extinct genus of mammals (mammal) of the late Pliocene (Pliocene Epoch) and the Pleistocene epochs (Pleistocene Epoch) (about 2.6 million to 1,800 years ago) in South America. The genus is representative of an extinct family of animals, the Toxodontidae. This family was at its most diverse during the Miocene Epoch (23–5.3 million years ago). About 2.75 metres (9 feet) long and about 1.5 metres (5 feet) high at the shoulder, Toxodon resembled a short rhinoceros. Nasal openings on top of the skull indicate a large, well-developed snout. The incisors were separated from each other by large gaps and from the cheek teeth by even larger gaps. The massive skeleton suggests that it supported a large, heavy body. The feet were short and broad and had three functional toes; the major stresses were directed through the axis of the central toe.

      Toxodon was probably the most common large hoofed mammal in South America during the Pleistocene Epoch. On his famous voyage aboard HMS Beagle, English naturalist Charles Darwin (Darwin) collected fossil specimens of Toxodon, which were subsequently described by British anatomist and paleontologist Richard Owen (Owen, Sir Richard). Because Toxodon indicated that the fossil mammals of South America were different from those of Europe, it figured prominently in late 19th-century debates about evolution.

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  • Toxodon — Skelett von Toxodon im Bernardino Rivadavia Natural Sciences Museum Zeitraum Pliozän bis Pleistozän 2,6 bis 0,013 Mio. Jahre …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Toxodon — Tox o*don, n. [Gr. to xon a bow + ?, ?, a tooth.] (Paleon.) A gigantic extinct herbivorous mammal from South America, having teeth bent like a bow. It is the type of the order {Toxodonta}. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Toxŏdon — Toxŏdon, amerikanische vorweltliche Thiergattung, welche zwischen den Vielhufern u. Flossensäugthieren gestanden, von welchem aber nur der Schädel bekannt ist, der an Größe dem des Flußpferdes gleicht …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Toxodon —   Toxodontes Toxodon platensis …   Wikipedia Español

  • Toxodon — Toxodon …   Wikipédia en Français

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  • toxodon — (entrée créée par le supplément) (to kso don) s. m. Nom d un animal fossile. •   Parmi les pachydermes [fossiles du Brésil], il [M. Liais] cite le toxodon, variété d hippopotame, Journ. offic. 30 nov. 1873, p. 7337, 1re col.. ÉTYMOLOGIE    Du… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • Toxodon — …   Useful english dictionary

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