Giant Land Mammals

Raeconicus (
3 Jan 95 21:46:26 GMT


I'm a total amateur in this subject but I would like to find out about
the giant mammals which I've occasionally heard about on tv,
documentaries etc. I understand these lived during the Miocene and
largely died out by the early Pleistocene period. Some of the
descriptions sound so extraordinary, that I would like to know if
there are any reliable books on these animals and their period. To
give some idea of what I'm looking for, I'm interested in beasties
like the _Moropus_, a large horse with claws instead of hooves, or the
_Daedonon_, a giant boar, the Pelorovis, Hippo gorgops, the
Simopithecus. Have these and others all been substantiated, or was some
exaggeration involved?

I'm also interested in the giant flightless birds, sometimes thought
to be carnivorous (I believe the Moas in NZ are thought to be
descendedfrom/linked with this species?). I believe that finds of
these and other creatures (the saber tooth tiger is the most famous I
think) have been found in a number of places, including East Africa of
course. But there have also been some finds in Chile. Does any one
know of reliable works on this subject, or why these giant forms
occured and why their successors are so much smaller?

Thanks very much