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Re: SJMercuryNews:biggest and smallest fossil mammals



At 12:39 PM 5/10/99 PDT, Kevin Hedgpeth wrote:
>Sorry to be slightly off the subject of dinosaurs, but wasn't 
>_Baluchitherium_ already occupying the niche of "Largest Known Land Mammal"? 
>  Does this new find simply confirm that idea by virtue of more complete 
>fossil evidence?

"Baluchitherium" is traditionally considered the "largest known land mammal"
(although some of the big mammoths may rival or exceed it!).  The proper
name for this animal, however, is _Paraceratherium_.  There are questions
going on on the vertebrate paleo professional listserve as to what is
actually meant by this translation.  It *MIGHT* be the biggest individual of
_Paraceratherium_, but we don't have any real measurements to base it on:
only estimates of shoulder height and mass.  It *might* be the most complete
specimen ever.  Very hard to say from the material presented by the report.

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Vertebrate Paleontologist     Webpage: http://www.geol.umd.edu
Dept. of Geology              Email:tholtz@geol.umd.edu
University of Maryland        Phone:301-405-4084
College Park, MD  20742       Fax:  301-314-9661