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Prehistoric Mammals Theme Unit
Ice Age Mammals: The "Terrible Pig" Dinohyus



Ice Age Mammals: The "Terrible Pig" Dinohyus

A Short Reader

Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   8.59

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    best-preserved, entelodonts, warthog-like, characteristic, apex, rooting, mounted, scavenger, imagine, visible, massive, level, similar, between, during, which
     content words:    Miocene Epoch, Ice Age, North America, Agate Fossil Beds National Monument, Nebraska State Museum, Carnegie Museum, Comparative Zoology, Harvard University


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Ice Age Mammals: The "Terrible Pig" Dinohyus
By Joyce Furstenau
  

1     Imagine a pig the size of a buffalo. The Dinohyus, which means "terrible hog or pig," also called a Daeodon, was a large warthog-like mammal that lived during the Miocene Epoch of the Ice Age. It was part of a group of mammals called entelodonts. Entelodonts are extinct Ice Age mammals that are distantly related to modern pigs.
 
2     The Dinohyus was one of the largest of the entelodonts. Fossil skulls of the Dinohyus were almost a meter long. Its jaws were filled with massive, crushing teeth that included flaring tusks. Its brain case was very small, about the size of an orange. It stood between six and seven feet at the shoulder. It was believed to have a body length of around ten feet. Its legs were long, and it had cloven hooves. The hooves had two toes touching the ground and two useless toes higher up the leg. Its most visible characteristic was the heavy, bony lumps on either side of its head that were similar to a warthog's.

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Prehistoric Mammals Theme Unit
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