Dang, everything was absolutely massive back then. If I saw a herbivore the size of a house grazing out in my backyard I would have freaked. From the Discovery Channel's website:
Imagine a creature that looks like a horse, with a camel's fur and a long, muscular nose the size of a boot. This bizarre-looking animal is a member of a group of now-extinct mammals called litopterns, which have only been found in South America. No one knows how they are related to other mammals; until more fossils are found, they are assumed to be distant relatives of our familiar hoofed animals.
LIVED: 7 million — 20,000 years ago
SIZE: 5 feet at the shoulder
FACT: Herbivorous, browsing on trees
MEANING: Long llama (Long llama is loooooooong. Sorry, it had to be done.)
CLOSEST LIVING RELATIVE: None, died out
RANGE: South America
( MOARCollapse )
It is seriously a good thing that our ancestors didn't show up sooner with these sloths the size of buses wandering around. I don't care if it eats plants and only sometimes meat, I would have shit myself. EDIT: I looked at the dates again and it appears that our ancestors were in fact around at the same time as said sloths. Commence pants-shittery.
It's pretty amazing though how even mammals benefited from the temperatures and had to shrink up so much as time went on in order to be evolutionarily successful.