|“||This is Embolotherium, a relative of a rhino.||„|
|— Allen, on Embolotherium|
Embolotherium (name meaning "Battering-Ram Beast") is a genus of brontothere that originated during the Late Eocene epoch in what is now Africa and Asia. From hundreds of known specimens, this prehistoric perissodactyl, or "odd-toed" mammal, is related to a rhinoceros and is known to have grown up to 2.5m tall at the shoulder and measure almost 5 meters long.
In the episode "Big Blue Killer Whale", a small group of Embolotherium was brought back from the Eocene 36 million years ago.
Era & DiscoveryEdit
Embolotherium lived during the Late Eocene period, from 40-30 million years ago, in Mongolia, the Gobi Desert. By around the Early Oligocene, 28 million years ago, Embolotherium and other brontotheres died out because of the climate change that killed several of their food plants and the appearance of better, more efficient and modern herbivores, such as Indricotherium and Chalicotherium that outcompeted the older, less advanced brontotheres and eventually drove them into extinction.
Embolotherium was first discovered in 1929 by Henry Fairfield Osborn.
Among the first truly giant terrestrial mammals of the Cenozoic, Embolotherium were large, heavy and powerful brontothere animals related to horses and rhinos, but however, they were not much like either. They were twice as big as modern rhinos, growing up to be approximately 8 feet (2.5 m) in height, 16 feet (4.9 m) in length, weighing around 2 tons (4,000 lbs.). However, having a brain just one third the size of a rhinos brain, they were not the brightest of beasts. It also had a 70 cm. bony growth on its nose, the reason for its name, 'battering-ram beast'. Embolotherium was sexually dimorphic, with the females' bony growth being way smaller than the males.
They possessed a massive build similar to that of rhinoceros and were most notable for possessing a large bony protuberance emanating from the front end of the skull, which acted as a ram. Female Embolotherium were distinguished from males in that females' rams were more heart-shaped. Embolotherium could use their rams as battering rams against enemies, capable of causing massive damage to others and the environment around them. In another difference to rhinos, the outgrowths on their noses were not horns nor hairs, but bone and were more for show than for the actual headbutting: the bone crests were far too brittle for that. The protruding nasal buttress could have been used in butting or in displaying.
Behavior & TraitsEdit
Not unlike the case of the Iguanodon and other plant-eating dinosaurs earlier in time, Embolotherium and the other brontotheres were one of the most successful mammals of their time. They were found across the northern hemisphere in huge herds of hundreds. It was a herbivore that fed only on the leaves of shrubs and bushes, therefore consuming small plants, for grass hadn't evolved yet. It had few predators, but the giant hunter-scavenger Andrewsarchus would harass them from time to time, and even possibly even kill a weakened animal.
Females Embolotheres were fiercely protective of their young. Even when their calves died, it would be impossible to say whether the mothers understood if their calves were dead. Like most animals, female Embolotheres had a very strong bond with their offspring and would defend them for as long as they could.Embolotherium possessed a herd mentality, with just one Embolotherium acting out or running after something being enough to cause the others to follow suit and stampede, although, at other times, females of the species were passive herbivores. Male Embolotherium, on the other hand, was extremely aggressive and dangerous, attacking and relentlessly pursuing any other animals that aggravated or upset them. Embolotherium were highly protective of their young; when a calf was in distress, it would send out loud cries to adult Embolotherium, which would suddenly become extremely agitated and violent in response to the calf's distress.
- The sound effects of Embolotherium are that of bear, horse, moose, and rhinoceros sound effects.
- Embolotherium was the first large land mammal to be brought to the park.