Fossils of the Peace River

Land Animals

Many land mammals became extinct at the end of the Pleistocene. The introduction of Homo sapiens about 10,000 years ago may have caused the extinction. Man hunted many animals, including mammoths, mastodons, and horses. Their disappearance as a result of hunting is known as the Pleistocene overkill hypothesis. Climatic change most likely also played a large role in the extinction.

In the early Miocene, horses were small and had three toes. The transition from three toes to one toe was the result of a gradual reduction in the size of the side toes during the course of evolution. Equus became extinct on the North American continent, and horses did not occupy Florida again until their reintroduction by European explorers in the seventeenth century. Glyptodonts were giant armadillos about the size of a Volkswagen Beetle. The glyptodont's head, body, and tail were covered by a bony armored coat made up of hundreds of fused hexangonal scutes.

Order Proboscidea (elephant-like beasts)
Family Mammutidae
Mammut (extinct mastodon)
6" x 4.25"

Order Perissocactyla (odd-toed hoofed mammals)
Family Equidae
Equus (extinct three-toed horse)
Upper molar
1.5" x .75"

Order Edentates (edentates)
Family Glyptodontidae
Extinct Glyptotherium
Dermal plate
1.25" x .75"

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