Brontotherium, Rod Ruth, c. 1974
It was as if the mountain had been struck by a hammer. It suddenly split, spewing coals and ash and sparks and liquid stone. The sky went from cool star-specked blue to red and choking black, and it terrified the animals. They thundered across the fields below the mountains, backs dappled by firelight. Birds lifted from the trees in clouds and flooded the air, wings beating, voices cracking. It was an exodus of terror.
The big brontothere galloped as best as he could. He was not made to run. The small camels darted around him like a river around a stone. If they cried, the Megacerops could not hear them; the volcano’s surf-like churning drowned most other sounds. He looked back on the flaming mountain, the Eocene Gomorrah, and the light of the lava burned his eyes. Even after turning away, he could still see the shadow of the fire stamped on his corneas, his eyes smote for looking back.