Barytherium

Barytherium grave

Resurrected on:

Genus information

Barytherium is an early relative of the modern-day elephant and lived about 32 million years ago in Northern Africa. A remarkable feature of this species is that it had developed eight small tusks in its mouth like a modern-day hippopotamus. It is believed that it sheared (water)plants with it before they were processed by its molars. The skull of Barytherium shows evidence of a trunk, although it was probably a very short one. Isotope research showed that Barytherium lived in freshwater swamps.

Family:

Distribution:

Epoch:

Barytheriidae

Africa

Eocene to Oligocene

Species information

Fossil evidence of Barytherium has been found in Egypt and Libya, of which Libya produced the most complete skeletons. Barytherium was the first large proboscid that appeared in the fossil record and showed a strong sexual dimorphism. The feet of Barytherium resemble that of a modern hippopotamus, meaning that it probably lived most of its time in and around the water.

Species:

Paleontologist:

Distribution:

Epoch:

Barytherium grave

Andrews, 1901

Africa

Eocene to Oligocene

Length:

Height:

Weight:

4.0 m

1.9 m

2.500 kg

Reference:

Delmer, C. (2005). Les premières phases de différenciation des Proboscidiens (Tethyria, Mammalia): le rôle du Barytherium grave de Lybie (Doctoral dissertation, Paris, Muséum national d'histoire naturelle).

Size comparison

Distribution map

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