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Temporal range: Late Oligocene
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Merycoidodontidae
Genus: Merycoides
Douglass (1907)
Type species
Merycoides cursor

see text

  • Paramerychyus Schultz and Falkenbach 1947

Merycoides is an extinct genus of oreodont of the subfamily Merycoidodontinae endemic to North America during the Whitneyan stage of the Oligocene-Late Oligocene epochs (30.8—24.8 mya), existing for approximately 6 million years.[1]


Merycoides was named by Douglass (1907). Its type species is Merycoides cursor. It was synonymized subjectively with Mesoreodon by Loomis (1920). It was assigned to Merycoidodontidae by Douglass (1907), Loomis (1924), Thorpe (1937) and Lander (1998)., Thorpe 1937. It is synonymous with Paramerychyus.[2][3]


Two specimens were examined by M. Mendoza for body mass. Specimen one was estimated to have a weight of 67.6 kg (149 lbs). Specimen two was estimated to have a weight of 118.3 kg (260.8 lbs).[4]

Fossil distribution[edit]

Fossils have been uncovered throughout the western U.S. as well as Florida.


Merycoides cursor, M. harrisonensis, M. longiceps, M. pariogonus, M. relictus

Related genera[edit]

Related genera include the other members of the subfamily Promerycochoerinae, including Promesodreodon and Promerycochoerus


  1. ^ PaleoBiology Database: Sespia, basic info
  2. ^ F. B. Loomis. 1920. American Journal of Science
  3. ^ B. Lander. 1998. Oreodontoidea. In C. M. Janis, K. M. Scott, and L. L. Jacobs (eds.), Evolution of Tertiary mammals of North America 402-425
  4. ^ 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

External links[edit]