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Brontotheriidae

Brontotheriidae (brontotheres, titanotheres; class Mammalia, order Perissodactyla) A suborder (ranked by some authorities as a family of the suborder Hippomorpha) of rhinoceros-like animals that flourished in the Eocene and Oligocene, and then became extinct. Probably they appeared first in N. America, but they spread to Asia and some lived in eastern Europe. Brontotheres were large, some reaching 2.4 m at the shoulder (as large as modern elephants). The skull was long and low, the brain small. Bony horns were present in later forms, often large and presumed larger in males than females, carried as a pair, side by side on the front of the head. Some (e.g. Brontotherium) had Y- or V-shaped horns on their noses. The limbs were graviportal. The teeth were primitive, the incisors and a premolar absent in some forms, the molars large, low-crowned, and bunolophodont. The brontotheres seem to have evolved rapidly to large size, but their teeth must have restricted their diet to soft plant material, perhaps making them vulnerable to minor environmental changes.

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