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Mammal 'Pokedex' guide for Ark: Survival Evolved

With new extinct creatures announced for players to hunt and tame, ARK is becoming Pokémon for archaeologists.

Though ARK: Survival Evolved is known by me and my friends as “the dinosaur game,” it has included in its world a vast number of extinct and ancient mammals and other creatures. If it lived thousands or even millions of years ago, it’s possible you’ll find it in ARK.

Since dinosaurs usually get the royal treatment in video games, extinct mammals are a rare treat to see. They never actually coexisted with dinosaurs on Earth, but it’s fun to see giant wolves battle against a carnotaur or hunt down a pachy.

Bat

The “It’s in My Hair!” Mammal

  • Type: Untameable, unrideable
  • Species: Onychonycteris specuncola
  • Abilities: Bite, swarm
  • Appearance: Eocene Epoch

Though the vicious specuncola is only found on the island known as “ARK,” Onychonycteris is the world’s oldest bat genus, existing over 52  million years ago. It lacked the cochlea modern bats use to echolocate, so their diets may not have included many insects. Everything else is fair game.

Direwolf

The Big Slobber Horse Mammal 

  • Type: Tameable, rideable
  • Species: Canis maxdirus
  • Abilities: Growl, howl, scowl, prowl
  • Appearance: Pleistocene Epoch

Found only on ARK, Maxdirus can be translated to “most fearsome dog.” Its already-apt name becomes more true when it hunts in a large, coordinated pack. Its cousin, Canis dirus, died out toward the end of the Pleistocene Epoch. After much of its megafauna prey died during the Pleistocene extinction, dirus could not compete with its smaller, faster cousin, Canis lupus. If there were ever gray wolves on ARK, it’s possible maxdirus ate them all.

Doedicurus

The Rock Guard Mammal

  • Type: Tameable, rideable
  • Species: Doedicurus custosaxum
  • Abilities: Harden
  • Appearance: Pleistocene and Halocene Epochs

Related to the modern armadillo and the extinct Doedicurus clavicaudatus, the custosaxum is built much rounder and sturdier than its cousins. Because of its hard shell and club tail, other creatures on the island tend to leave them alone. Doedicurus doesn’t go looking for fights.

Gigantopithecus

The Big Foot Mammal

  • Type: Tameable, rideable
  • Species: Gigantopithecus fibrarator
  • Abilities: Play with human, throw human, pull apart human
  • Appearance: Pleistocene Epoch

Related to Gigantopithecus blacki, this ARK resident overshadows what was previously the largest ever existing ape, standing at almost ten feet tall. It was an herbivore, eating so much bamboo that pandas look like they’re on a diet. The gigantopithecus on ARK is a fan of berries, but it probably strips entire bushes clean, leaves and all. It is sometimes seen giving humans piggy-back rides, possibly because they think humans are ugly, hairless babies.

Mammoth

The Lump Head Mammal

  • Type: Tameable, rideable
  • Species: Mammuthus steincaput
  • Abilities: Uproot, trample
  • Appearance: Pilocene Epoch

Its name “stone head” is a reference to the bone “cap” formation on its skull. Unlike other mammoths, the steincaput has a separate tusk that grows upward out of the main tusk. Though extremely heavy and cumbersome, it has likely evolved to protect against larger dinosaurs that live on the island.

Megatherium

The Procrastinator Mammal

  • Type: Tameable
  • Species: Megatherium formipavor
  • Abilities: Rest
  • Appearance: Pilocene, Pleistocene, and Holocene Epochs

Called “dangerous terror” by some easily spooked ARK researchers, the formipavor is actually an elephant-sized ground sloth. The Megatherium were an exceedingly long-lived genus. They slept through the Pilocene mass extinction and arrived late for the Pleistocene extinction. The Formipavor on ARK must still not have not gotten the memo.

Megaloceros

The Giant Elk Mammal

  • Type: Tameable, rideable
  • Species: Megaloceros latuscoronam
  • Abilities: Horn attack, gallop
  • Appearance: Pilocene and Pleistocene Epochs

Megaloceros latuscoronam, translated to “big horn side crown,” stands slightly larger than the almost seven-foot-tall Megaloceros giganteus. They are adept at crippling would-be predators with their horns and then running to safety. ARK’s Giganteus does not actually bear “true antlers” since their horns contain keratin, which is prized and harvested by the island’s saddle industry.

Mesopithecus

The Poop Thrower Mammal

  • Type: Tameable, unrideable
  • Species: Mesopithecus amicufur
  • Abilities: Shoulder ride, throw feces
  • Appearance: Miocene and Pliocene Epochs

Its name, a corruption of the Latin “amicus” and “fur,” means “friend thief.” This is probably the best name for these monkeys, because they are only friendly with humans who have something to offer. This still-living species of Mesopithecus is sometimes seen riding on humans’ shoulders, possibly because they think humans are their ugly, hairless parents. 

Paracer

The Walking Skycraper Mammal

  • Type: Tameable, Rideable
  • Species: Paraceratherium gigamicus
  • Abilities: Stomp
  • Appearance: Oligocene Epoch

The largest land mammal to ever exist. The Paracer, or Paraceratherium, belongs to the same order as the rhinoceros, tapir, and horse. Its shoulder height alone reaches at least 16 feet. Paracer are generally relaxed and let smaller creatures pass by, but they can be savagely destructive when provoked.

Phiomia

The Porkchop Mammal

  • Type: Tameable, rideable
  • Species: Phiomia ignavus
  • Abilities: Scavenge, stampede
  • Appearance: Eocene and Oligocene Epochs

Ignavus means “coward,” though being a coward is smart when one’s only defense is a set of large tusks that’s considerably smaller than the teeth of most animals on this island. Though Phiomia are long extinct in other parts of the world, the presence of humans and domestication of Phiomia may actually save their species here. Once again, bacon saves the day. 

Sabertooth

The Smiling Mammal

  • Type: Tameable, rideable
  • Species: Smilodon brutalis
  • Abilities: Takedown, rend hides
  • Appearance: Pleistocene and Holocene Epochs

Smilodon brutalis only lives on ARK and is the largest of its genus, adapted for taking down the large prey on the island. Smilodons’ teeth and size were specialized to quickly take down large prey without having to give chase. When the world’s megafauna went extinct at the end of the Pleistocene, the Sabertooth was unable to sustain its species on the remaining smaller, quicker prey.

Megapithecus

???

Legend tells of a giant white ape bigger than a house. But that just strikes me as islander tall tales. We would have seen something like that by now, wouldn't we?

 

If you'd like to keep updated on news and information about Early Access updates in ARK: Survival Evolved, follow our ARK tag.

And if you'd like more encyclopedia entries such as these, please leave a comment or suggestion below.

Published Sep. 24th 2015

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