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Temporal range: Miocene
Hypsiops breviceps Exhibit Museum of Natural History.JPG
Ticholeptus petersoni
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Merycoidodontidae
Genus: Ticholeptus
Cope (1878)

see text

Ticholeptus is an extinct genus of oreodont endemic to North America during the Early Miocene-Middle Miocene epochs (20.6—13.6 mya), existing for approximately 7 million years.[1]


Ticholeptus was named by Cope (1878). Its type is Ticholeptus zygomaticus. It was synonymized subjectively with Merychyus by Cope (1884), Scott (1890) and Scott (1893). It was assigned to Merycoidodontidae by Cope (1878), Thorpe (1937), Schultz and Falkenbach (1941), Kelly and Lander (1988) and Lander (1998).[2][3]


Two specimens were examined by M. Mendoza for body mass. Specimen one was estimated to have a weight of 116 kg (255.7 lbs). Specimen two was estimated to have a weight of 154.9 kg (341.4 lbs).[4]

Fossil distribution[edit]

Fossils have been uncovered throughout the U.S. from Gadsden County, Florida to Jefferson County, Oregon as well as Ventura, California, numerous sites in Nebraska, Nevada, and Montana.


T. zygomaticus (syn. Merycochoerus obliquidens, Poatrephes paludicola, T. hypsodus, T. rileyi, Ustatochoerus schrammi).


  1. ^ PaleoBiology Database: Ticholeptus, basic info
  2. ^ C. B. Schultz and C. H. Falkenbach. 1950. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History
  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