Platygonus pearcei was considered a large herbivore, and inhabited an environment that overlapped with many other large herbivores. In addition to Platygonus pearcei, the environment also supported camels, mammoths, and horses. This is believed to be the earliest assemblage of multiple large, herbivorous mammals in history. From this, it is hypothesized that this is the first time in the history of mammals when food quality and quantity of the environment was sufficient enough to support so many large, herbivorous mammal.
The environment Platygonus pearcei lived in appears to have been quite wet. The majority of fossils have been recovered from Idaho. The environment there was a broad floodplain; trees and grass grew in the areas between the many streams feeding Lake Idaho (Bjork, 1970).
Platygonus pearcei has teeth that were highly specialized for chewing on harsh vegetation (Finch et al., 1972). It is thought that they had a tolerance for a wide range of climates, mostly because the genus has been found ranging all throughout North America. Platygonus pearcei was an open forest browser, meaning that it ate primarily vegetation directly from branches as opposed to grazing on grass (Nye, 2007).
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