Dinotherium - Encyclopedia




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DINOTHERIUM, an extinct mammal, fossil remains of which occur in the Miocene beds of France, Germany, Greece and Northern India. These consist chiefly of teeth and the bones of the head. An entire skull, obtained from the Lower Pliocene beds of Eppelsheim, Hesse-Darmstadt, in 1836, measured 41ft. in length and 3 ft. in breadth, and indicates an animal exceeding the elephant in size. The upper jaw is apparently destitute of incisor and canine teeth, but possesses five molars on each side, with a corresponding number in the jaw beneath. The most remarkable feature, however, consists in the front part of the lower jaw being bent downwards and bearing two tusk-like incisors also directed downwards and backwards. Dinotherium is a member of the group Proboscidea, of the line of descent of the elephants.

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