Today, looking at a figure of one of my personal favorite prehistoric mammals, Megacerops. This particular one is the figure made by MojoFUN in 2013, number 387155, part of their Mojo Prehistoric series. It was released–and is still listed–as Brontotherium, which is considered synonymous with Megacerops. Whatever the name, I recall being very excited for this one, as brontotheres were one of those animals that I used to find as fossils, but until around then, figures were pretty sporadic. Of the modern companies versions, this Mojo is probably the most conventional.
I was always kind of familiar with these big prehistoric mammals from all of my ‘dinosaur’ books, but hadn’t thought much further about them, kind of lumping with the other massive mammals like uintatheres and indricotheres. It was not until I began my grad school program in southern Saskatchewan that I came to appreciate these big beasts–lots of fossils of them, in all kinds of shapes and sizes. The named genera and species varied quite a bit, and continues to be revised; even though most are now considered Megacerops, they still get called brontotheres. Regardless, it was great to see Mojo tackle one of these mega mammals. One common thing is the superficial similarity to modern rhinos; they are related, but not especially closely, and the details are actually quite different. But the Mojo figure clearly took the modern rhino as their main inspiration, for better or not.
The actual figure has a light, low body and the overall shape and skin folds look a bit like a stretched Indian rhino. Of course they got the basic features correct, and made sure that the distinctive Y-branched nasal ossicones (not horns) are clearly present. That said, there is a lot of variation even in this feature, but most figures (past and current) seem to go with this more general form. Being familiar with the skulls of these beasts, the head also seems a little longer than the ones I used to see everyday at the museum, but again, lots of variation. It does lack the large shoulder hump that seems to be present on most of the skeletons I’ve seen (it’s even present in the Dinotales and Nabisco figures) which again, seems to be a consequence of being too much of a rhino. I might have some quibbles, preferring other currently available ones (CollectA and Safari also have Megacerops figures right now, with especially the former making some very unique design and finish choices) but the Mojo is a good model, and is currently available. Definitely a good figure to add to a collection.