Arsinoitherium (Prehistoric Life Collection by Safari Ltd)

Arsinoitherium was a large paenungulate mammal which lived roughly 30 million years ago during the late Eocene and early Oligocene epochs in Northeastern Africa. These animals would have superficially resembled modern rhinoceroses but were in fact more closely related to elephants. Unlike those of a rhinoceros, the massive horns of Arsinoitherium were comprised of solid bone. Arsinoitherium could reach over 10 feet in length and adults would have been largely immune to predation. The name means “Arsinoe Beast”, for the Egyptian queen whose palace was located near where the holotype was discovered.

 

Safari has produced some of the most accurate and some of the more obscure prehistoric genera in recent years and their Arsinoitherium, released in 2005, is no exception. There are no other versions to compare it to, as this is the only Arsinoitherium replica released by any company that I’m aware of, but it does a good job of setting the bar. The figure is a little under 5 inches long and is within reason to be considered 1:40 scale, which is always good to see. The figure is predominantly gray, the same shade all over. However, the skin is highlighted with pinkish red, especially around the head, in such a way that it gives the skin a sort of raw, lifelike look, almost like a hippopotamus. It gives the figure a very unique and natural feel, and I have never seen this level of detail in a mammal figure. Another detail I noticed is that the pink paint inside the nostrils has a glossy look to simulate moisture (snot) inside, and it looks great. The skin is coarse and very wrinkly with a lot of detail. No part of this figure is smooth. The animal is posed dynamically in mid-charge with its mouth open in a bellow.

This figure is very accurate and the skull is almost flawless. It is perfectly shaped and the sculptors remembered to include the two smaller ossicles behind the horns. The main horns are correctly proportioned to the rest of the skull and slightly curve up as they should. The elephantine feet each have the correct number of five digits, but I think the feet themselves are a little bit too wide and chunky. The limbs are a little short but they work fine. I should point out that the info on the tag states that the horns were hollow and were used as resonating chambers, but this is absolutely wrong because they were NOT hollow. To conclude, this is another cheap yet high quality, accurate reproduction by Safari of a genus few people besides paleontologists would recognize. I highly recommend it. Just don’t take the tag seriously.

2 Responses to Arsinoitherium (Prehistoric Life Collection by Safari Ltd)

  1. Brett Zimmerman

    I love this guy! You’ve taken some splendid pics of it. I have well over a hundred prehistoric figures (see my DinoWall display on the Dan’s Dinosaurs Facebook) but I haven’t been able to acquire an Arsinoitherium outside of the Safari Toob. Do you know how I can get my hands on the larger model you’ve featured?

  2. Pingback: Prehistoric Life Toob (Safari Ltd) « The Dinosaur Toy Blog

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