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Prodeinotherium 2

Cladus: Eukaryota
Supergroup: Opisthokonta
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Classis: Mammalia
Subclassis: Theria
Infraclassis: Placentalia
Superordo: Afrotheria
Cladus: Paenungulata
Ordo: Proboscidea
Familia: †Deinotheriidae
Subfamilia: Deinotheriinae
Genus: Prodeinotherium
Species: P. bavaricum - P. hobleyi - P. orlovii - P. pentapotamiae


Prodeinotherium Ehik, 1930

Prodeinotherium (pro - "before" "terrible beast") is an early representative of the family Deinotheriidae, that lived in Africa, Europe, and Asia in the early and middle Miocene. It was the size of a small elephant, about 9 feet at the shoulders, but differed from elephants in possessing a pair of downward curving tusks on the lower jaw. In appearance and many characters it was like Deinotherium (with which it is placed in the subfamily, Deinotheriinae (Sanders et al. 2004), but differed in being of smaller size, having shorter forelimbs, and also in various details in the shape and form of the teeth.

The earliest species to appear is Prodeinotherium hobleyi, known from the Early Miocene of Kenya and Uganda (about 18 to 20 million years old). A molar of a small prodeinothere from Eritrea may also belong to this species and be of the same age.
Alternate view of skeleton

Prodeinotherium was larger and more specialised than its Oligocene predecessor Chilgatherium. It flourished for several millions of years, before being suddenly replaced in the middle Miocene by the much larger Deinotherium.


Harris, J.M. (1978) Deinotherioidea and Barytherioidea. 315-332, in Maglio, V. J. & Cooke, H. B. S., (eds.) 1978: Evolution of African mammals, Harvard University Press, Cambridge & London
Sanders, W.J., 2003, chap 10, Proboscidea, in Mikael Fortelius (ed) Geology and paleontology of the Miocene Sinap Formation, Turkey, Columbia University Press, New York
Sanders, W. J., Kappelman, J. & Rasmussen, D. T., 2004: New large-bodied mammals from the late Oligocene site of Chilga, Ethiopia. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica Vol. 49, no.3, pp. 365–392 pdf

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