Desmostylus has no living descendant.
Desmostylus Scientific Classification
Scientific name
Desmostylus japonicus
Desmostylus Physical Characteristics
2829 lb
Desmostylus Distribition

Desmostylus is an extinct genus of vegetarian animals that lived from the Late Oligocene to the Miocene. This large and also greatly constructed aquatic animal comes from the family Desmostylidae. It was a strange animal with an intriguing appearance and also no living offspring. This makes it hard to map its family tree or define much of its practices thoroughly.

Summary &  Dimension

Desmostylus skeleton
Desmostylus had actually specialized teeth that enabled it to eaten soft marine plants existing in its environment.

Desmostylus was a genus of vegetarian animals coming from the family Desmostylidae. They lived in between 28.4 million years earlier and also 7.3 million years ago along the western Pacific Edge, The United States And Canada, Asia, and also South America. The genus name implies “chain column,” which describes the round plan of this animal’s back teeth.

Desmostylus was a huge animal with a hippopotamus- like appearance. The biggest participant of the genus determined regarding 9 feet in size. It had an elevation of around 3.5 feet and also would certainly evaluated about 2,829 extra pounds. It had a brief tail and also 4 effective legs that finished in unguis.

Desmostylus was a mostly aquatic creature, so it had adjustments that enabled it to invest the majority of its life in water. For example, the bones of the reduced forelegs were integrated with each other right into an inflexible appendage. While this could have made strolling ashore hard, it would certainly have been excellent for swimming undersea.

The top and also reduced jaws of Desmostylus were extended and also integrated to develop onward- dealing with tusks. This shovel- designed plan of the pooches and also incisors coincides as observed in the Gomphotherium, a primitive elephant- like animal that lived throughout the Neogene duration. They likewise had 2 extra tusk- like teeth expanding below their top jaw.

Diet– What Did Desmostylus Eat?

Researchers do not have a great deal of info regarding Desmostylus‘s practices. Nevertheless, the dominating concept is that this ancient aquatic creature was a herbivore. It ate soft marine plants existing in its environment. Desmostylus‘s specialized teeth would certainly have enabled them to root up these plants for food.

Environment – When and also Where Desmostylus Lived

The fossils of the Desmostylus have actually been located in numerous places, consisting of the Pacific Edge in The United States And Canada and also in numerous places throughout Japan in Asia. This recommends an extremely variety for this creature. Researchers frequently contrast the practices and also environment of this genus to that of the modern-day- day hippopotamus. Nevertheless, both animals probably had various way of lives.

The way of living of Desmostylus would certainly have been much more comparable to that of sea lions. Provided the reduced thickness of Desmostylus‘s bones, they most likely invested the majority of their life in the superficial water of seaside areas (most likely much less than 100 feet deep). Nevertheless, there are some explorations that recommend that they could have stayed in freshwater and also tidewater atmospheres also. They were energetic swimmers that would certainly increase to the surface area rather frequently to feed. This was a variance from the way of living of various other participants of the very same family, that were mostly sluggish- swimming lower residents.

Hazards And Also Predators

We understand really little regarding the killer species that lived along withDesmostylus Nevertheless, given that this creature was a mainly unprotected animal, it might have been the target of much of the huge predators that lived around the very same duration.

Discoveries and also Fossils – Where It Was Found

Desmostylus fossils were uncovered in down payments that go back to the Oligocene and also Miocene durations. The fossil has actually been located in numerous places, consisting of Japan, the USA, and also the West shore of Mexico. Othniel Marsh initially uncovered fossils of Desmostylus in 1888 in Alameda region, The golden state.

First analyses recommended that the fossils came from Sirenians. Later on, even more fossils were revealed in Japan, and also researchers assumed they came from some ancient elephants or sea cows. Oshiwara & & Iwasaki offered the initial complete summary of a species of this genus, the Desmostylus japonicus, in 1902. Their summary was based upon a well- managed partial head fossil.

Termination – When Did It Pass away Out?

Desmostylus lived in between 28.4 million and also 7.25 million years earlier. It is vague why the animal ended up being extinct. Nevertheless, adjustments in the Desmostylus‘s environment suggest why the creature ended up being extinct. Beforehand in its life, Desmostylus was an aquatic animal. It invested the majority of its time in seaside atmospheres. Nevertheless, as brand-new animals like the sirenians (sea cows) entered the image throughout the Miocene, Desmostylus was pressed right into freshwater ecological communities. This competitors probably added to their termination.

Comparable Animals to The Desmostylus

Comparable animals to Desmostylus consist of:

  • Kronokotherium: This extinct aquatic creature came from the very same family asDesmostylus Nevertheless, it was smaller sized in dimension and also had a various teeth.
  • Gomphotherium: This was a primitive elephant- like animal that lived throughout the Neogene duration.
  • Sirenia (likewise referred to as sea cows): This is an order of vegetarian animals that live a totally marine way of living.


  1. Wikipedia, Available here:
  2. Berkeley/Introduction to the Desmostylia, Available here:
  3. Dinopedia, Available here:
  4. Prehistoric Fauna, Available here:

Relate animals

Abyssinian Guinea Pig

They are one of the oldest breeds of guinea pig

Ackie Monitor

The ackie monitor has a spiny tail which it uses as in self-defense.


The Albertonectes had the longest neck out of other Elasmosaurids.

American Bully

Though the American bully was bred to look intimidating, it makes an extremely friendly family pet!

Latest Animal News