Barylambda was a pantodont mammal from the middle to late Paleocene of North America, 58.7-55.8 million years ago. It became extinct with the advent of Coryphodon, a larger, more advanced pantodont.
Barylambda was a heavyset, 5-toed plantigrade. It was about 2.5 m (8 ft) long and weighed around 650 kg, about the size of a pony. It probably resembled a large tapir or rhinoceros with a small, short head, massive body and long, thick, well-developed tail and massive, bear-like legs. The short, broad feet had five digits. The tail vertebrae were massive. Barylambda retained clavicles (collarbones), a primitive feature for hoofed mammals.The animal may have been able to rear up and support itself on the hind legs and tail to reach higher for food. It was probably herbivorous and had generalized teeth, grinding wear and lack of shearing blades on the molars and well-developed canines only in males. Its size probably protected it from carnivores. The animal probably lived like a tapir, browsing on foliage and soft vegetation, which could be easily chewed . There were three species .
1.Gingerich & Childress Jr. (1983); 2) Dixon (2008)
- Dixon, Dougal (2008). World Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs & Prehistoric Creatures: The Ultimate Visual Reference To 1000 Dinosaurs And Prehistoric Creatures Of Land, Air And Sea ... And Cretaceous Eras (World Encyclopedia)
- Gingerich, P.D.& C.G Childress Jr. (1983): Barylambda churchilli, a new species of Pantolambdidae (Mammalia, Pantodonta) from the Late Paleocene of Western North America. Museum of Paleontology, The University of Michigan