Pantodonta

(redirected from Pantodontia)

Pantodonta

[‚pan·tə′dän·tə]
(paleontology)
An extinct order of mammals which included the first large land animals of the Tertiary.

Pantodonta

 

an order of fossil mammals, whose remains are known from Paleocene and Middle Oligocene deposits. The size of pantodonts ranged from that of a sheep to that of a large hippopotamus. The skeletal structure had many primitive features. The short legs had five separated toes ending in sharp hoofs. The tail was long, and the long and narrow skull contained a small and primitive brain. The molars were ridged, and the canine teeth, or tusks, were enlarged. Pantodonts were distributed in Europe, Asia, and North America. Certain large forms had habits similar to those of the Megatherium. Small and primitive pantodonts were insectivores or omnivores; some species led semiaquatic lives and fed on soft vegetation.

REFERENCE

Osnovy paleontologii: Mlekopitaiushchie. Moscow, 1962.