The Native Ungulates of South America (Condylarthra and Meridiungulata)

  • Thomas Defler
Part of the Topics in Geobiology book series (TGBI, volume 42)


The ancient, native ungulates were another fascinating group, which sadly has become totally extinct, but that we now understand were related to the northern Perissodactyla or odd-toed ungulates. These animals apparently evolved from northern condylarths (primitive ungulates) that somehow made it to South America. Evolution produced five orders of quite bizarre ungulates, some more like rodents than like ungulates, but others, toward the end of the Neogene in the Pleistocene, had become large, rhinoceros-like Toxodon and camel-like Machrochenia. Although there is much to learn about the many species of South American meridiungulates (native ungulates), many forms are known. Some of the latest forms are known to have been hunted by Early humans, who finally arrived in South America.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Defler
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyNational University of Colombia, BogotaBogotaColombia

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