Named By: G. Bonnarelli - 1947.
Classification: Chordata, Mammalia, Artiodactyla, Anthracotheriidae, Bothriodontinae.
Species: L. petrocchii (type), L. algeriensis, L. anisae.
Size: Up to, possibly over three meters long.
Known locations: Algeria. Chad. Libya. Tunisia. Uganda.
Time period: Mid-Late Miocene.
Fossil representation: Partial remains of several individuals.
name Libycosaurus is definitely a misnomer to be
Libycosaurus was first named by Bonarelli in 1947
fossil remains were thought to be those of a dinosaur. It was only
later that it was realised that Libycosaurus was
actually a kind of
prehistoric relative of hippopotamuses. At the time of writing
Libycosaurus is known from three species, L.
algeriensis however is
only known from teeth, and for this reason this species of
Libycosaurus is often treated as dubious.
Libycosaurus is not the only mammal to have been mistaken for a reptile. Basilosaurus for example means ‘king lizard’, even though Basilosaurus is actually a whale.
- Dinosaur fossil Sahara Cyrenaic. - Journal Biology Colonial Roma, 8: 23-33. - G. Bonnarelli - 1947.
- Anthracothere dental anatomy reveals a late Miocene Chado-Libyan bioprovince. - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences U.S.A. 103 (23): 8763–7. - Fabrice Lihoreau, Jean-Renaud Boisserie, Laurent Viriot, Yves Coppens, Andossa Likius, Hassane Taisso Mackaye, Paul Tafforeau, Patrick Vignaud & Michel Brunet - 2006.
- Sexual and individual morphometric variation in Libycosaurus (Mammalia, anthracotheriidae) from the Maghreb and Libya. - Geobios 39 (2): 267-310. - Martin Pickford - 2006.
- Libycosaurus petrocchii Bonarelli, 1947, and Libycosaurus anisae (Black, 1972) (Anthracotheriidae, Mammalia): Nomenclatural and geochronological implications [Libycosaurus petrocchii Bonarelli, 1947, et Libycosaurus anisae (Black, 1972) (Anthracotheriidae, Mammalia) : implications nomenclaturales et géochronologiques]. - Annales de Paléontologie vol 94, issue 1 - Martin Pickford - 2008.
- Metric variation in Afromeryx and Libycosaurus (anthracotheriidae: Mammalia) and its utility for biochronology. - Revista Española de Paleontology, 24 (2), 107-120. ISSN 0213-6937. - Martin Pickford - 2009.