notoungulata, an extinct group of hoofed mammals native to South America. Fossils of Homalodotherium have been found in the Middle Miocene (Friasian in the SALMA classification) Santa Cruz Formation of Argentina and the Río Frías Formation of Chile.
Homalodotherium was about 2 metres (6.6 ft) in body length, with a weight up to 300 kilograms (660 lb), and had long forelimbs with claws instead of hooves. It walked on the soles of its hind feet and the toes of its front feet, which would have made the animal higher at the shoulder than at the hips when it walked on all fours. It was probably at least partially bipedal, being able to pull down tree branches with its arms while rearing up on its hind legs. Various other prehistoric and living creatures have also developed this feeding style; examples are the chalicotheres, ground sloths (which shared the same environments), the giant panda and, possibly, the therizinosaur dinosaurs.
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