Cenozoic Earth ] Back | Next >

 South Dakota, USA
 35 million years ago

Mean atmospheric O2
 130% of modern level

Mean atmospheric CO2
 2x pre-industrial level

Mean temperature
 4C above modern level

Cenozoic Earth - Brontotherium portrait; megafauna; Titanotheres; Titanothere; Brontotheres; Brontothere - Natural History Illustration Geologic Time Scale

 Era: Cenozoic
  Period: Paleogene
   Epoch: Eocene
    Age: Priabonian



An odd-toed ungulate mammal of the genus Brontotherium (AKA Megacerops) leaves his forest habitat in search of a vegetarian meal.

35 million years ago North America was home to brontotheres, a family of large herbivores that looked somewhat like giant rhinoceroses, but  probably were more closely related to horses. Brontotherium ('thunder beast') was one such genus of these prehistoric mammals. Characterized by a massive forked or sling-shot shaped horn, Brontotherium stood about eight feet tall at the shoulder and weighed about two tons.

Brontotherium's name comes from Sioux Native Americans who discovered their skeletons following their exposure by severe rain storms. The Sioux believed Brontotherium caused thunderstorms by running across the top of the clouds.



Copyright Walter B. Myers. All rights reserved.

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