The anthracotheres are an extinct family of primitive hippopotamus-like ungulates that were probably closely related to the modern Hippopotamus. The average anthracothere would have resembled a small hippopotamus with a narrow head and pig-like features. They probably lived in aquatic habitats, like swamps and rivers, and fed on aquatic vegetation.
Distribution & Fossil evidence
The anthracotheres thrived in Eurasia and Africa, but also managed to migrate to North America during the Oligocene. During the Miocene, their numbers depleted and finally went extinct probably due to climate change and competition with other ungulates, like pigs and true hippopotamuses.
The family consists of many species of anthracothere that ranged from cat-sized species, like Anthracokeryx, to the very large car-sized species, such as Paenanthracotherium.