A Paraceratherium Mother Grazes
Digital Art - Illustration
A Paraceratherium mother grazes on leaves and twigs of a poplar tree while her infant son stands nearby in a scene from 30 million years ago during the Rupelian Stage of the Oligocene Epoch in northwest China. Also in this scene on the lower left is a Palaeolagus, an extinct genus of the order lagomorpha, which includes modern hares, rabbits and pikas. On the lower right is a Palaeosciurus, the earliest known ground squirrel. Flying overhead are passerine ancestors of today's perching songbirds.More massive than a modern African elephant, Paraceratherium is believed to be the largest mammal ever to have walked the Earth. Adult Paraceratherium are estimated to have been 18 ft tall at the shoulder with a maximum raised head height of 26 ft. They may have weighed as much as 20 tons. Related to modern rhinoceroses, Paraceratherium became extinct about 23 million years ago.
December 8th, 2011
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