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Addition of Subfamilies[edit]

I listed in the subfamilies, but, somehow, it doesn't seem to have the right format. Anyone out there want to tidy it up?

Adaptations and Such[edit]

I added info I found at the Tate museum regarding oreodonts. Not much attention is paid to their adaptations —Preceding unsigned comment added by Metalraptor (talkcontribs) 17:19, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

Unjustified Criticism?[edit]

The article now states "Bertrand Schultz and Charles H. Falkenbach,[4] failed to recognize the effects of taphonomic deformation of oreodont fossils after burial. As a result, they erected new genera for specimens of the same genus or even species that had been crushed in different directions.[2] Undeformed skulls would be placed in one genus, while skulls crushed from side to side would be placed in a second genus and skulls crushed from front to back would be placed in a third genus"

This is written in a way that implies that Schultz and Falkenbach made ridiculous and obvious errors. I find that highly unlikely, given their professional stature and the journal in which their work was published. Can someone with more specific knowledge address this? Ecphora (talk) 13:24, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

On the one hand, the erection of new species/genera on the misidentification of fossils due to damaged specimens is, unfortunately, a somewhat common occurrence in paleontology. On the other hand, why don't we rewrite the sentences to still acknowledge that mistakes were made in identification and description, but in a less accusatory manner? Something like:

Bertrand Schultz and Charles H. Falkenbach erected numerous genera, as at the time, they did not take into account that anatomical differences between different specimens were actually taphonomic deformations due to post-burial forces.

Sound better? If it doesn't, let's keep rewriting it until it does.--Mr Fink (talk) 16:18, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
Definitely better. I assume the statement is based on the sources cited in FNS 2 & 3. If so, the following might be a little more descriptive without taking sides:

Bertrand Schultz and Charles H. Falkenbach have been criticized for erecting excessive numbers of genera, based in part on apparent anatomical differences between different specimens that were actually taphonomic deformations due to post-burial forces. FN2, FN3

What do you think? Ecphora (talk) 11:37, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
That's even better.--Mr Fink (talk) 14:28, 7 February 2008 (UTC)


in one line it says it wasn't a ruminant and in the next it says it was a ruminant. According to Wiki, A ruminant is any artiodactyl mammal that digests its food in two steps, first by eating the raw material and regurgitating a semi-digested form known as cud from within their first stomach, known as the rumen. The process of again chewing the cud to break down the plant matter and stimulate digestion is called ruminating.

This seems to be the way the animal is classified. (talk) 22:59, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

It depends on how it is classfied. Most people classify oreodonts as members of the Tylopoda, along with protoceratids, camels, and possibly peccaries. Very very early works considered them pigs due to their short legs and prescence of canines, but now they are regarded as "short-necked llamas" in laymans terms —Preceding unsigned comment added by Metalraptor (talkcontribs) 23:24, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

I take issue with the current wording, which essentially says they are called ruminating hogs "(although they were neither Ruminants nor hogs)". This suggests to the uninformed that they did not ruminate (I thought it meant that when I first read it). It refers to the somewhat obscure fact that Ruminantia does not include all ruminating artiodactyls. I will rephrase it to be less misleading.ErikHaugen (talk) 18:55, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

::Which ruminating artiodactyls are not within Ruminantia?--Mr Fink (talk) 01:23, 14 August 2009 (UTC) I undid Apokryltaros' change claiming that Oreodonts do not chew cud. A quick google search yields *lots* of oreodont articles claiming otherwise. If there is some new study or something, please provide a citation for it, that would be interesting. ErikHaugen (talk) 18:45, 13 August 2009 (UTC) :The only artiodactyls capable of chewing cud are those in the suborder Ruminantia, like cattle, antelope and deer. Oreodonts are placed within Tylopoda with camels, which, last I checked, do not chew cud because they lack the necessary anatomy. Are you sure that these *lots* of oreodont articles claiming that oreodonts were ruminating tylopods providing evidence beyond a literal interpretation of the literal translations of Merychochoerus or Merycoidodon? Can someone explain to me why oreodonts chewed cud like exactly like ruminants, but are squarely placed within Tylopoda?--Mr Fink (talk) 01:11, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

How does the camelids' three-chambered stomach work?--Mr Fink (talk) 01:36, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

Just to answer one of the questions above, at least camels, alpacas, and llamas do chew cud, and are therefore ruminants, but are not in Ruminantia. Probably oreodonts also. See ruminant. ErikHaugen (talk) 00:49, 28 October 2009 (UTC)


Don't you think Agriochoeridae should redirect here as well, seeing as they are just primitive oreodonts? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Metalraptor (talkcontribs) 23:28, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Agriochoeridae should have its own page, as it is distinct from Merycoidodontidae.--Mr Fink (talk) 22:01, 29 March 2008 (UTC)
But seeing as how the order Oreodontia re-links back to this page, it should either get its own page or explain the primtive agriochoerid oreodonts here.

Pliocene Oreodonts[edit]

It's popularly mentioned that oreodonts died out during the Pliocene, but, I have yet to find any source anywhere that mentions which genus or genera lived and died out in the Pliocene. Can someone help me out here?--Mr Fink (talk) 22:01, 29 March 2008 (UTC)

Acording to the information on the paleobiology Database, the species Merychyus major (Ustatochoerus major) lived into the Hemphillian, which lasted from 10.3-4.9.[1] I cant tell if it made it past the Miocene Pliocene boundary though.--Kevmin (talk) 05:00, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
Ustatochoerus makes it into the epoch following the Hemphillian, into the Blancan-Hemphillian boundary. The Hemphillian period contains the latest Miocene up to the Middle Pliocene, so it does make it into the Pliocene.

Merge with Oreodon / Merycoidodon / Merycoidodontidae?[edit]

Shouldn't this article be merged with the one on Oreodon / Merycoidodon / Merycoidodontidae? A quick search on Google turns up about as many mentions of Oreodon (no 't') as for Oreodont (with 't'). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:46, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

  • No, they're not the same. FunkMonk (talk) 21:14, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

Merycoidodon is just one of the oreodonts, the most famous, but only a single genus. Merging with Merycoidodon would be like making all links of cat go to tigers.


Did they have hooves or not? The intro says "the typical oreodont... was a... cud-chewing plant-eater with... four-toed hooves." Then further down it says: "All species had claws instead of hooves." It would be great if someone could clarify this. ErikHaugen (talk) 18:02, 23 September 2009 (UTC)


The taxonomy section states: "Together they forms the now-extinct suborder Oreodonta." Is this not an outdated view? Today they are regarded members of the suborder Tylopoda, and older views considered them members of Suina or Ancodonta. However: they are never regarded a suborder in their own right, at least to my knowledge......? DaMatriX (talk) 19:15, 4 November 2009 (UTC)

This article states Oreodonta is a sub order, yet the taxobox does not even mention Oreodonta, and shows Tylopoda as the suborder, with Merycoidodontidae as a family within it, and no mention of Agriochoeridae. So there's some inconsistency there. FunkMonk (talk) 11:17, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
I suggest splitting this up into older and newer taxonomies. This way we show the evolution of our understanding of these critters, as well as providing for people looking them up using older works. See Labyrinthodontia#Classification for an example of how to treat multiple different and historical classifications. Petter Bøckman (talk) 07:30, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
Wouldn't it be more manageable too keep such info in one place, under a correctly named article? In that way, no one will be confused. For example, there is only an article for Apatosaurus, not Brontosaurus. FunkMonk
Oh, I absolutely meant to cover it in a single article (if you follow the link I provided you will see an example of what I mean). Contrary to the Apatosaurus/Brontosaurus example this is not a simple matter of priority, so I think both classifications merit mention. Petter Bøckman (talk) 16:55, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
The scope of the article seems to have been changed completely, and apart from a few mentions of the oreodont name, it's basically only about merycoidodontoidea. So I've moved it there, and if needed, an oreodont article can be created elsewhere. FunkMonk (talk) 17:28, 15 October 2012 (UTC)