World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


Article Id: WHEBN0003473587
Reproduction Date:

Title: Macraucheniidae  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Paranauchenia, Xenorhinotherium, Macrauchenidia, Macrauchenia, Pleistocene mammals
Collection: Litopterns, Pleistocene Mammals
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Temporal range: Eocene–Pleistocene
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Litopterna
Family: Macraucheniidae
Gill, 1872

Macraucheniidae is a family in the Litopterna order of extinct South American ungulates, an animal with similarities to the cat and rhinoceros. The recessed nasal bones of their skulls suggest that they may have had a small proboscis, or trunk. Their hooves were similar to those of rhinoceroses today, with a simple ankle joint and three digits on each foot. Thus, they may have been capable of rapid directional change when running away from predators, such as large Phorusrhacid terror birds and Smilodon saber-toothed cats. Macraucheniids probably lived in large herds to gain protection against these predators, as well as to facilitate finding mates for reproduction.

The family Macraucheniidae includes genera such as Theosodon, Xenorhinotherium, and Macrauchenia. Macrauchenia is the best-known and most recent macraucheniid. It became extinct during the Pleistocene Epoch. It was one of the few litopterns to survive the ecological pressures of the Great American Interchange between North and South America, which took place after the Isthmus of Panama rose above sea level some 3 million years ago. It may instead have died out in the aftermath of the invasion of the Americas by human hunters. When Macrauchenia died out, so too did the Macraucheniidae and the entire litoptern order.


Subfamily Cramaucheniinae

Subfamily Macraucheniinae

Subfamily Sparnotheriodontinae


  1. ^ Dozo, M.T. & Vera, B. (2010). "First skull and associated postcranial bones of Macraucheniidae (Mammalia, Litopterna) from the Deseadan SALMA (late Oligocene) of Cabeza Blanca (Chubut, Argentina)". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 30 (6): 1818–1826.  

External links

  • Phylogeny of Macraucheniidae
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.