Scientific classification

Homalodotherium is an extinct genus of the order Notoungulata, an extinct group of hoofed mammals native to South America.


Homalodotherium was about 2 metres (6.6 ft) in body length, and had long forelimbs with claws instead of hooves. It walked on the soles of its hind feet and the toes of its front feet, which would have made the animal higher at the shoulder than at the hips when it walked on all fours. It was probably at least partially bipedal, being able to pull down tree branches with its arms while rearing up on its hind legs. Various other prehistoric and living creatures have also developed this feeding style; examples are the chalicotheres, ground sloths and, possibly, the therizinosaur dinosaurs.

Homalodotherium is one of the most striking representatives of the South American fauna Eocene epoch reaching 2 m in length, taking into account the growth of the tail and was up to 120 cm, and weighed about 300 kg. The skull was quite impressive, up to 41 cm in length. As members of the order Notoungulata, the so-called southern ungulates, they surprisingly looked like Chalicotherium, who are members of the order perissodactyls (Perissodactyla) and are not to Homalotheriidae in close relatives. In the Miocene South American continent was not connected to North America by the Isthmus of Panama, and the local fauna, while in isolation, evolved differently. Superficial resemblance of Homalodotherium to Chalicotherium dictated by a similar ecological niche, which is occupied by both not related to each other animals groups, and is the result of convergent evolution.

800px-South American Homalodotherium

A recreation of Homalodotherium