Miramar Toxodont

Mystery Hooeed Mammal of South America.

Significant sighting: From 1912 to 1914, paleontologist Carlos Ameghino uncovered stone tools in Late Pliocene strata (2 million years old) along a cliff near Miramar, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina. Among them was a stone arrow or spear point embedded in the femur of a toxodont, a member of a family of large, horse-or rhinolike hoofed mammals that persisted in South America until about 10,000 years ago. Possible explanations:

(1) Unless humans were in South America nearly 2 million years before the currently accepted date, the artifacts (and presumably the femur) must have been displaced from later strata. A large, grazing toxodont surviving into the Holocene would be a likely food source for early hunters.

(2) The arrow was shot into the femur hundreds of thousands of years after the animal died.

Sources: Carlos Ameghino, "El femur de Miramar," Anales del Museo Nacional de Historia Natural de Buenos Aires 26 (1915): 433-450; Antonio Romero, "El Homo pampaeus," Anales de la Sociedad Cientifica Argentina 85 (1918): 5-48; Michael A. Cremo and Richard L. Thompson, Forbidden Archeology (San Diego, Calif.: Bhaktivedanta Institute, 1993), pp. 313-334.

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