The Dinosaur Collector

The Miocene,

5.32 to 23.8 million years ago, was a time of warmer global climates than those in the preceding Oligocene, or the following Pliocene. The animals families evolving dominate the the fauna until the Pleistocene.                                    

update 10/1/08


The links will take you to diorama showing figures from this period.  The site A and site B icons will take you to the home pages for more selections.
Age of Mammals Diorama More Diorama and pages

Moropus (sloth foot) lived during the early Miocene epoch was found in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa. It belonged to an ancient  herbivore group called the chalicotheres. They were Perissodactyl (odd-toed) mammals the group that includes rhinos, horses and tapirs.  Chalicotheres are divided into two groups the knuckle walkers and those like Moropus who walked flat footed.  They probably did not live in large groups. Although not numerous Chalicotheres survived until the last Ice Age or perhaps longer.  Some Siberian tomb painting contain an animal that looks much like a Chalicothere.    Amphicyonid bear dogs ranged from small and dog-like to very large and more like bears in Asia and North America.   They ranged the grasslands of Asia and North America dying out before the end of the Miocene.

Starlux Mororpus and Ral Patha amphicyonid Daphoenus.  The Daphoenus figure looks a little too dog like and might be a better match for Hemicyodon as seem in the The Simon and Schuster Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Creatures.   Most reconstructions have Daphoenus looking more bearish.

 

Archaeotherium lived in from the Early Oligocene to Early Miocene North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Wyoming. This pig like animals was omnivorous and it thought to have cached food for later use. Camels were on the menu.
  Daeodon formerly Dinohyus (terrible pig) was about the size of a bull the last of the entelodonts.  Fossil teeth found fit the bite marks found on the bones of Moropus.  While scavenging is the most likely explanation active predation can't be ruled out for the large aggressive omnivores

 

 

 
From Royal Saskatchewan Museum in Regina, Saskatchewan diorama. Picture by Sean Bell.   Dinohyus from the Nabisco premium series made by Lido. These are custom painted the originals came in either silver or gold.  Recasts used in gumball machines came in a variety of colors.

Deinotherium (terrible beast) had downwards pointing tusks that seem to have been used for stripping tree bark. Extinct genus of elephant like mammals. Tusks were developed from the lower jaw instead of the upper as in modern elephants. The skull was more primitive, and its size is much larger, than in the living elephant. Deinotheres have been found in the Miocene and early Pliocene strata of Europe and Asia. The last of them linger on into the Pleistocene of Africa.

Deinotherium from Bullyland.
Gomphotherium was a 4-tusked, primitive mastodont that was about 10 ft (3 m) tall. This plant-eater mammal lived during the early Miocene until the early Pliocene.  It lived in Africa, North America, Asia and Europe.  It is seen as the ancestor to mastodons, mammoths and modern elephants.  Gompotherium seems to have shared the savannah habitats with the larger Deinotherium so perhaps they had different feeding styles. 
 
Platybelodon in Europe and Asia and it's close relatives in North America developed specialized feeding strategy in the Late Miocene.  The shovel tuskers suffered the fate common to specialist and became extinct relatively quickly. Masodonts die out in North America in the Early Pleistocene as the mammoths arrive from Asia.
 

Bullyland Gomphotherium.

 
Platybelodon in resin by Salas donated by Alchemy works.

Anchitherium clerencei  the largest of the Early Miocene horses. Originating in North America and spreading to Asia. Horses evolve and diversify. Many are high crowned browsers with 3 toes like Anchitherium. North America eventually has a wide range of Horses, zebras and onagers. The 3 toed horses finally fade out in the early Pleistocene.   Machairodus was a genus of large saber toothed cats. Different species varied in size, and have been found in Africa, Europe, Asia, and North America. IT here are two basic types of Machairodus: an evolved and a more primitive type. The more primitive types, such as the European M. aphanistus, more closely resemble the typical sabertooths like Smilodon while the more evolved resemble Homotherium  having a hyena like stance. There were three types of Early Miocene horses--the tiny and extremely rare  Archaeohippus blackbergi, about as large as a medium-sized dog of ninety five pounds, the  larger Parahippus leonensis,  at  around 160 pounds and the larger still Anchitherium clerencei.
 
Anchitherium from Bullyland.
  Starlux Saber toothed cat Machairodus.  The Quagga a recently extinct mammal, closely related to zebras is  from the Friends of the Earth  series of extinct and endangered animals represents the smaller horses of the Miocene.

 
Osteoborus first appeared during the late Miocene epoch (about 8 million years ago), and became extinct around 1.5 million years ago during the Pleistocene epoch.  It was a family of primitive dogs with robust, conical teeth quite similar to those of hyenas.  This kind of dentition is an adaptation to crushing bones.   Aepycamelus sports a very long   neck, looking much like a giraffe and inspiring an earlier name of   Alticamelus (Tall Camel). Camels were a much more varied group that today's survivors.  They had not yet become specialized to desert environments or humps.  

The long necked camel, Alticamalus eyeballs his environment.  These animals normally travel in small herds but this is a solitary specimen.   He enjoys plucking juicy leaves from the trees. Camels in North America are diverse and successful eventually spreading to South America. They begin to decline in the Early Pleistocene and become extinct in North America with most of the mega fauna.

 

Osteoborus from Ral Partha, Aepycamelus from Starlux and Nabisco
 
Riff's Lost World Starlux Alticamalus.  Custom diorama submitted by Riff Smith photo by Bob.


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