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Temporal range: Late Oligocene – Early Pliocene
An artist's illustration of Chalicotherium
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Perissodactyla
Family: Chalicotheriidae
Genus: Chalicotherium
J. J. Kaup, 1833
Referred species
  • Macrotherium Lartet, 1837

Chalicotherium is an odd-toed perissodactyl ungulate genus from Oligocene Mongolia, better known as the chalicothere. It numbered several species, all of whom had claws instead of hooves, unlike its relatives such as Ancylotherium. Chalicotheres were related to horses and rhinoceroses, but they fed like pandas, and walked like modern apes like gorillas or extinct ground sloths did.

A Soviet depiction of the Chalicotherium.

During the Oligocene and the Miocene the chalicotheres were some of the biggest mammals around, but as time went and new animals, like Amphicyon, evolved and grew bigger, smarter, and more powerful, chalicotheres began to die out - and the deterioration of the climate contributed to that as well, until by the time of the Pleistocene they were all gone, with the hooved chalicotheres like Ancylotherium going last. 

Relatives of Chalicotherium - the other chalicotheres include Protomoropus, Moropus, Kalimantsia, and Ancylotherium.


Taxonomic History


In the Media

  • Chalicotherium 1st appeared in the 3rd episode of the BBC Documentary Walking with Beasts.
  • Chalicotherium is one of the creatures that will appear in ARK: Survival Evolved.
  • A Chalicotherium also appears briefly in Ice Age: The Meltdown with an upset stomach.
  • Chalicotherium appears as a sliver in the Glacial park in Jurassic Park: Builder.



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