From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Temporal range: middle Eocene to Late Oligocene[1]
Leptomeryx 1.JPG
Skeleton, Paleontology Museum of Zurich
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Leptomerycidae
Subfamily: Leptomerycinae
Genus: Leptomeryx
Leidy, 1853
Type species
Leptomeryx evansi
  • L. blacki
  • L. evansi
  • L. mammifer
  • L. obliquidens
  • L. speciosus
  • L. yoderi

Leptomeryx is an extinct genus of ruminant of the family Leptomerycidae, endemic to North America during the Eocene through Oligocene 38—24.8 Mya, existing for approximately 13.2 million years.


Mounted skeleton
L. evansi

Leptomeryx was named by Leidy (1853). Its type is Leptomeryx evansi. It was assigned to Leptomerycinae by Matthew (1908); to Hypertragulidae by Cook (1934); and to Leptomerycidae by Leidy (1853) and then by Carroll (1988).[3]


Leptomeryx was a small deer-like ruminant with somewhat slender body.

Body mass[edit]

Four specimens were examined by Legendre and Roth for body mass.[4]

  • Specimen 1 weighed an estimated: 7.62 kg (17 lb)
  • Specimen 2: 14.7 kg (32 lb)
  • Specimen 3: 6.24 kg (14 lb)
  • Specimen 4: 5.72 kg (13 lb)

Fossil distribution[edit]

Sites and species recovered:


  1. ^ Webb, 1998, p. 474.
  2. ^ Webb, 1998, p.471.
  3. ^ R. L. Carroll. 1988. Vertebrate Paleontology and Evolution. W. H. Freeman and Company, New York 1-698
  4. ^ S. Legendre and C. Roth. 1988. Correlation of carnassial tooth size and body weight in recent carnivores (Mammalia). Historical Biology 1(1):85-98
  5. ^ Paleobiology database: Toadstool Park collection
  6. ^ Paleobiology database: Medicine Pole Hills collection
  • Webb, S.D., 1998. Hornless ruminants. pp. 463–476 in C.M. Janis, K.M. Scott, and L.L. Jacobs (eds.) Evolution of Tertiary Mammals of North America. Volume 1: Terrestrial Carnivores, Ungulates, and Ungulatelike Mammals. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. ISBN 0-521-35519-2
  • Heaton, T.H. and Emry, R.J., 1996. Leptomerycidae pp. 581–608 in D.R. Prothero and R.J. Emry (eds.) The Terrestrial Eocene-Oligocene Transition in North America. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
  • Clark, John (1970-03-27). "Population dynamics of Leptomeryx". Fieldiana Geology. 16 (16): 411–451. Retrieved 2014-04-20.