linked here Name Meaning: Early hollow

purchase robaxin online Geologic Era: Pliocene

Location Found: Florida

Estimated Range: Modern North America, many remains found in Florida and American Southwest

Size: Roughly 1 meter tall at shoulder

Extinction: Around 4 million years ago

This specimen is a tooth from the ancestor of all deer in North and South America. It was found in a Florida sinkhole, as a good many of Florida fossils are. The tooth is in very good condition, and compares well when put side-by-side with their direct descendant, the White Tailed Deer.

Eocoileus was a smaller animal, but it was one of the many that took advantage of the periodic land bridge that existed between North America and Asia. This land bridge existed when sea levels periodically dropped, allowing for land to be exposed. This was primarily due to the advance of glaciers, which lock up some water in ice, allowing for sea levels to drop. Unfortunately, this same pattern of glacier advance and retreat tends to destroy geologic evidence, leaving holes in the fossil record.

Eocoileus remains show an animal with fewer branches on its antlers than modern deer, and an overall smaller body size. It marks the first appearance of true cervids, or deer, in the Americas. Prior to this, deer were known in Asia, where that lineage evolved. After Eocoileus’ ancestors made their way to North America, they eventually were also able to migrate to South America as well. Eocoileus took part in the North-South American faunal exchange, which took advantage of the newly formed Panama land bridge.

Image Credits:

Eocoileus Life Restoration: Heffelfinger, J. (2006). Deer of the Southwest a complete guide to the natural history, biology, and management of southwestern mule deer and white-tailed deer. College Station: Texas A & M University Press.