Chilgatherium ("Chilga Beast" after the locality it was found) is the earliest and most primitive representative of the family Deinotheriidae. It is known from late Oligocene (27 to 28 million years old) fossil teeth found in the Ethiopian district of Chilga. So far, only a number of molar teeth have been found, but these are distinct enough that this animal can be identified with confidence. The teeth differ from those of Prodeinotherium, Deinotherium, and the various barytheres in various details, enough to show that this is a distinct type of animal, and has been placed in its own subfamily. Compared to later deinotheres, Chilgatherium was quite small, about midway between a large pig and a small hippo in size. It is not known if it shared the distinctive downward-curving tusks on the lower jaw that the later deinotheres had.
Chilgatherium disappears prior to the Early Miocene, where Prodeinotherium occurs instead.
- Gugliotta, Guy (2003) Six New Species of Prehistoric Mammals Discovered in Africa Find Proves Elephants Originated on Continent, Scientist Says, Washington Post, Thursday, December 4, 2003; Page A02
- Sanders, W.J., Kappelman, J. & Rasmussen, D. T., (2004), New large-bodied mammals from the late Oligocene site of Chilga, Ethiopia. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica Vol. 49, no.3, pp. 365-392 pdf
Copied from Wikipedia M alan kazlev 04:16, 3 January 2010 (UTC) - I wrote the original page there 8 July 2005