Home > Uncategorized > The beast of Balouchistan!

The beast of Balouchistan!

Most of you may have read or heard about dinosaurs like Tyrannosaurus, Triceratops and

Indricotherium

Pterodactyl. But today I’m going to write about a very interesting ancient animal, about which you probably don’t know. This animal is called “Paraceratherium” or “Baluchitherium” meaning “Beast of Baluchistan” (named after Baluchistan a province of Pakistan). It is also known as “Indricotherium”. The reason I’m writing about it in my blog is that the bones of this animal were first found in Baluchistan, Pakistan by Sir Clive Forster Cooper in 1910. The most interesting thing about this ancient animal is that it is the largest land mammal that ever walked on Earth. It was creature was hornless and

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A complete skeleton of Baluchitherium

rhinoceros-like, measuring 21 feet from nose to tail and 18 feet tall, and weighed approximately the mass of four elephants. It belongs to an extinct family called “Hyracodontidae”. Baluchitherium roamed near the Bugti hills of Baluchistan nearly 30 million years ago and was extinct nearly 14.3 million years ago, the reason of which is still a mystery same as the extinction of dinosaur. There is something that I would like to mention here, that Baluchitherium is not a dinosaur, as all dinosaurs are reptiles while Baluchitherium is a mammal.

Discovery of Baluchitherium:

Sir Clive Forster Cooper’s discovery:-

Sir Clive Forster Cooper a well-

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A photograph of Sir Clive Forester Cooper taken in 1945

known British paleontologist was the first man to discover the largest known mammal, he named it Baluchitherium. He found the remains of this massive creature during an expedition in Baluchistan in Chitarwata Formation of the Bugti Hills, Balochistan in 1910. He was the first to describe the genus Paraceratherium in 1911. He also described the genus Baluchitherium in 1913. Both of which are now considered synonyms of each other i.e. both are the same. After his discovery, the subject remain close for nearly a century,  no paleontologist had been authorized to investigate in the Bugti hills between 1910 and 1995 until a French paleontologist, Jean-Loup Welcomme came to Pakistan.

Expedition of Jean-Loup Welcomme:-

A famous French paleontologist

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Welcomme with some Baluch people

Jean-Loup Welcomme and a team of three other French paleontologists from the University of Montpellier, Dr. Pierre-Olivier Antoine, Dr. Laurent Marivaux and Dr. Gregoire Metais, along with their colleagues from the University of Sindh in Jamshoro came to Baluchistan, to conduct their research and excavations of Baluchitherium in 1997. After receiving permission from late Nawab Akbar Bugti, Welcomme followed the footsteps of Sir Clive Forster Cooper, reached Bugti hills where he discovered a nearly complete skeleton of Baluchitherium in 1999. By 2003, Welcomme had found a large quantity of bones of Baluchitherium and other ancient creatures.

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Skeleton of Baluchitherium discovered by Welcomme

Body description:-

Paraceratherium is regarded as the largest land mammal known, with the largest species having an estimated mean adult mass of 12 tons and the largest individual known estimated at 4.8 m (16 ft.) tall at the shoulders and 18 tons in weight

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A size comparison

Diet:-

It was an herbivore that stripped leaves from trees with its downward-pointing, tusk-like upper teeth that occluded forward-pointing lower teeth. It had a long, low, hornless skull and vaulted frontal and nasal bones. Its front teeth were reduced to a single pair of incisors in either jaw, but they were conical and so large that they looked like small tusks. The upper incisors pointed straight downwards, while the lower ones jutted outwards. The upper lip was evidently extremely mobile. The neck was very long, the trunk robust, and the limbs long and thick, column-like. Its type of dentition, its mobile upper lip and its long legs and neck indicate that it was a browser that lived on the leaves and twigs of trees and large shrubs.

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  1. Aslam Yar Khatak
    December 15, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    Amazing!I didn’t know that.

    • December 16, 2012 at 11:47 am

      Thanks. Glad to be of some help. 🙂

  2. Irfan Ul Haq
    December 16, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    O man! That’s really awesome. Very good share!

  3. December 16, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    very well information provided

    • December 16, 2012 at 9:08 pm

      Thanks for your response, its much appreciated

  1. December 19, 2012 at 10:34 am

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