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Interesting Names
These animals have some of the more evocative or unique names among prehistoric wildlife.
(Mammals with a * are featured on the BBC's "Walking with Beasts")



Shortfaced bear (Arctodus simus)
Height: 5.5ft (1.7m)
Lived: 800,000 years ago - 10,000 years ago
  Also called "Bulldog Bears", these long-legged lithe animals were taller but lighter
  than their modern cousins.
Links: [ 1, 2, 3, 4, 5]


Dire Wolf (Canis dirus)
Height: 5ft (1.5m)
Lived: 1 million years ago - 10,000 years ago
  Huge cousins of the modern wolf and coyote. Once ranged over the entire
  western hemisphere.
Links: [ 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ]


Sabertooth Cat (Smilodon fatalis)*
Height: 4ft (1.2m)
Lived: 1.5 million years ago - 10,000 years ago
  Wonderfully named giant cat. One of several species cats during this time with
  massive canines. Its jaw open very wide, allowing it to literally stab its prey
  with 7-inch teeth. Sabretooths ranged throughout North and South America
Links: [ 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]


American Scimitar Cat (Homotherium serum)
Height: 3.3ft (1m)
Lived: 1.5 million years ago - 10,000 years ago
  The Scimitar cat, a smaller and rarer cousin to the Sabretooth lived in the northern
  regions of of North America, and fed on young and sick Mammoths and Mastodons.
Links: [ 1, 2, 3, 4 ]


Giant Beaver (Castoroides ohioensis)
Height: 3.3ft (1m)
Lived: 1.5 million years ago - 10,000 years ago
  Not much different from modern beavers, except in size. Castroides was a
  massive rodent, weighing up to 450 pounds. Ranged widely, but exclusively
  throughout North America.
Links: [ 1, 2 ]


Beautiful Armadillo (Dasypus bellus)
Height: 3.3ft (1m)
Lived: 1 million years ago - 10,000 years ago
  Like Castroides, this armadillo is not all that different from its modern
  cousins, except in size, and of course its lyrical name.
Links: [ 1 ]


Bone-crushing Dog (Osteoborus cynoides)
Height: 3ft (.9m)
Lived: 8 million years a go - 1.5 million years ago
  Small powerful primitive dog, built to do as its name implies,
  to crush and devour bones.
Links: [ 1 ]


American Camel (Camelops hesternus)
Height: 12ft (3.6m)
Lived: 1 million years ago - 10,000 years ago -
  Found in Alaska and the Yukon, Camelops is one of many camel
  species from this era - all of which originated in North
  America, which has no camels today outside of zoos.
Links: [ 1, 2 ]


Giraffe Camel (Aepycamelus)
Height: 10ft (3m)
Lived: 10-5 million years ago
  Another member of the Camel Family. Aepycamelus sports a very long
  neck, looking much like a giraffe and inspiring an earlier name of
  Alticamelus - literally 'Tall Camel'.
Links: [ 1 ]


Giant Irish Elk (Megalocerous giganteus)*
Height: 7ft (2.1m)
Lived: 500k- 10,000 years ago
  Megalocerous' impressive rack of antlers has been a collecters item
  for humans. Some can be found mounted in ancient European castles -
  falsely implying the owner had killed the long-extinct animal.
Links: [ 1, 2, 3 ]


Four-tusked Elephant (Gomphotheres)
Height: 8ft (2.4m)
Lived: 15-5 million years ago
  Mother Nature experimented heavily with elephant species and the arrangement
  of their tusks during this age. Gomphotheres ended up with both uppers and lowers.
Links: [ 1, 2, 3]


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