Plesiorycteropus is a recently extinct eutherian mammalian genus from Madagascar. Upon its description in 1895, it was classified with the aardvark, but more recent molecular evidence suggests that it is most closely related to the tenrecs. Two species are currently recognized, the larger P.madagascariensis and the smaller P.germainepetterae. When and why it became extinct remains unknown.
About Plesiorycteropus in brief
Plesiorycteropus is a recently extinct eutherian mammalian genus from Madagascar. Upon its description in 1895, it was classified with the aardvark, but more recent molecular evidence suggests that it is most closely related to the tenrecs. Two species are currently recognized, the larger P. madagascariensis and the smaller P. germainepetterae. When and why it became extinct remains unknown. One bone has been radiocarbon dated to 200 BCE; forest destruction by humans may have contributed to its extinction. It was probably a digging animal that fed on insects such as termites and ants. Estimates of its mass range from 6 to 18 kilograms. It arrived on Madagascar in the Eocene, at the same time as the lemurs and lemur. It is the only member of its own subfamily Plesiarycteropodinae. It has been misidentified as rodents and primates. It may have been a primitive, isolated member of the Edentata group, which includes aardVarks, pangolins, and Xenarthra. It also shows adaptations for climbing and sitting, such as a tendency to climb on its hind legs and to sit on its haunches. It had a large head and a short neck, with a short snout and a pointed snout. It lived in the late Eocene and early Miocene, and is thought to have lived in Madagascar until the mid- to late Miocene. It died out in the early to mid-20th century, but its remains have been found in the same place as those of the lemur, lemur and rat.
It could have lived for up to 10 years in the wild, eating insects and termites as well as ants and other insects. Its diet was believed to have been limited to insects, termites, ants, and ants, but it may have had a taste for grasses and other invertebrates as well. It would have been able to dig deep into the ground to dig for food. It probably had a long, thick fur, and would have used it to cover its body in the form of a burrow. Its skull was found in a cave in Belo, Madagascar, but only a partial skull has been recovered to date. In 1994, Ross MacPhee was able to separate the two species. He named the new species PlesioryCTeropus germainepetterAE after scientist Germaine Petter. He was unable to provide a definitive allocation, confused by the various similarities he saw with aardlins, armadillos, and anteaters. The generic name was replaced by Majoria in 1915, because Myoryctes was preoccupied by the name of a nematode worm. In 1946, Charles Lamberton noted substantial variation, but did not attempt to differentiate multiple species. The two species differ in a number of morphological characters in addition to size. In the 1970s, Bryan Patterson accepted Plesiories as a tubulidentates.