Embolotherium (Greek for "battering ram beast"); pronounced EM-bo-low-THEE-ree-um
Plains of central Asia
Late Eocene-Early Oligocene (35-30 million years ago)
Size and Weight:
About 15 feet long and 1-2 tons
Large size; broad, flat shield on snout
Embolotherium was one of the central Asian representatives of the family of large herbivorous mammals known as brontotheres ("thunder beasts"), which were ancient (and distant) cousins of the modern rhinoceros. Of all the brontotheres (which also included Brontotherium), Embolotherium had the most distinctive "horn," which actually looked more like a broad, flat shield sticking up from the end of its snout. As with all such animal accoutrements, this odd structure may have been used for display and/or to produce sounds, and it was doubtless a sexually selected characteristic as well (meaning males with more prominent nose ornaments mated with more females).