35 Cenozoic Creatures As Awesome (Or Even More So) Than Dinosaurs

Hey there every peoples.

Guess what… It’s my 100th post!

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Central Coast Critters: Amynodontopsis

Hey there every peoples!

My mind has a weird way of working. It jumps around to all kinds of random things. It can pull something out of nowhere, even if the most irrelevant thing with no relation brought it out. While grappling with my depression, i realized something about my little cyber rag here. I have introduced you guys to fossil animals from the Pismo, Caliente, and Monterey formations and also the tar pits. But i haven’t shown you guys an animal from the Sespe formation. So let’s fix that.

The Sespe formation is found in Ventura County around Ventura, Simi, Santa Paula, and even Ojai. Two fossil faunas are known, each from different time periods. The lower Sepse preserves animals from the middle Eocene epoch, around 42 mya. The upper Sespe preserves a fauna from the late Oligocene epoch, 29-28 mya. Our guest today hails from the older member, a time when this part of California was warm and humid (probably home to a sub-tropical forest) and about 200 miles south. He shared his world with primitive carnivores, primates, rhino-like brontotheres, extinct ungulates, turtles, snakes, and crocodiles. He is Amynodontopsis bodei.

Amynodontopsis bodei was named for a skull found in the Sespe by Chester Stock, a paleontologist from the California Institute of Technology who is perhaps most famous for his work on the fauna of the La Brea Tar Pits. Like most of my information on animals from the Sespe, all i have to go on is the stuff Chester published back in the 1930s.

Right view of the skull of Amynodontopsis bodei

What little i have been able to gather is this: Amynodontopsis is related to Amynodon more than other amynodonts. It’s skull is unusually narrow and looks a bit like a giant tapir skull but the teeth say he was all rhino. The rest of the article is just technical jargon too complicated for my patheitc brain to make heads or tails of. But, i hope i have shed a little more light on another denizen of the Central Coast.

Till next Time!