Temporal range: Late Miocene
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An artist's illustration of Helicoprion bessonovi
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Giraffidae
Genus: Shansitherium
Referred species
  • Shansitherium fuguensis
  • Shansitherium quadricornis
  • Shansitherium tafeli

Shansitherium (meaning "Beast of Shanxi") was a genus of superficially moose- or antelope-like giraffe from the late Miocene epoch of the Shanxi Province, China. They were closely related to the genus Samotherium.

Description and Appearance[]


Shansitherium and Honanotherium

Shansitherium had quite a bizarre set of horns: it had a pair of feather or pine cone-shaped ossicones with long pointy horns growing upwards from the bottom of the ossicones. It may have had these horns arranged like this by taking a close look at the fossil skull found in China. The body was also probably shaped like a horse, moose or a giraffe. From the ear sockets of the skull, it probably had large pointy ears and like a giraffe, had long staight upright hair on the neck.

Fossils and Species[]

220px-Shansitherium tafeli Beijing

A shansitherium skull

Shansitherium was very large from the massive fossil skeletons as seen in the Beijing Museum of Natural History in Beijing, China. The ginormous fossil skeletons in Beijing show that they were probably up to less than 3 metres tall and about 3.5–4 metres long. They were first discovered and named by a gang of chinese paleontologists.