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Prehistoric Mammals Theme Unit
Ice Age Mammals: The Uintatherium



Ice Age Mammals: The Uintatherium
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.93

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    frontal, fossil, herbivore, horn-like, present, rhinoceros, early, upper, bitter, feature, concave, defense, elephant-like, believe, several, between
     content words:    Fort Bridger, Utah Field House, Natural History State Park Museum


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Ice Age Mammals: The Uintatherium
By Joyce Fursteanu
  

1     In 1872, fossil remains of the Uintatherium (pronounced you-IN-tah-THEER-ee-um) were found near Fort Bridger, Wyoming. Two different parties were searching for fossils in the area during that summer. Each found different fossils of a large, extinct mammal believed to have lived during the early to middle portions of the Eocene period (45-40 million years ago). Because each wanted to take credit for the find, these remains were part of a bitter "bone war" between the two parties for several years. The scientists could not even agree on what kind of animal it was. The bones were ultimately determined to be those of a Uintatherium.
 
2     The Uintatherium was a large, browsing mammal. It has been compared to the present day rhinoceros. It was about thirteen feet long and weighed about two tons. It walked on four thick, elephant-like legs.
 
3     The skull of the Uintatherium was its most unusual feature. It has been described as large and thick as well as flat and concave. Scientists believe it had a very small brain.

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Prehistoric Mammals Theme Unit
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