Amblypoda is a taxonomic hypothesis uniting a group of extinct, herbivorous
mammals. They were considered a suborder of the primitive ungulatemammals, and have since been shown to represent a polyphyleticgroup.
The Amblypoda take their name from their short and stumpy feet, which were furnished with five toes each, and supported massive pillar-like limbs. The brain-cavity was extremely small and insignificant in comparison to the bodily mass, which was equal to that of the largest
rhinoceroses. These animals are, in fact, descendants of the small ancestral ungulates which retained all the primitive characteristics of the latter accompanied by a huge increase in body size.
The Amblypoda are confined to the
Paleoceneand Eoceneperiods, and occur in North America, Asia( Mongolia, especially) and Europe. The cheek teeth are short crowned ( brachyodont), with the tubercles more-or-less completely fused into transverse ridges, or cross-crests ( lophodonttype); and the total number of teeth is in one case the typical 44, but in another is less. The vertebraof the neck unite on nearly flat surfaces, the humerushas lost the foramen, or perforation, at the lower end, and the third trochanter to the femurmay also be wanting. In the fore-limb the upper and lower series of carpal(finger) bones scarcely alternate, but in the hind-foot the astragalus overlaps the cuboid, while the fibula, which is quite distinct from the tibia(as is the radius from the ulnain the fore-limb), articulates with both astragalus and calcaneum.
Types of amblypods
The most generalized type is "
Coryphodon", representing the family Coryphodontidae, from the lower Eocene of Europe and North America, in which there were 44 teeth, and no horn-like excrescences on the long skull, while the femur had a third trochanter. The canines are somewhat elongated, and were followed by a short gap in each jaw, and the cheek-teeth were adapted for succulent food. The length of the body reached about six feet in some cases.
In the middle Eocene formations of North America occurs the more specialized "
Uintatherium" (or "Dinoceras"), typifying the family Uintatheriidae. Uintatheres were huge creatures with long narrow skulls, of which the elongated facial portion carried three pairs of bony horn-cores, probably covered with short horns in life, the hind-pair being much the largest. The dental formula is i. 0/3, c. 1/1, p. 3/3·4, m. 3/3; the upper canines being long sabre-like weapons, protected by a descending flange on each side of the lower front jaw.
In the basal Eocene of North America, the Amblypoda were represented by extremely primitive, five-toed, small ungulates such as "
Periptychus" and " Pantolambda", each of these typifying a family. The full typical series of 44 teeth was developed in each, but whereas in the Periptychidaethe upper molars were bunodontand tritubercular, in the Pantolambdidaethey have assumed a selenodontstructure. Creodont characters are displayed in the skeleton.
Current taxonomy of animals once classified in amblypoda
Few authorities recognize Amblypoda in modern classifications. The following mammals were once considered part of this group:
Pantolambdidae(including " Pantolambda")
Coryphodontidae(including " Coryphodon")
Uintatheriidae(includes " Uintatherium", "Eobasileus", "Tetheopsis", etc. " Gobiatherium" is sometimes placed in its own family)
Periptychidae(including " Periptychus")
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Amblypoda — Am*blyp o*da, n. pl. [NL., fr. Gr. ? blunt + ?, ?, foot.] (Paleon.) A group of large, extinct, herbivorous mammals, common in the Tertiary formation of the United States. [1913 Webster] || … The Collaborative International Dictionary of English
Amblypŏda — Amblypŏda, ausgestorbene Huftiere (s. d.) … Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon
amblypoda — am·blyp·o·da … English syllables
amblypoda — amˈblipədə noun plural Usage: capitalized Etymology: New Latin, from ambly + poda in some classifications : an order or suborder of extinct ungulates found in the Eocene rocks chiefly of No. America having very small smooth brains and some of… … Useful english dictionary
amblypod — ˈamblə̇ˌpäd noun ( s) Etymology: New Latin Amblypoda : an ungulate of the order or suborder Amblypoda … Useful english dictionary
amblypodous — dəs adjective Etymology: New Latin Amblypoda + English ous : of or relating to the Amblypoda … Useful english dictionary
Pantodonta — Taxobox name = Pantodonta image caption = Barylambda fossil range = Paleocene to Oligocene regnum = Animalia phylum = Chordata subphylum = Vertebrata classis = Mammalia infraclassis = Eutheria superordo = Laurasiatheria ordo = Cimolesta subordo … Wikipedia
Huftier — Huftiere (Ungulata) ist die zusammenfassende Bezeichnung für mehrere Gruppen der Säugetiere, insbesondere der Paarhufer und der Unpaarhufer. Die Unterscheidung dieser beiden Hauptgruppen ist schon alt: Bei Unpaarhufern trägt die Mittelzehe allein … Deutsch Wikipedia
Huftiere — (Ungulata) ist die zusammenfassende Bezeichnung für mehrere Gruppen der Säugetiere, insbesondere der Paarhufer und der Unpaarhufer. Die Unterscheidung dieser beiden Hauptgruppen ist schon alt: Bei Unpaarhufern trägt die Mittelzehe allein das… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Ungulata — Huftiere (Ungulata) ist die zusammenfassende Bezeichnung für mehrere Gruppen der Säugetiere, insbesondere der Paarhufer und der Unpaarhufer. Die Unterscheidung dieser beiden Hauptgruppen ist schon alt: Bei Unpaarhufern trägt die Mittelzehe allein … Deutsch Wikipedia