Deinotherium (name meaning "Terrible Beast") is a genus of large proboscidean that originated during the Miocene epoch in what is now Africa. One of the largest terrestrial mammals of all time, standing almost 6 meters tall and weighing 12 tons, it was a far larger and more aggressive relative of the modern elephant.
In the episode "The Walking Ape", a single Deinotherium was brought back to the park from 3.2 million years ago in Africa.
Era & DiscoveryEdit
Deinotherium lived in Africa during the Miocene to the Pleistocene, from 20–2 million years ago. They may have lived up due to climate changes which saw their habitat become too dry, and along with the other ancient mammals such as the Chalicotherum, Ancylotherium, they became extinct. It was first discovered in the early 18th century and was named by German naturalist Johann Jakob Kaup in 1829.
Deinotherium was a large mammal, in fact, it was the second largest land mammal ever to exist, only succeeded by Indricotherium. Due to this immense size and bulk, Deinotherium was the largest animal in its ecosystem. At 12 tons (24,000 lbs.), 13–16 feet (4–5 m) tall at the shoulder, and 26 feet (8 m) from tusk to tail, this truly was a monster of a mammal. It had the basic body plan of a modern elephant, except on a larger scale, in fact, they were 3 times larger than ordinary elephants.
Deinotherium also had a smaller trunk than most of its ancestors and relatives. Its ears were small, like a modern Asian Elephant's. Deinotherium, like its relatives, possessed a pair of tusks. However, unlike modern elephants, the tusks of Deinotherium positioned on the tip of its lower jaw rather than the skull were several feet long, curved and pointed downwards. This bizarre design was especially useful when it came to stripping the bark off of tree trunks to chew with their massive molars.
Behavior & Traits Edit
Like modern elephants, male Deinotherium would undergo musth when ready to mate. During these sessions, they would become extremely aggressive and would attack anything. Surprisingly, these animals also traveled in small groups but were also solitary animals.
The females and the juveniles also show some degree of aggression unlike modern elephants, by just chasing other animals off. Therefore, even young Deinotherium was worth avoiding. Our ancestors, Australopithecus, would have encountered these animals. They probably had intense fear over the mere sight of a Deinotherium, which would have charged at anything in its way.
|“||These were giant, 18-ton mammals that looked like elephants and stood as tall as a giraffe, but were three times as big the size of elephants and weighed 14 times as much as the modern giraffe. Among the biggest mammals that ever lived, their tusks curved downwards for stripping the bark off trees.||„|
|— Allen, in his Journal, about Deinotherium|
- The sound effects of Deinotherium were slightly modified elephant sounds as well as bull, walrus, and some polar bear sounds to give it a more awesome and intimitating appearance.