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Temporal range: Eocene
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Protoceratidae
Genus: Leptotragulus
Scott/Osborn (1887)
  • L. clarki
  • L. medius
  • L. proavus
  • L. ultimus
Leptotragulus range.png
Range of Leptotragulus based on fossil record

Leptotragulus is a small extinct genus of Artiodactyla, of the family Protoceratidae, endemic to North America from the Eocene epoch (Uintan to Chadronian stage) 40.2—33.9 Ma, existing for approximately 6.3 million years.[1]


Leptotragulus was named by Scott and Osborn (1887). It was assigned to Leptotragulinae by Matthew (1908); to Hypertragulidae by Peterson (1919); and to Protoceratidae by Scott and Osborn (1887), Carroll (1988), Prothero (1998) and Prothero and Ludtke (2007).[2][3][4]


Leptotragulus resembled deer. However they were more closely related to camelids. In addition to having horns in the more usual place, protoceratids had additional, rostral horns above the orbital cavity.

Body mass[edit]

Four fossil specimens of Prosynthetoceras were measured by M. Mendoza, C. M. Janis, and P. Palmqvist for body mass.[5]

  • Specimen 1: 8.79 kg (19 lb)
  • Specimen 2: 11.1 kg (24 lb)
  • Specimen 3: 8.85 kg (20 lb)
  • Specimen 3: 9.91 kg (22 lb)

Fossil distribution[edit]

Fossils have been recovered from:


  1. ^ PaleoBiology Database: Leptotragulus, basic info
  2. ^ W. D. Matthew. 1908. Osteology of Blastomeryx and phylogeny of the American Cervidae. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 24(27):535-562
  3. ^ O. A. Peterson. 1919. Annals of Carnegie Museum 12(2)
  4. ^ R. L. Carroll. 1988. Vertebrate Paleontology and Evolution. W. H. Freeman and Company, New York 1-698
  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 270(1):90-101