Chalicotheres were an unusual family of ungulates related to the similarly extinct brontotheres as well as extant horses, rhinos, and tapirs. At over 8 feet tall, Moropus was one of the largest chalicotheres. Unlike its smaller relatives, it appears to have walked on its palms as opposed to its knuckles.
The 2015 CollectA Moropus stands just under 13 cm tall and measures about 14 cm long. It has been sculpted in what looks to be a casual walking pose with its head turned to the left and its right paw raised. Its main colour is tawny brown, just like an African lion. Darker brown is used for the nostrils, the fur on the cheeks, the mane, and the tuft on the tail. The underbelly is white, the claws are very dark grey, the eyes are black, the inside of the mouth is dark pink, and the teeth are white.
Looking at the head of the Moropus, one can easily see the familial resemblance to horses, although it really looks more like a fusion of a horse and a camel. One can almost hear it snorting derisively as it forages for food. The open mouth reveals small rows of teeth extending far back. The mane running down the neck is short like a Przewalski’s horse and the fur covering the body is beautifully sculpted.
The Moropus‘ limbs are long and graceful, but also quite muscular. The huge claws on its front paws would have been ideal for stripping leaves and bark off trees, digging for roots and tubers, and for defence against predators. Oh, and peering at the underside of this beast, we can clearly see that it is a male. All of CollectA’s recent prehistoric mammals have been male. Personally, I think it would be nice to see at least one female in the future. Perhaps a mighty cave bear with her cub.
The CollectA Moropus is easily the best of the admittedly few chalicothere toys. It’s big and impressive-looking, finely sculpted, has a realistic colour scheme, and, as far as I can tell at least, no anatomical inaccuracies. In a plastic world largely dominated by mammoths and cats, this is a welcome and wonderful touch of variety.
Thanks go out once again to FaunaFigures.com for this and many other great toys!