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However, what really set this prehistoric mammal apart from the other megafauna of the Eocene epoch were the two large, conical, pointed horns jutting out from the middle of its forehead, which were likely a sexually selected characteristic rather than anything meant to intimidate predators (meaning that males with bigger, pointier horns had a better chance of pairing up with females during mating season).
Arsinoitherium was also equipped with 44 flat, stumpy teeth in its jaws, which were well-adapted to chewing the extra-tough plants of its Egyptian habitat circa 30 million years ago.
The Cave Lion came by its name not because it lived in caves, but because intact skeletons have been discovered in Cave Bear habitats (Cave Lions preyed on hibernating Cave Bears, which must have seemed like a good idea until their victims woke up.) Why would a one-ton megafauna mammal be named after a pebble, rather than a boulder?
Simple: the "chalico" part of its name refers to Chalicotherium's pebble-like teeth, which it used to grind down tough vegetation.
(In fact, the authors of the paper compared fossilized Myotragus bones to those of contemporary reptiles, and found similar growth patterns.) As you might expect, not everyone subscribes to the theory that Myotragus had a reptile-like metabolism (which would make it the first mammal in history to have ever evolved this bizarre trait).
More likely, this was simply a slow, stubby, ponderous, small-brained Pleistocene herbivore that had the luxury of not having to defend itself against natural predators.
During the latter part of the Cenozoic Era—from about 50 million years ago to the end of the last Ice Age—prehistoric mammals were significantly bigger (and stranger) than their modern counterparts.
On the following slides, you'll find pictures and detailed profiles of over 80 different giant mammals and megafauna that ruled the earth after the dinosaurs went extinct, ranging from Aepycamelus to the Woolly Rhino.
) was one of the most common megafauna mammals of Pleistocene Europe.
Based on its limited fossil remains, paleontologists believe Agriarctos possessed a coat of dark fur with light patches around its eyes, belly and tail—a stark contrast to the Giant Panda, on which these two colors are distributed much more evenly.
One of the largest bears that ever lived, the half-ton Agriotherium achieved a remarkably wide distribution during the Miocene and Pliocene epochs, reaching as far as North America, Eurasia and Africa.
As you might have guessed, this ancestor of modern cattle figured on the dinner menu of early humans, who helped drive the Auroch into extinction.
Befitting its similarity to the duck-billed dinosaurs that preceded it by tens of millions of years, the giant hooved mammal Brontotherium had an unusually small brain for its size—which may have made it ripe picking for the predators of Eocene North America.
Right off the bat, there are two odd things about Aepycamelus: first, this megafauna camel looked more like a giraffe, with its long legs and slender neck, and second, it lived in Miocene North America (not a place one normally associates with camels).