views updated

Ancylopoda (chalicotheres; superorder Mesaxonia, order Perissodactyla) An extinct suborder (sometimes called Chalicotheriidae) of horse-like animals, that were distributed widely in N. America and Europe in the Eocene and survived in Africa until the Pleistocene. Moropus, usually taken as representative of the group, resembled a horse with front legs longer than the back legs. It had three toes with terminal phalanges that were cleft and undoubtedly bore claws rather than hoofs. Probably chalicotheres fed on roots and tubers and the claws and long fore limbs were used in digging, or possibly to pull down leafy branches.