Ever heard of the indricotherium? No, neither did I. But this creature was the biggest mammal ever to walk the Earth. I stumbled on it via this article on a new publication in Science, about the reason why mammals after the extinction of the dinosaurs grew so large as they did. After being no bigger than rodents, they evolved into huge sizes, after which they sized down a bit.
The indricotherium (or paraceratherium) was a type of hornless rhinoceros-like mammal, that lived during the Eocene (56 to 34 million years ago). It was featured in episode 3 of the BBC series Walking With Beasts.
Look at the great beast:
SALT LAKE CITY—In a paradigm-shattering revelation that has shocked the scientific community, paleontologists from the Utah Geological Survey offered definitive proof Wednesday that, for the past 175 years, everyone has been looking at dinosaur fossils upside down. “How they moved, what their appendages were for, we were wrong about everything,” said Dr. Brian Kirch, explaining that new evidence indicates the animals slid along on what was once believed to be their backs. “Basically they scooted around by grabbing nearby vines with their mouths and pulling their bodies. Almost like a snake. What we used to think were legs were actually big flippers that flapped about in the air, driving them forward. Incredible.” Kirch told reporters that when you think about it, paleontology makes a lot more sense now.