Ancylotherium 1
Ancylotherium as seened in Walking with Beasts.
Range Europe, Asia, and Africa during the Late Miocene-Pliocene
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Perissodactyla
Family Chalicotheriidae
Genus Ancylotherium
Species A. hennigi
A. pentelicum
Conservation Status

The Ancylotherium (from Greek, meaning "hooked beast") is an extinct genus of the family Chalicotheriidae, subfamily Schizotheriinae, endemic to Europe, Asia, and Africa during the Late Miocene-Pliocene (9.0—1.8 mya), existing for approximately 7.2 million years.


At two meters high at the shoulder and a weight of nearly 500 kg, Ancylotherium was relatively large, and was built rather like a goat. Like other chalicotheres, it had long forelimbs and short hind limbs. However, unlike most other chalicotheres, it did not walk on its knuckles. It was similar to the North American genus Moropus.


Ancylotherium's habitat was the savannahs of East and South Africa. As an herbivore, it evolved to browse on vegetation on the trees in the grassy savannahs of Africa. Ancylotherium's closest relatives are the other perissodactyls, or "odd-toed" ungulates, including the extinct brontotheres and modern-day mammals such as horses, tapirs, and rhinoceroses.

Fossil Distribution

Fossil remains of Ancylotherium have been found at many of the hominid fossil sites in East and South Africa, including sites in Laetoli, Olduvai and Omo.

In Popular Culture

Ancylotherium appears in the BBC's series Walking with Beasts, where CG animation was used to recreate extinct creatures of the Cenozoic era. It was also in Before We Ruled the Earth as prey to the sabre tooth Megantereon and later appears as a carcass.

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