Sivatherium (Sivatherium Falconer & Cautley, 1836)
Time period: the late Miocene - Early Pleistocene (Africa to the Indian Subcontinent)
Dimensions: length - 5,4 m, height - 2,8 m, weight - 500 - 1500 kg
Typical representative: Sivatherium giganteum Falconer & Cautley, 1836
Sivatherium ('Shiva's beast)' is an extinct genus of giraffid that ranged throughout Africa to the Indian Subcontinent. The African species, S. maurusium, was once placed within the genus "Libytherium." It may have become extinct as recently as 8,000 years ago, as depictions that greatly resemble it are known from ancient rock paintings in the Sahara desert. Sivatherium resembled the modern okapi, but was far larger, and more heavily built, being about 2.8 meters tall at the shoulder, 5 m in total height with a weight up to 1500 kg. It had a wide, antler-like pair of ossicones on its head, and a second pair of ossicones above its eyes. Its shoulders were very powerful to support the neck muscles required to lift the heavy skull.