Fun Brontotherium Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Nov 29, 2022 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Dec 07, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Gowri Rao
Brontotherium facts are interesting!
Age: 3-18
Read time: 8.0 Min

Brontotherium is one of the large mammals that wander the Earth during the Late Eocene till the Early Oligocene Period Epoch 1.6 million years ago and these species are well known because of the complete skeleton that has been found and many generations of paleontologists community have found the skeletons of the same genus and as a result, these genera came to be known by many different names that include Brontops, Megacerops, and Titanotherium. Megecerops was closely similar in appearance to the Embolotherium, a genus of brontothere who also wandered in Mongolia during the same period. Though both the genus looked similar, megacerops were slightly bigger with a massive head display in males when compared to females.

With many similar characteristics between these genera and dinosaurs from several million years ago such as the duck-billed dinosaurs and the hadrosaurs, the specimen which was discovered had a small brain. It was one of the giant mammals with hooves, placing them in the same family member of the prehistoric tapirs and horses.

One fossil specimen was collected bearing the proof of healed rib injury inflicted by another Brontotherium male with twin nasal horns, indicating that Brontotherium males similar to the rhinoceros battled each other for mating rights. Keep on reading to learn more about the kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, and other amusing facts about this species.

If you liked these true facts about the Brontotherium, then you'll surely like these facts about hipparion and chungkingosaurus too!

Brontotherium Interesting Facts

Was the Brontotherium a dinosaur?

Brontotherium which is also known by many different names such as Megacerops, Ateleodon, Brontops, Oreinotherium, and Titanotherium is a massive brontothere from the Late Eocene period of North America. It is one of the members of the Brontotheriidae, which was a primeval odd-toed hoofed family.

How do you pronounce 'Brontotherium'?

This large-sized brontothere is pronounced as "Bron-tho-therium".

What type of prehistoric animal was a Brontotherium?

Brontotherium is a large-size rhinoceros-like mammal the were alive during the Eocene Period through the Oligocene Period 33-38 million years ago.

In which geological period did the Brontotherium live?

Brontotherium was considered to belong to the Late Eocene Period through the Early Oligocene Period 33-38 million years ago.

When did the Brontotherium become extinct?

Brontotherium time period along with the closely related brontotheres went extinct during the middle of the Cenozoic Era, which started from the cretaceous period till the tertiary extinction destroying all the species of dinosaurs more than 35 million years ago due to climate change and decline in their food sources.

Where did a Brontotherium live?

The fossils of this brontothere were found by many paleontologists community and Native American communities from Nebraska and South Dakota dating from the Eocene Period through the Early Oligocene Period 33-38 million years ago.

What was a Brontotherium's habitat?

Brontotherium living environment is currently unknown, though the fossil of these brontotheres that was collected from the natural habitat range Eocene Period, 33-38 million years ago from Nebraska and South Dakota.

Who did a Brontotherium live with?

All the fossils and data of these large-sized brontotheres indicate that these animals lived in a small group consisting of very few individuals similar to the rhino species.

How long did a Brontotherium live?

The exact lifespan of this animal is unknown to the world as they went extinct from the face of the earth millions of years ago. The exact brontotherium wildlife extinction date is still unknown and the search is still ongoing to learn more about these creatures.

How did they reproduce?

Due to the data that has been found it is believed that the megacerops use to fight with other males with the help of their horns for mating rights, though very little is known about their breeding process, similar to other mammals these brontotheres gave birth to live young ones.

Brontotherium Fun Facts

What did a Brontotherium look like?

All these species under the genus Megacerops had a skull with pair of blunt horns protruding from their snout, males usually had larger horns when compared to females. The fossil that was found indicated that these animals were social and fought with their strong heads with others for mating rights.

Though the physical description of this creature resembles rhinos, these megacerops were larger in size than any living rhinos. It is assumed that this brontothere obtained the size of the third-largest animal that lives today African forest elephant. The physical description of this animal is similar to a massive rhino with a Y-shaped horn on its head with blunt ends protruding from its snout.

The dorsal vertebrae of these megacerops had elongated spines to carry and support their huge muscular neck and heavy skull. The skull that was discovered possessed short and sharp teeth indicating that they preferred leaves and soft stems with the help of their fleshy lips and long tongue.

According to the natural history of research, the brontotherium skin composition is still unknown.

Brontotherium animal facts are amusing!

How many bones did a Brontotherium have?

The paleontologist community and native Americans have discovered many complete specimens of the holotype skeletons of these brontotheres hence the name thunder beast was given to them by the natives.

How did they communicate?

Due to the lack of data, the communication process of the megacerops is still unknown. Though it is known that these brontotheres were shy and conservative creatures.

How big was a Brontotherium?

Megacerops is a rhino-like animal but the brontotherium size was larger than them, these species obtained a total length of 16.4 ft (5 m) and a body height of 8.2 ft (2.5 m).

How fast could a Brontotherium move?

Due to the lack of data, it is unfeasible to point out the accurate moving speed of these odd-toed ungulates. Though it is known that these species were huge and heavy who walked on all four legs and they were not able to move fast and they were low grazers.

How much did a Brontotherium weigh?

This brontothere was a large-sized mammal, similar in appearance to a present-day rhino, and could obtain a total weight of 6,600 lb (2,993.7 kg). This weight has been estimated as the characteristic of the taxonomy of these animals suggests.

What were the male and female names of the species?

No specific name has been assigned or allotted to either sex of this genus.

What would you call a baby Brontotherium?

A baby brontotherium is called a baby as there is no specific name assigned to them. Juveniles are estimated to have evolved into their adult form in a little span as they were surrounded by plants that provided them with basic nutrition.

What did they eat?

Due to lack of data, megacerops are believed to be herbivorous and fed on the leaves from plants and grass because the teeth of this species were fairly small for chewing. It is believed that these animals ate 120-200 lb (45.3-90.7 kg) of food in a single day.

How aggressive were they?

Due to the lack of data, it is impossible to say whether this species was an aggressive or a peaceful creature. Though it is known that these brontotheres used their horns to defend themselves against their predators such as Bathornis, Entelodonts, Nimravids, and Hyaenodonts that had huge physical characteristics.

Did you know...

The exact reason for this large-sized odd-toed megafauna that vanished from the earth's surface is not clear by palaeontologists. The factors such as changes in the environment and the introduction of new predators brought an end to this species. Many skeletons that were found by native Americans belonged to a herd that got killed by the monstrous volcanic eruption of the Rocky Mountain in North America. You can find a complete skeleton of an adult megacerops in the Field Museum of Natural history. Similarly, a family of these brontops an adult male, an adult female, and a brontotherium calf has been kept on display at the James E. Martin Paleontological Research Laboratory.

Native Americans have known these megacerops longer than the scientific community, the great Sioux tribe resided in the middle of the bone beds of the meagcerops from the White River badlands. This species was well known by the Sioux tribe as they called them thunder beasts and it became a part of their mythology.

Megacerops were not the only ones that went extinct from the Earth's surface, four other orders of Perissodacyla also vanished along with them during the Eocene period. During this period, the climate shift continuously decreased the life found on earth including various land mammals. The present-day animals such as elephants and horses that evolved have the better physical characteristics to have survived this period were more suited for arid grassland and cooler environments.

The search for more fossilized remains of the megacerops is still ongoing to this day!

Was the Brontotherium a herbivore?

Brontotherium were large-sized herbivore megafauna that could have survived by feeding on plants, their teeth were flat and low, similar to other animals, that help in grinding up vegetation. After examining the characteristics of megacerops teeth it was found that these odd-toed ungulates fed on the soft leaves that were found in forests.

How is the Brontotherium related to the modern rhino?

Brontotherium horns were protruding from its noses and these horns were developed from small nubs to large horns stretching over 3.2 ft (1 m) long. Horns in males were large when compared to females, superficiallygiving them an appearance similar to the present-day rhinos that we learn about. Though these horns inspired the thoughts of them being one of the ancestors of rhinos, in reality, this brontothere was an odd-toed ungulate related to horses. The fossils that were found from the same place as these species also included animals like Subhyracodon, which were their true ancestors and are related to the modern rhinos. As it is known that the entire genus of megacerops went extinct hence it is difficult to compare their characteristics with modern animals except for rhinos.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly prehistoric animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these mylodon facts or jeholornis facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable rhino coloring pages.

Main image by Postdlf

Second image by SuperNewbiePro

Brontotherium Facts

What Did They Prey On?


what Type of Animal were they?


Average Litter Size?


What Did They Look Like?


How Much Did They Weigh?

6,600 lb (2,993.7 kg)

Skin Type


How Long Were They?

16.4 ft (5 m)

How Tall Were They?

8.2 ft (2.5 m)









Scientific Name

Brontotherium hatcheri

What Were Their Main Threats?

Natural disasters and change in climate

What Habitat Did They Live In?

Areas with dense vegetations

Where Did They Live?

We Want Your Photos!
We Want Your Photos!

We Want Your Photos!

Do you have a photo you are happy to share that would improve this article?
Email your photos

More for You

See All

Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

Read full bio >
Read the DisclaimerFact Correction