Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The combined Horn, Synthetoceras (1932)

Phylum : Chordata
Class : Mammalia
Order : Artiodactyla
Family : Protoceratidae
Genus : Synthetoceras
Species : S. tricornatus
  • Late Miocene (13,6 - 5,3 Ma)
  • 2 m long and 250 kg (size)
  • North America (map)
Synthetoceras was the latest, and largest, member of the obscure family of artiodactyls (even-toed ungulates) known as protoceratids; it lived a few million years after Protoceras andSyndyoceras and was at least double their size. The males of this deer-like animal (which was actually more closely related to modern camels) boasted one of nature’s most improbable head ornaments, a single, foot-long horn that branched off on the end into a small V shape (this was in addition to a more normal-looking pair of horns behind the eyes). Like modern deer, Synthetoceras seems to have lived in large herds, where the males maintained dominance (and competed for females) according to the size and impressiveness of their horns.


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