Name: Pyrotherium ‭(‬Fire beast‭)‬.
Phonetic: Py-roe-fee-re-um.
Named By: Florentino Ameghino‭ ‬-‭ ‬1888.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Mammalia,‭ ‬Pyrotheria,‭ ‬Pyrotheriidae.
Species: P.‭ ‬romeroi‭ (‬type‭)‬,‭ ‬P.‭ ‬macfaddeni.‭ ‬Additionally,‭ ‬P.‭ ‬giganteum,‭ ‬P.‭ ‬planum,‭ ‬P.‭ ‬sorondoi.
Diet: Herbivore.
Size: Around‭ ‬3‭ ‬meters long,‭ ‬1.5‭ ‬meters tall at the shoulder.
Known locations: South America.
Time period: Rupelian of the Oligocene.
Fossil representation: Several specimens.

       Pyrotherium was a fairly large and heavily built quadrupedal mammal that seems to have been similar to primitive elephants that were living in other parts of the world.‭ ‬This is yet another case of convergent evolution that is displayed by South American mammals which during this time would have been living upon a continent that was isolated from the rest of the world.‭ ‬Other examples‭ ‬include‭ ‬later litopterns such a Theosodon which resembled a primitive horse and Macrauchenia which looked like a bizarre camel.
       Pyrotherium possesses highly modified incisors‭ ‬that‭ ‬grew into short tusks that extended from both upper‭ (‬two pairs‭) ‬and lower jaws‭ (‬one pair‭)‬.‭ ‬The anterior portion of the skull is also shaped so that a short trunk grew from the end of the snout.‭ ‬Together Pyrotherium would have used the tusks to root up plants and then manipulate them into its mouth with the trunk.‭ ‬Once inside the molar teeth at the back of the mouth would process the food before it was swallowed.


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