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Can You Guess What These Weird Extinct Animals Are Related To

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Darwin couldn’t figure it out.

During his cruise aboard the HMS Beagle, Darwin came across some pretty weird looking bones in South America.

How these creatures fit into the evolutionary history of mammals has been a big mystery. It confused even Darwin. Now, a new study appears to have solved the problem. Put yourself in Darwin’s shoes, what do you think they are most closely related to?

  1. What do you think this weird looking beast is most related to?

    Can You Guess What These Weird Extinct Animals Are Related To

    Kobrina Olga / Via en.wikipedia.org

    This awesome creature is called a Macrauchenia. When Darwin first discovered its remains, he described it as “some large animal, I fancy a Mastodon.”

    1. Horse
    2. Camel
    3. Elephant
    4. Deer
    5. Llama

Can You Guess What These Weird Extinct Animals Are Related To?

Oops, something went wrong! Looks like we are having a problem on the server. Please try again later. What do you think this weird looking beast is most related to?

  1.   votes Horse
  2.   votes Camel
  3.   votes Elephant
  4.   votes Deer
  5.   votes Llama

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  1. What about this majestic giant?

    Can You Guess What These Weird Extinct Animals Are Related To

    Robert Bruce Horsfall / Via commons.wikimedia.org

    This thing is called a Toxodon. Darwin didn’t know where to place it. It’s got rodent-like teeth, but it also has a rhinoceros-like body and a head that resembles a hippo.

    1. Big ass rodent
    2. Hippo
    3. Rhino
    4. Bear
    5. Bison

Can You Guess What These Weird Extinct Animals Are Related To?

Oops, something went wrong! Looks like we are having a problem on the server. Please try again later. What about this majestic giant?

  1.   votes Big ass rodent
  2.   votes Hippo
  3.   votes Rhino
  4.   votes Bear
  5.   votes Bison

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Both belonged to a group of creatures called Perissodactyla.

Both belonged to a group of creatures called Perissodactyla.

Bluemoose / Via commons.wikimedia.org

The Perissodactyla are also known as even-toed ungulates. The only living even-toed ungulates are horses, tapirs, and rhinoceroses.

The curious creatures Darwin ran into have been extinct for at least 10,000 years and their bones are like nothing anyone had seen before or since.

The curious creatures Darwin ran into have been extinct for at least 10,000 years and their bones are like nothing anyone had seen before or since.

Blueringmedia / Getty Images

Making matters more complicated, it’s next to impossible to extract workable DNA from these specimens.

But that’s not a problem anymore! A new study published in Nature describes a brand-new technique to solve the problem. In it, the researchers were able to extract and chemically analyze collagen (a protein in bone) and compare it to the collagen of other living creatures.

Not only was an age-old science problem solved, but the door to a whole new world of scientific possibilities may have just been opened.

Can You Guess What These Weird Extinct Animals Are Related To?

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Source: buzzfeed.com