Buzdartherium (meaning "Buzdar beast") is a dubious genus of extinct indricothere hyracodont from Oligocene and possibly also Miocene aged sediments from the Chitarwata Formation of Pakistan. The monotypic species is B. gulkirao, named in 2016, and its remains have been found only in the Sulaiman Basin (Chitarwata Formation), which preserves rocks dating from as early as the Cretaceous, although the Indian Plate did not collide into the Eurasian Plate until about 30 million years ago, during the Early Oligocene.
Buzdartherium shows Eurasian affinity and migrated from Eurasia to the Indian subcontinent or vice versa via the Western and Northern Indus Sutures, after drifting away from Gondwana during the Cretaceous and after the collision of the Indian subcontinent with Asia, which occurred during the Ypresian epoch of the Eocene period, around 55 million years ago.
Discovery and naming
The holotype of B. gulkirao is based on a single tusk like incisor tooth, a premolar tooth, a cross-sectioned tooth, vertebrae, ribs, a spine, the proximal end of a humerus, an ulna, the proximal end of a pubis, a cross-sectioned pubis, the proximal end of an ischium, a cross sectioned ischium, a femur, a carpal, astragalus or tarsal, a metacarpal or metatarsal, phalanges, and an ungual. It is not known when it was found but it was found in Buzdar, Pakistan in Oligocene strata. The genus and species was named by Malkhani in 2016 and briefly again in in 2017.
Buzdartherium would have been a large mammal with long bulky legs and a long neck, used to forage for plants that would have made up its diet. It would have reached up to long when fully grown.
Buzdartherium would have had a long, smooth forehead that lacked the attachment points for horns. The back of the skull was low and narrow, without the large lambdoid crests at the top and along the sagittal crest.
Upon naming, Buzdartherium was placed within the Indricotheriinae by Malkhani (2016). The cladogram below follows the 1989 analysis of Indricotheriinae by Lucas and Sobus, and shows the closest relatives of Buzdartherium, which was added at a later date:
- Malkani, M. Sadiq. (2016). Large Photos of Recently discovered Basilosaurid, Baluchithere Rhinoceros, Horses, Sea Cow, Proboscidean, Eucrocodile, Pterosaurs, Plesiosaur, Fishes, Invertebrates and Wood fossils from Pakistan; Footprints and trackways of archosaurs from Pakistan.
- "Forging Sulaiman Range". earthobservatory.nasa.gov. 2014-07-23. Retrieved 2020-08-16.
- Robert Wynn Jones (2011). Applications of Palaeontology: Techniques and Case Studies. Cambridge University Press. pp. 267–271. ISBN 978-1-139-49920-0.
- https://opac.geologie.ac.at/wwwopacx/wwwopac.ashx?command=getcontent&server=images&value=BR0120_175.pdf (Malkhani, 2017)
- Lucas, S. G.; Sobus, J. C. (1989), "The systematics of indricotheres", in Prothero, D. R.; Schoch, R. M. (eds.), The Evolution of Perissodactyls, New York, New York & Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, pp. 358–378, ISBN 978-0-19-506039-3, OCLC 19268080
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