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The genus Phosphatherium

Phosphatherium is an extinct genus within the family Numidotheriidae, a primitive proboscidean that lived during the Paleocene to early Eocene some 56 million years ago of North Africa.

Known from fragmentary dentary materials from the paleocene (Thanetian) deposits of the Ouled Abdoun Basin, Morocco, although large like a dog, it is the smallest (about 60 cm long and weight 10-15 kilograms) and the oldest known member of the proboscidean order. Like its later relative, Moeritherium, the animal was probably an amphibious browser that fed on aquatic plants, akin to a dog-sized hippopotamus.

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