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Protylopus
Fossil range: Middle Eocene–Late Eocene
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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Oromerycidae
Genus: Protylopus
Wortman, 1898
Species
  • P. petersoni (type)
  • P. annectens
  • P. pearsonensis
  • P. robustus
  • P. stocki

Protylopus is an extinct genus of camel, lived during middle to late Eocene some 45-40 million years ago in North America.

The oldest camel known, it was also the smallest, reaching a length of 80 centimetres (2.6 ft), and probably weighing around 2.6 kilograms (5.7 lb). Based on its teeth, it probably fed on the soft leaves of forest plants. Protylopus's front legs were shorter than the hind legs, and ended in four-toed feet. The hind legs also ended in four toes, but most of the weight was carried by the third and fourth, so it may have raised itself up on its back legs like the modern day grenbuk antelope to feed. The shape of the toes suggests that the animal possessed hooves, rather than the foot-pads of modern camels.[1]

References

  1. ^ Palmer, D., ed (1999). The Marshall Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals. London: Marshall Editions. p. 275. ISBN 1-84028-152-9.  

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