July 19th, 2019

Primeval:Mosasaur, General:Dinosaur

Dinosaur of the Month: Embolotherium

Cross-posted to primeval_denial.

Embolotherium is a genus of brontothere that lived in Mongolia in the Eocene. Brontotheres were mamals and belonged to the same order as horse and rhinoceroses. Although Brontotheres looked rather like rhinos they were actually more closely related to horses.

Embolotherium's most distinctive feature is the is the strange large wedge at the front of the skull. It seems to be entirely unclear what this is for. It is hollow and fragile so is unlikely to have been used for fighting (or as a battering ram despite the fact that embolotherium means "battering ram beast"). Male, female and juvenile embolotherium all have the wedge so it is unlikely to have been some kind of sexual display feature. It may have had some use for signalling by acting as a resonator for sound.

No complete Embolotherium skeletons exist though a number of skulls have been found plus some other material. Comparison to other brontotheres suggests the creature was about 2.5m tall at the shoulder. Two species have been firmly identified and a number of others named but their identification is contested.


Wikipedia: Embolotherium
Wikipedia: Brontotheridae

This entry was originally posted at https://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/600027.html.