Tue 16 Nov, 2021 05:17 pm
Most readers are familiar with the early mammals of Europe and North America, the Mamoths, Saber-touthed Tigers, Wooly Rhinoceros, Cave Bears and Giant Sloths for example but South America had it's own many hunted by the earliest humans. There were Glyptodonts, smoething like modern Armadillos. The largest species was five feet tall and twelve feet long and may have weight five thousand pounds. They were hunted by early humans and the shell or carapace sometimes used for temporary shelter. There were Toxideonts that survived until about 16,500 years ago. Some species could weigh up to three thousands pounds. They ranged in herds and were probably somewhat like North America Buffalo in life style. Numerous fossils have been found with arrowheads embedded in them. Another animal hunted by humans was Macrauchenia weighing possibly 2,300 lbs. It also ranged in herds as protection against predators. It had a snout similar to a Tapir and a body something like a camel without the hump. And there were many ground sloth species, One of the largest was Megatherium americanum. It topped four tons and was eighteen feet long. There were two other species that topped six tons. Tracks show that M. americanum was bipedal and could forage from fairly tall trees. One of the most surprising sloths was Thalassocnus natans. It lived along the Pacific coast of Peru and was a deep sea diver living on marine vegetation. Surpisingly the top predators on the South American savannas during the earlier Miocene epoch were the Terror Birds or Phorusthacids. They had huge bills pretty much unlike any modern birds and the largest was nine feet tall. They could run down and consume small horse species and ungulates. In tearlier epochs, Oligocene and Pliocene there were a plethora of Marsupial species. Probably the largest was Proporhyaena gigantea a 1300 lb predator.
This just a snapshot of the amazing mammalian eolution in South America.
Sorry, meant discussion not question/
No difference, but I'm glad to see you back after all this time.