Taking Uintatherium Out on a Date

By | March 20th, 2017|Uncategorized|2 Comments

When Did Uintatherium anceps Live?

Everything Dinosaur is preparing for the imminent arrival of the new for 2017 CollectA “Prehistoric Life” models.  The first batch will be arriving at our warehouse very soon, but we are in the process of finalising the fact sheets prior to arrival of other new editions to the CollectA range, due to come into stock later this year.  One of the new fact sheets has left us scratching our collective heads, it concerns an ancient prehistoric mammal that has a reputation for stumping even the most talented and dedicated of palaeontologists.

The beastie is Uintatherium (U. anceps) to be more precise, our team members have been scanning the literature trying to pinpoint the approximate time in geological history that this particular species of “Uintah beast” roamed.

Everything Dinosaur’s Illustration of the CollectA Deluxe Uintatherium Model

Uintatherium anceps drawing.

A scale drawing of the bizarre Uintatherium.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Eocene Giant

Uintatherium is one of the more spectacular of a bizarre Order or extinct mammals called the Dinocerata (terrible horns).  Along with the genus Eobasileus, Uintatherium represents one of the largest of this strange Order of mammals, an Order that palaeontologists can’t quite agree where to place amongst the Mammalia.  They are placentals, but their exact position on the mammal family tree and the taxonomic relationship to the other Orders remains controversial.  Scientists such as Earl Manning and Donald R. Prothero have speculated that the simple cheek teeth of these animals might indicate an affinity with the ungulates (mammals with hooves).  Other academics have suggested that the dentition (teeth), most closely resemble the teeth of the Mongolian rabbit relative Pseudictops.  In this is the case, then the Uintatherium could be an example of a “huge horned bunny”!

Uintatheres and the Bone Wars

The role of these Eocene animals in the “Bone Wars” the disputes between the palaeontologists – Leidy, Marsh and Cope has been well documented, but what is not so clear, is when did Uintatherium, specifically U. anceps live?  We have scanned the literature and we have found dates ranging from 53 million years ago to as recently as 37 million years ago.  We doubt whether a single species could have persisted for this long, even in the most stable of environments, so have you any information of when Uintatherium anceps roamed the Earth?

Fact Sheet Being Prepared for the Arrival of the Deluxe CollectA Uintatherium Model in June

CollectA Deluxe Uintatherium model.

The CollectA Uintatherium model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The view the range of CollectA Deluxe scale prehistoric animal models: CollectA Deluxe Prehistoric Animal Models

With a little luck (and a lot more research), we will be able to complete the Uintatherium data, the next fact sheet will have to prepare is a Brontothere.  This “thunder beast” might have superficially resembled Uintatherium, but it was not that close related.  However, the Brontotherium fact sheet is being put together as Everything Dinosaur will be bringing in a new line shortly, but more about that later…