Brontotheriidae

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Brontotheriidae
Titanothere2.jpg
Megacerops platyceras
Scientific classification
Kingdom Information
Domain Eukaryota
Kingdom Animalia
Subkingdom Bilateria
Branch Deuterostomia
Phylum Information
Phylum Chordata
Sub-phylum Vertebrata
Infraphylum Gnathostomata
Class Information
Superclass Tetrapoda
Class Mammalia
Sub-class Theriiformes
Infra-class Holotheria
Order Information
Superorder Preptotheria
Order Perissodactyla
Sub-order Ceratomorpha
Family Information
Superfamily Brontotherioidea
Family Brontotheriidae
Species Information
Synonyms Titanotheriidae
Population statistics
Conservation status Extinct

Brontotheriidae (Greek: βροντη, brontē + θήριον, thêrion; "thunder beast") is an extinct family of large mammals resembling rhinoceros, which once lived in North America and Asia.

The brontotheres were named in part due to accounts of discovery of their remains by the Lakota Sioux in what is now the Dakotas and Montana of the United States; they had believed they were creatures who ran on top of the clouds, delivering rain and thunder on the plains.

Contents

Description

Characteristics shared by all brontotheriid species include an abbreviated face, an elongated postorbital cranium, and the outer shearing blades on the molars bearing a "W" or wedge shape[1]. Despite being members of Perissodactyla, all species had four toes on the front feet; the rear feet bore three.

The familiar species (Embolotherium, Megacerops, etc.) were of large size, easily standing over eight feet at the shoulder with estimated weight of nearly four tons. The head bore horns on the snout made entirely of bone; unlike rhinos, these horns were side-by-side instead of one behind the other, and in some brontothere species the horns were fused into a bizarre "slingshot" or "battering ram" appearance. It has been surmised that the horns were used in combat between bulls during mating season.

Species

  • Family Brontotheriidae
incertae sedis:
Eotitanops
Mulkrajanops
Pakotitanops
Palaeosyops
Subfamily Brontotheriinae
Bunobrontops
Dolichorhinus
Desmatotitan
Epimanteoceras
Fossendorhinus
Mesatirhinus
Metarhinus
Metatelmatherium
Microtitan
Sphenocoelus
Sthenodectes
Telmatherium
incertae sedis:
Acrotitan
Arctotitan
Hyotitan
Nanotitanops
Pygmaetitan
Qufutitan
Tribe Brontotheriini
Brachydiastematherium
Diplacodon
Pachytitan
Protitan
Protitanotherium
Rhinotitan
Sivatitanops
Subtribe Embolotheriina
Aktautitan
Embolotherium
Gnathotitan
Metatitan
Nasamplus
Protembolotherium
Subtribe Brontotheriina
Dianotitan
Duchesneodus
Megacerops
Notiotitanops
Parabrontops
Protitanops

Evolutionary claims

Figures of four species of brontothere by E.S. Christman, from The titanotheres of ancient Wyoming, Dakota, and Nebraska, by Henry Fairfield Osborn (1929).

Brontotheres are claimed by evolutionists to have first evolved from Eotitanops during the late Paleocene 56 million years ago, and reached their peak in the late Eocene, 33.9 million years ago.

When Henry Fairfield Osborn published his Titanotheres of ancient Wyoming, Dakota, and Nebraska, he settled on the theory that Eotitanops gave rise to later and larger species as time went on; indeed, the image on the right indicates this. But Osborn settled on a dogmatic statement based on nothing more than the observation of individual species' bones and the assumption that one must have evolved from the other; such an assumption cannot be tested beyond Step One of the scientific method. At present it is unproven scientifically that an evolutionary change occurred within the various brontothere species.

References

  1. http://digitallibrary.amnh.org/dspace/handle/2246/5913
  • Osborn, Henry Fairfield. The Titanotheres of Ancient Wyoming, Dakota, and Nebraska; Washington, D.C. United States Department of the Interior (1929)[1]
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