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65 million until 10,000 years ago. During that time numerous types of animals inhabited the area that is now the midwestern United States. Most of these types of animals are no longer found in the area. Some of these animals are extinct. Others are still around but no longer occur in the area. Most of what we know about these animals comes from sites that date between 40,000 and 10,000 years ago (the last Ice Age). This is because sites older than 40,000 years old are less common than younger sites. The following is a list of some of the types of animals that lived in what is now the midwestern U.S. during the Pleistocene but no longer do. Mammals
Carnivora (lions, tigers, and bears)
o o o o o o
Short-faced Skunk (extinct) Dire W olf (extinct) Short-faced Bear (extinct) American Lion (extinct) Jaguar Saber-toothed Cats (extinct)
Rodentia (squirrels, rats, mice and beavers)
o o o o o o o
Giant Beaver (extinct) Northern Grasshopper Mouse Northern Bog Lemming Mountain (Heather) Phenacomys Boreal Redback Vole Yellow-cheeked Vole Porcupine
Insectivora (shrews and moles) o Arctic Shrew (still found in MN and WI) o Northern W ater Shrew (still found in MN and W I) o Starnose Mole (still found in MN and WI) o Hairytail Mole Edentata (sloths, armadillos, and anteaters)
Lagomorpha (rabbits and hares)
Snowshoe Hare (still found in MN and WI)
Perissodactlya (horses, rhinos, and tapirs)
Horses (extinct in North America) Tapirs (extinct in North America)
Ground Sloths (extinct) Beautiful Armadillo (extinct)
Artiodactyla (deer, cows, sheep, camels, and pigs)
Peccaries (extinct) Stag-moose (extinct)
and a long snout.whales.8 million years ago to 10. about the same time that the first dinosaurs appeared. from frozen. they were mammal-like reptiles. Ice Age Mammals During the last Ice Age. The pelycosaurs . mastodons. the synapsid gait became more upright and tail length decreased. Flat cheek teeth were perhaps used to crush bones. interesting mammals. they lived from the late Permian through the Triassic period). Mammals are advanced synapsids.000 years ago) ANDREWSARCHUS (pronounced ANN-drew-SARK-us) Andrewsarchus (named for paleontologistRoy Chapman Andrews. apes. Some modern-day mammals include people. they were first found in 1923 by Kan Chuen Pao. cats. are warm-blooded.o o Bison Musk Ox (some types extinct) Proboscidea (elephants) o o American Mastodon (extinct) Mammoths (extinct) (like Dimetrodon and Edaphosaurus) were early synapsids. sharp teeth and clawed feet. elephants. This giant creodont was heavily-built and wolf-like. like the saber-toothed cats. it was the largest creodont. carnivorous mammal that lived during the early Eocene Epoch. These animals have long since gone extinct and are known mostly from fossils. The cynodonts led to the true mammals. animals distinguished by having extra openings in the skull behind the eyes. there were many large. and horses. It walked on four short legs and had a long body. therapsids. and even from ancient cave drawings. giant ground sloths. a long tail. roughly 45 million years ago. Over time. What Is a Mammal? Mammals are animals that have hair. Synapsids include the mammals. the pelycosaurs. and mammoths. It had large. mummified carcasses. this opening gave the synapsids stronger jaw muscles and jaws (the jaw muscles were anchored to the skull opening). and nourish their young with milk. Mammals From the Pleistocene Epoch (and Some Important Ancestors) (1. Mammals evolved during the Triassic period. dogs. mice. It was about 13 feet (4 m) long and had a skull over three feet (1 m) long. Later synapsids include the therapsids and the cynodonts (with multicusped postcanine teeth. who led the expedition on which it was found) was a primitive. and their ancestors. Andrewsarchus may be an ancestor of the whales. and cynodonts. Fossils have been found in Mongolia.
It was one of the largest land mammals.3 m) long. This plant-eater was about 11 feet (3. small ears. The skull was 4. This subspecies of lion lived in Europe (as far north as Denmark) until historical times. Classification: Suborder Ancylopoda.huge feline. It had long hair.5 m) tall. It belongs to the family Rhinocerotids. COELODONTA Woolly Rhino Coelodonta. herbivorous mammal from the Miocene. It had four teeth. There are cave drawing of this CHALICOTHERIUM Chalicotherium was an early. two tusk-like front teeth in the top jaw. This extinct ungulate (hoofed mammal) had three toes on each foot and lived from the Oligocene to the early Miocene in central Asia (Pakistan).000 years ago in the Balkans (southeastern Europe). and a stocky body. thick legs.18 tons (16 tonnes). hornless rhinoceros. Family Hyrachyidae (oddtoed ungulates between tapirs and rhinos).5 m) long. This forest browser was an ungulate with large. 18 feet (5. This herbivore ate leaves and twigs from the tops of trees. extinct. Its fossils have been found in Europe (Britain) and . the lower one larger than the one between its eyes (about 3 feet (1 m) long). pointing down and two on the bottom pointing forwards.5 ft (3. Fossils have been found in Europe (Kazakhstan). the last of these huge mammals lived until about 2. It was 25 percent bigger than lions today and was up to about 11. the woolly rhino. and weighed about 17 . is from the Pleistocene epoch and survived the last ice age. It had two horns on its snout.5 m) long. short.25 feet (1. It probably hunted in a manner similar to that of today's lions. CAVE LION The cave lion (Panthera leo spelaea) was probably the biggest lion that ever lived. It may have been able to rear up on its hind legs to eat leaves high up in trees. Classification: Order Perissodactyla (odd-toed ungulates). which includes modernday rhinos. clawed feet (instead of hooves). BALUCHITHERIUM Baluchitherium (now called Indricotherium) is a large. Adults were about 26 feet (8 m) long. Family Chalicotheriidae.
The neck was short and stout and there was a hump on the shoulders formed by spines along the backbone. Doedicurus was 13 feet (4 m) long and 5 feet (1. South America. armored mammal had four short legs.5 m) tall. powerfullymuscular jaws. walking in a flat-footed manner (unlike modern cats. powerful jaws. Family Entelodontidae (large. Order Artiodactyla (eventoed ungulates). had three eyelids. This extinct. like modern cats. strong canine teeth. Its shape is known from prehistoric cave drawings! Family Rhinocerotidae. and a long tail. Classification: Family Felidae. Entelodon and Eoentelodon). Subfamily Machairodontinae. walking on their toes). Fossils have been found in western North America (including Battle Creek. It was about 6 feet (2 m) tall at the shoulders and was the biggest and among the last of the Entelodonts. DINOHYUS Dinohyus (meaning "terrible pig") was a large. a pair of knob-like protrusions on the back of the lower jaw (in the cheek area). USA). including roots) had a long DOEDICURUS Doedicurus (family glyptodontidae) was an ancient armadillo that lived during the Pleistocene. Dinohyus. pig-like mammals from the Oligocene to early Miocene. the third one being a nictitating membrane (or haw). a small brain (in a 7 in). skull (over 1 m = 3 feet long). primitive cat from the Oligocene (about 40 million years ago). DINICTIS Dinictis was a small. which was more like modern-day cats. Megachoerus. Dinictis may have preyed upon Indricotherium. a small braincase. blunt incisors. Its long legs probably made it a fast runner. short legs. Dinictis evolved into pseudailurus. Fossils have been found in Patagonia. This glyptodont had a long tail with a mace at the end. This extinct. large canine teeth. These herbivores (plant-eaters) may have . sabertooth cat had a sleek body. Genus Dinohyus. Genus Dinictis. South Dakota. with no teeth in the front and grinding teeth farther back in the jaws. Dinictis. and wide.Asia (eastern Siberia). which are probably much faster.digitigrade. roughly 24 million years ago. Dinictis was plantigrade. Dinictis was very similar to Hoplophoneus (the ancestor of smilodon) except the canine teeth were less exaggerated. This herbivore (it ate plants. including Archaeotherium. warthog-like hoofed mammal that lived during the early Miocene. Classification: Class Mammalia (mammals).
GLYPTODON Glyptodon (family glyptodontidae) was one of the largest Pleistocene armadillos. (It used to be known as Baluchitherium since fossils were found in Baluchistan province. and Kansas. USA (North America). two tusk-like front teeth in the top jaw pointed downwards and two on the bottom pointed forwards. Genus Gomphotherium. The skull was 4. the front legs each had five clawed toes and the rear legs had hoof-like feet. Pakistan (Asia). a short tail. Order Proboscidea. It lived from the Pliocene through the Pleistocene (between 2 million and 15. Classification: Class Mammalia.3 m) long. It was one of the biggest land animal ever to live on Earth (Paraceratherium was even bigger). It had a short snout and powerful jaws with no teeth in the front but grinding teeth farther back. helmet-like head armor. and rings of bony armor on its short tail.5 m) tall. It had a long lower jaw with two parallel tusks. Pakistan). Fossils have been found in Kenya (Africa).25 feet (1. It was about 10 feet (3. long trunk. and four column-like legs. France (Europe). hornless rhinoceros with relatively long legs. relatively small ears. This herbivore ate leaves and twigs from the tops of trees.000 years ago). ELASMOTHERIUM Elasmotherium was a rhinoceros-like mammal that lived in the steppes of Eurasia during the Pleistocene. Suborder Elephantoidea. This extinct ungulate (hoofed mammal) had three toes on each foot and lived from the Oligocene to the early Miocene (toughly 40-26 million years ago). 18 feet (5. This elephant-like mammal had a INDRICOTHERIUM Indricotherium is an extinct.5 m) tall. primitive mastodont that was about 10 ft (3 m) tall. This car-sized herbivore (plant-eater) was well-armored. Fossils have . It had four short legs. Adults were about 26 feet (8 m) long.been preyed upon by saber-toothed cats and borhyaenids. Fossils have been found in Argentina. South America.18 tons (16 tonnes). GOMPHOTHERIUM Gomphotherium was a 4-tusked. having dome-shaped body armor. This plant-eater mammal lived during the early Miocene until the early Pliocene (roughlty 24 to 5 million years ago). It had four teeth. and weighed about 17 .3 m) long and 5 feet (1.
a long proboscis (nose). MAMMOTH Mammoths (scientific name Mammuthus) are extinct herbivorous mammals that had long. This iceage mammal had three hook-like claws on each hand. flat. (nose). and for digging in the snow for food. These antlers were shed yearly. large ears and lived throughout the world. A few species lived longer. is the prehistoric Irish elk (more closely related to the fallow deer than the elk). and a thick. They are closely related to modern-day Indian elephants (they have common ancestor). Megaceros dates from the late Pleistocene (from about 1. They lived until about 10. short tail. for protection. Some tusks were straight. slow-moving herbivore (plant-eater) with peg-like teeth. its name means "great beast. Order Artiodactyla.000 years ago). some were curved. Family Hyrachyidae (odd-toed ungulates between tapirs and rhinos). MASTODON Mastodons are large. a sloping back. grinding molars. Class Mammalia. chewing teeth.000 years ago. and were mostly taller. the longest were up to 13 feet (4 m) long. and large ears. millions of years after the dinosaurs went extinct. It was the biggest deer that ever lived.been found in Asia. a long proboscis MEGATHERIUM (pronounced MEG-ah-THEER-ee-um) Megatherium was the largest giant ground sloth. It was preyed upon by giant cats and wolves and it was hunted by early humans. Much of our knowledge of mammoths is from cave drawings and from mummified mammoths found in Siberian ice! Mammoths had longer tusks than Mastodons. dense hair and underfur.000 years ago. elephant-like. it was over 10 feet (3 m) tall and had enormous antlers 11 feet (3. The tusks were used in mating rituals. They lived from about 2 million years ago to 9. herbivorous mammals that had tusks. powerful jaws.5 million to 11. They evolved during the Oligocene epoch and have common ancestors with the mammoths and elephants. bulky. It was primarily a quadruped (walked on four legs). a wider head.3 m) across (the largest of any deer). Large herds lived in what is now Europe and western Asia." Megatherium was a huge. a trunk with two finger-like projections. MEGACEROS Megaceros (=Megaloceros) giganteus (meaning "gigantic large horn"). It may have eaten leaves from the tops of trees . Classification: Order Perissodactyla (odd-toed ungulates). very long tusks. extinct. Family Cervidae. Two of its enemies were the carnivores Hyaenodon and Dinictis.
This herbivore ate leaves and twigs from the tops of trees. It was about 20 feet (6 m) long and weighed roughly 3-4 tons. Classification: Superorder Ferae.000 years ago). 18 feet (5. using its tail to balance. It had primitive teeth that jutted forward and two tusk-like incisors. Its skull was over 3 ft (1 m) long. It lived during the Pleistocene epoch in what is now South America.3 m) across (the largest of any deer). This meat-eater may have been a scavenger and/or an active hunter. Genus Megatherium) MEGISTOTHERIUM Megistotherium was a huge Hyaenodont (not a dinosaur. two tusk- .5 m) tall.25 feet (1. Suborder Moeritherioides. The skull was 4. but an early. Fossils have been found in northern Africa (Egypt and Libya).3 m) long. It was preyed upon by giant cats and wolves and it was hunted by early humans. Owen in 1856. Family Cervidae. Megatherium was named by R. Family Hyaenodont. It had four teeth. Order Artiodactyla. Savage in 1973. living from the late Eocene until the PARACERATHERIUM Paraceratherium (similar to Indricotherium) is a large. hornless rhinoceros. This swamp dwelling herbivore appeared roughly 53 million years ago. Megaceros dates from the late Pleistocene (from about 1.5 million to 11. Large herds lived in what is now Europe and western Asia. It was the biggest deer that ever lived. four powerful legs and big feet. a short trunk-like upper lip. MEGACEROS Megaceros (=Megaloceros) giganteus (meaning "gigantic large horn"). extinct. Order Creodonta. is the prehistoric Irish elk (more closely related to the fallow deer than the elk). MOERITHERIUM Moeritherium is an extinct mammal and may be the ancestor of all elephants. Classification: Order Proboscidea. and weighed about 15-20 tons. Megistotherium was named by Robert J. (Cohort (many grouped orders) Edentata. It had a long skull. Fossils have been found in northern and western Africa. going extinct about 11. Megatherium was the size of an elephant. the size of pig. it was over 10 feet (3 m) tall and had enormous antlers 11 feet (3. Family Megatheriidae. These antlers were shed yearly.while standing upright on its hind legs. a creodont) from the Miocene Epoch (about 24 million years ago). Adults were about 26 feet (8 m) long. Moeritherium was about 3 ft (1 m) long and weighed about 450 pounds (200 kg).000 years ago. It was one of the largest land mammals. early Oligocene. Class Mammalia. G. hyenalike mammal. the first Megatherium fossil was found in Brazil in 1789.
Its one foot (30 cm) long skull had 2 huge canine teeth (they were serrated and oval in cross-section) in powerful jaws that opened to an angle of about 120°. pointing down and two on the bottom pointing forwards.like front teeth in the top jaw. it has no living descendants. was a fierce predator about 4-5 feet (1.2-1. . Males had large. neogaeus in Argentina). Classification: Order Perissodactyla (odd-toed ungulates). Fossils have been found in Pliocene to early Pleistocene rocks from both North and South America and other Northern continents. Examples include: Smilodon (the largest and most powerful. and Machairodus (lion-sized and common. UINTATHERIUM (pronounced you-IN-tah-THEER-ee-um) Uintatherium was a huge. Eusmilus (leopard-sized with very long teeth. America). Classification: family Nimravidae (early cats). It also had very strong jaw and neck muscles that let smilodon stab prey with its deadly teeth. from the Oligocene). Paraceratherium was first found by English paleontologist C. Family Hyrachyidae (odd-toed ungulates between tapirs and rhinos). It may have eaten thickskinned prey like mastodons (hairy. It had a short. from the Paleocene). and other thick-skinned animals. Forster Cooper in Pakistan in 1910. from the Oligocene).5 m) long. rhinoceroslike mammal (not a dinosaur) from the Eocene in North America. SMILODON Smilodon. the largest saber-toothed cat (or saber-toothed tiger). Hoplophoneus (with short teeth. It had 3 pairs of bony knobs protruding from its snout and a very small brain. extinct elephants) and bison.25 tons (2 tonnes). SABER-TOOTHED CATS These extinct cats are notable for 2 huge canine teeth among other sharp teeth in powerful jaws. This extinct ungulate (hoofed mammal) had three toes on each foot and lived from the Oligocene to the early Miocene (roughly 30 million years ago) in central Asia (Pakistan). californicus in California) and South America (S. rhinoceros. Uintatherium was 13 feet (4 m) long and weighed about 2. bobbed tail. Thousands of fossils have been found in late Pleistocene tar pits and rocks from bothNorth America (S. from N. They also had very strong jaw and neck muscles that let them stab prey with their deadly teeth. They ate mammoth.
and for digging in the snow of the ice ages for grass and other food. The tusks were used for protection.downwards-pointing canine teeth. Europe.75 tonnes). WOOLLY MAMMOTH Woolly Mammoths (scientific name Mammuthus primigenius) are extinct herbivorous mammals that had long. This herbivore lived in forests and ate leaves and soft plants. in interspecies dominance. a long proboscis (nose).9 m) tall at the shoulder and weighed about 3 tons (2. 9.5 feet (3. dark black hair and underfur.5 feet (2. They lived in the tundras of Asia. and North America. They were about 11. Much of our knowledge of mammoths is from cave drawings found in France and Spain and from mummified mammoths found in Siberian ice! (Classification: Family Elephantidae) . curved tusks. long. It walked on 4 thick legs and had elephant-like feet. It was preyed upon by packs of the doglike Synoplotherium. and large ears. dense.000 years ago). a fatty hump. millions of years after the dinosaurs went extinct. They lived from the Pleistocene to the early Holocene epoch (about 10. They are closely related to modern-day Indian elephants.5 m) long.