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ARTIODACTYLS 2
PIGS ARCHAEOTHERIUM
    Pigs and their relatives are known as suiforms.  Anthracotherids lived from the Eocene to the Pleistocene. While early forms were the size of a terrier, later species could reach hippo size.  Hippos have existed since the Miocene and earlier hippo species had primitive tooth counts and slender limbs.  Primitive pigs existed from the Eocene and Oligocene (whose heads could reach 1 meter in length).  Dinohyus stood 6 feet tall at the shoulder.  Platygonus was one of the most common mammals in North America. The peccary Platygonus belonged to a group thought to be extinct but is now known to be related to the modern tagua in Central South America (Kurten, 1988).

dinohyus

horned pig

platygonus

Hippos are artiodactyls whose ancestors were most closely related to the extinct family Anthracotheriidae, the partially aquatic African Libycosaurus, and whale ancestors (Boisserie, 2005). Some of the North American peccaries, such as the Long-nosed peccary, were the size of small deer (Kurten, 1980).

CAMELS 

    Camels had a very diverse fossil record.  Proebrotherium is known from the late Oligocene.  Primitive species had small hooves while later species possessed the modern characteristic of foot pads.  For most of the Tertiary, they were only found in North America (such as Camelops above which would have stood more than 6 feet at the shoulder); in the Pliocene they migrated to Eurasia.  The giraffe-like camel Aepycamelus would have stood about 8 feet at the shoulder.  They evolved high crowned teeth adapted for eating grass with the evolution of grassland in North America, just as the horses did.  In the Pliocene, camels migrated to South America and were the ancestors of llamas.

Historically, there have been three groups of camels: the true camels (Camelini), llamas (Lamini), and an extinct group which included the genus Camelops (Camelopi). All three were present 15 million years ago in North America, and, until about 4 million years ago, North America was the only continent where camels lived. One camel (Titanotylopus, of the true camel group) reached a shoulder height of 12 feet and possessed one hump on its back. North American llamas included forms with long, slender legs and shorter, stouter legs (Kurten, 1988). During the Pleistocene of North America, camels were limited to the western regions while llamas ranged throughout the continent. Titanotylopus stood 3.5 meters tall at the shoulder (Kurten, 1980).

CAMELOPS
aepycamelus hypertragalus
paratoceras

GIRAFFES

     Ruminants are the 65 modern genera that include deer, giraffes, cattle, sheep, goats, antelopes, and their relatives.  Birgerbohlinia, a relative of giraffes, stood almost 6 feet at the shoulder.  When they first appear in Upper Eocene, the elements of the foot had begun to fuse and the postorbital bar was still incomplete.  They still had 5 fingers and 4 toes but lateral digits were reduced.  In later species, lateral toes were gradually reduced until there were 2 primary toes.

giraffe

giraffes

birgerbohlinia

artiodactyls

DEER

Among the deer (family Cervidae), many lack antlers in females (subfamily Hydropotinae).  Some of the antlered forms are related, such as the tufted deer and muntjacs (subfamily Muntiacinae) with their short antlers and the

Old World deer (subfamily Cervinae) with their more extensive antlers.  The antlered New World deer (subfamily Odoncoileinae) may have had a separate origin from that of the other antlered deer (Miyamoto, 1990).  The “Irish Elk” was a large deer with enormous antlers.

The white-tailed deer seems to have undergone little change in the past 3 million years during which time it has remained the most widespread deer in North America. It seems to have evolved from the earlier species Odocoileus brachydontus. True moose migrated from Eurasia recently and probably helped outcompete the fossil stag-moose which had a mooselike body and a deerlike head (Kurten, 1988).

DEER 1
DEER 2
IRISH ELK IRISH ELK 2
eucladocerus prosynthetoceras

BISON

BISON BISON 2

BISON SKULL

Bovids (cows, bison, goats, sheep, etc.) evolved in Eurasia and migrated to North America about 1.9 million years ago. Not a single bovid fossil is known from North America prior to this. The muskox was the first American bovid and several different forms evolved (Kurten, 1988).

The Eurasian bison species Bison priscus first migrated to North America about 1.9 million years ago and gave rise to a number of species, including the two modern species of bison (one in North America and another in Eurasia). Bison latifrons was somewhat larger than modern bison but distance between the tips of its horns could measure seven feet (Kurten, 1988).

 

After the extinction of mammoths and mastodons, bison became the largest animal hunted by paleoindians (Kurten, 1988).