9 feb. 2021
Metriotherium is a genus of very primitive ungulate that lived during the Oligocene epoch of Europe. It belonged to the Dichobunidae family and represented one of the earliest known ungulates. In life, Metriotherium would have resembled a large duiker or chevrotain with a long tail. Each foot retained several toes with small hooves. They were probably fast-running animals due to their long limbs and slender build body. The shape of their teeth suggests they were browsers, feeding on small leaves in the undergrowth of dense forests or semi-open landscapes.
Metriotherium mirabile is one of several species within its genus and fossils have been found in France and Spain, dating from the Oligocene epoch. It was a large-sized species, reaching up to 1.2 meters in length (without its tail) and weighted about 40 kg! The fossil record is small and most species of Metriotherium are solely described by isolated teeth.
Theodor, J.M., J. Erfurt, and G. Metais. 2007. The earliest artiodactyls. In D. R. Prothero, S. E. Foss (eds.), The Evolution of Artiodactyls