Over 20 million years ago, the largest mammal in the world roamed around the Bugti hills of Balochistan.
This land mammal is called Baluchitherium [The Beast of Balochistan]. So far the fossils of this mammal have only been found in Balochistan and Central Asia.
In 1999, a team of French Palaentologists, under the panel of Jean Loup Welcomme discovered the complete skeleton of this giant mammal in Dera Bugti Hills of Pakistan. The find came as the result of a 5 month long expedition by the French Team in the Balochistan desert.
Baluchitherium had an estimated shoulder height of nearly 18 ft (5.5 m), a length of up to 28 feet (from nose to rump) and a weight of about 10 to 15 tons. The head was four feet long, sitting on top of a six feet long neck. This beast had poor eyesight, but made up for this with keen hearing and smell.
The life-size model of one such animal, mounted at the Pakistan Museum of Natural History (PMNH). Baluchitherium would have needed as much as two tonnes of fodder every day, the French team believed Balochistan must have been forested in the past.
It is said that the Baluchitherium was a very defensive animal, and attacked any animal that was nearby. This beast tried to charge and trample foes with its front feet.
In 2003, the French team carefully examined every major and minor bone and finally put them in proper place, building a composite skeleton of the Baluchitherium. Prehistoric Balochistan can also be considered an exact place of migration of mammals coming from South East Asia on the road to Africa or Europe.
Here’s how the Baluchitherium compares in size with other mammals.
Safe to say, we need to preserve Baluchitherium’s skeleton in the best museum we have and be proud of the heritage!
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