Here is the detailed information of Paraceratherium facts, diet, the cause of extinction, habitat, and characteristics are mentioned over here. Scroll this page down to collect more details.
Paraceratherium is an extinct genus of hornless rhinoceros, and one of the largest terrestrial mammals that have ever existed. It was in the existing early to late about 34-23 million years ago. It remains have been found across Eurasia between Balkans and China. It is classified as a member of the Hyracodont subfamily indricotheriinae. The exact size of the animals is still known because of incomplete of fossils. But the weight is estimated about 15-20 tones at most. The shoulder height was about 4.8 m and the length about 7.4 m.
These had the pillar-like long legs. The long neck supported the skull which is supposed to 1.3 m long. The lifestyle of the animals is much similar to the modern large mammals such as the extant rhinoceroses and the elephants. Because of the large size, these have the slow rate of reproduction which may cause the extinction of these species. But the real reason is still unknown, but various factors have been proposed.
About 50 million years ago, the superfamily Rhinocerotoidea, which include modern rhinoceroses. Rhinocerotoidea contains three families: Amynodontidae, Rhinocerotidae, and Hyracodontidae. There were long-legged, cursorial forms adapted for running and squat. Most species don’t have horns. Rhinoceros fossils are identified mainly with the characteristics of their teeth, which is the part of animals most likely to be preserved. The upper molars of most rhinoceroses have a pi-shaped pattern on the crown while lower molar has paired L-shapes. Also, other skull features are used to identification of fossil rhinoceroses.
Paraceratherium is one of the largest known land mammals that have ever existed on earth. But the lack of the fossil, the exact size of the mammal is still unclear. Early estimates of 30 tones are now considered, it may be in the range of 15-20 tones at maximum and on average in low can be 11 tones. These are calculations on the basis of mostly complete fossils that we have like the skull, teeth, and limb bone measurements.
The total length was expected 8.7 m from front to back. The height from the toe to shoulder was estimated at about 5.25 m. The complete set of the vertebrate and ribs of Paraceratherium have yet been found and the tail is completely unknown. These had large and robust limbs to support the animal’s large weight. The thigh bones typically measured 1.5 m that size only exceeded by some elephants and dinosaurs. There are no indications of their skin color and texture because non-skin impression or mummies are known.
The simple and low-crowned teeth supposed that Paraceratherium has a consisting diet of relatively soft leaves and shrubs. Later rhinoceroses were grazers with high crowned teeth because their diets contained grit that quickly wore down their teeth. The mesowear conducted the study on the animal teeth and confirm, the creature had a diet of soft leaves. They might get the diet from tall trees, which smaller mammals could not reach. These are still some argument about creature diet because some skulls have unique and different designs. The researches are still going on.
The fossils of the creatures recently found across Eurasia (now China), Mangalia, India, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Georgia, Romania, Bulgaria, and the Balkans. The Paraceratherium appears to have varied across its range, which based on the types of geological formations. The habitats had the temperature difference between the availability of food as well. So, they have to adapt the available food around their territory. The animals in the desert adapt the bushes and other things to eat was available in temperature land.
Facts of Paraceratherium:
- These have the life during the Oligocene Period
- It was also known as the Baluchitherium and now known as Paraceratherium.
- These were herbivore animals.
- The size of these animals is estimated height of about 4.8 – 6 m.
- The length of these supposed to 8 meters.
- The diet of these animals included leaves of the trees.
- These have a long neck, along with big and strong, with long and thick limbs.
- The expected weight of these animals is about 15-20 tones.
The main reason for the extinction of Paraceratherium is still unknown. But most of the researchers accepted that the slow reproduction rate and predators are the main reasons for the extinction of these animals. There are few theories as well which states that the climate changes also a big reason of extinction. During the early Miocene (between 23-16 million years ago), these animals have invaded Asia when they feel scarce of food in their habitat.