Josephoartigasia monesi oil painting by James Gurney:
“Here’s a painting of the largest rodent known to science. It’s something like a cross between a guinea pig and a rhinoceros. It would have stood about four feet high at the shoulder, weighing about 2,000 pounds.”
(drawing by ~batworker)
Seeing as that other Chalicotherium picture got so much interest!! These are some of my favourite prehistoric animals, on account of just how weird they were.
They were odd-toed ungulates, with long clawed forelimbs and stouter hindlimbs, that lived during the Late Oligocene to Lower (early) Pliocene. They would have used their arms to pull down vegetation, which would have been processed by gum pads (in place of upper incisors) and low-crowned molars. Evidence of their hand bones suggest that they walked on their knuckles, like a gorilla.
There have been strange animal sightings in Africa, of creatures dubbed “Nandi bears”, that fit the description of Chalicotheres. Though it’s improbable that they are still living in Africa today, these reports are still interesting!
by Charles R. Knight.
by Raul Martin.