Named By: Reck - 1928.
Classification: Chordata, Mammalia, Artiodactyla, Bovidae.
Species: P. antiquus, P. howelli, P. oldowayensis, P. turkanensis.
Size: Around 3 meters long.
Known locations: Across Africa.
Time period: Very late Pliocene through to the end of the Pleistocene, though some may have survived in Africa to as recently as 2000BC.
Fossil representation: Remains of around 100 individuals, quite possibly more.
the name Pelorovis describes a sheep-like
creature, Pelorovis is
actually thought to have been more like an African buffalo. At three
meters long and with bulls possibly being up to and even beyond two
thousand kilograms in weight, Pelorovis is a
contender for one of the
largest bovine mammals to ever walk the Earth.
Aside from the huge body, Pelorovis species are famous for their immense horns. The horn cores of these are as much as one meter long, though it’s important to remember that this is just the core. In life the horns would have been covered by keratin, the same Protein that human finger and toe nails are made from, but a substance that very rarely fossilises. With a covering of keratin surrounding the horn core, the total length of the horns may have been as much as two meters long depending upon the species. In addition the way the horns curve depends upon the species in question.
For example the horns of Pelorovis antiquus curved down before pointing upwards similar to a water buffalo (Bubalus) whereas Pelorovis oldowayensis had horns that were the opposite, arching up before curving round to point towards the ground. Others like Pelorovis turkanensis were similar to P. oldowayensis, though not as strongly curved so that they pointed more towards the sides.