Phenacodus


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Phenacodus

 

a genus of extinct ungulates of the order Condy-larthra. The body, including the tail, measured approximately 1.5 m in length and 60 cm in height. In general appearance, Phenacodus resembled a carnivore rather than an ungulate. Its skull, like that of ancient carnivorous creodonts, was long and low, with a parietal crest and a small brain cavity. There were 44 teeth; the canines were large and set low in the mouth, and the molars had tubercular crowns. The tail was long. The extremities were digitigrade, the forelegs being much shorter than the hind legs. Phenacodus had five digits on each extremity but when walking was supported chiefly by the three middle digits.

There were approximately ten species of Phenacodus. Remains have been found in Paleocene and Eocene deposits in North America and Eocene deposits in Western Europe. Phenacodus was one of the ancestors of the odd-toed ungulates.