The Collecta Arsinoitherium Model Reviewed
One of the more unusual prehistoric mammal models introduced this year is a replica of the bizarre and spectacular Arsinoitherium made by Collecta. Arsinoitherium was a member of a group of prehistoric mammals that evolved sometime in the Late Eocene epoch around thirty-five million years ago and survived into the Oligocene. As a group, they became extinct around twenty-seven million years ago, living no direct descendants today.
As Big as a Rhinoceros
Arsinoitherium is one of the largest members of this strange group of placental mammals. It was about the size of a modern-day White Rhino. It lived in Egypt and males weighed more than one tonne and reached lengths in excess of three and a half meters. Despite its huge bulk, this animal was a gentle browser, spending a lot of its time in water and feeding on soft vegetation.
Huge Horns on its Head
The most striking feature of Arsinoitherium were the two pairs of horns on its head. The first pair were very small, only a couple of inches in height and these were located at the back of the skull. The second pair of horns were situated over the eyes and they were so big that they blocked the animal's vision. It was unable to see straight ahead because of these huge horns. Some of these individual horns measure more than seventy centimetres in total length.
Original Scientific Description
In the original scientific description published at the beginning of the twentieth Century, it was proposed that Arsinoitherium was an ancestor of modern Rhinos, but in a later part of the academic paper, the author acknowledges that the bony horns are physically attached to the skull and as they are made of bone, these horns are completely different to the horns of extant Rhinos.
The model measures eighteen centimetres in length and it represents a male. This replica forms part of the Collecta Deluxe range of prehistoric animal models and it is in approximately 1:20 scale. The air-brushing work and detail on the model is fantastic, from the carefully painted teeth in the jaws to the squiggly tail, this is a wonderful replica of an extinct, ancient mammal. It is great to see a figure of one of the more bizarre types of creature from the Cenozoic fossil record depicted in a model range from a mainstream model manufacturer.
Ideal for Collectors
It is likely that this model will become highly prized by fans and model collectors. It is also likely that due to the obscurity of Arsinoitherium, the model may soon be out of production and only stocked by specialist suppliers and companies. It is highly recommended.