Answer Monday

Last week on Fossil Friday, I suggested that the fossil in question might come from a grazer that once pranced across what is now Nevada. What was it? Well, it came from the antilocapridae family.

From the University of Texas:

“The family is endemic to North America, with one living species (Antilocapra americana). However, its fossil record is relatively rich from the Miocene until the end of the Pleistocene when several genera became extinct.

Although sometimes placed in the Bovidae, current practice by most is to keep the Pronghorn in its own family. They share with the bovids the possession of non-deciduous horn cores of bone that are covered by the keratinous horn in life; they differ from all bovids, however, in that the horn sheath is deciduous and branched. The living Pronghorn is exquisitely adapted for cursorial life, including highly successful respiratory and circulatory systems that allows long-distant rapid locomotion. The Pronghorn is considered to be North America's fastest terrestrial mammal. The morphological characters of the extinct Pleistocene forms show osteological adaptations mostly similar to those of the Pronghorn. Molars are highly hypsodont in our representatives, although the modern Pronghorn is not primarily a grazer.”

Thanks to those who played this week. Stay tuned for more fossil fun this Friday!

Minda Berbeco
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Minda Berbeco is the former Programs and Policy Director at NCSE.

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