The South American genus, which seems to have died out for good around 10,000 years ago and has no living descendants, has been basically without a family since its discovery. In 2015, a study of the proteins inside the ancient bones suggested a close kinship to perissodactyla, an order of "odd-toed ungulates" that includes tapirs, rhinoceroses, horses and their ilk. According to that analysis, Macrauchenia had branched off from the lineage of any surviving ungulates about 60 million years or so. But while the study of proteins allowed scientists to infer what the animals' DNA might have looked like—proteins are, after all, created under the instruction of the genes carried by our DNA—paleontologists were unable to get at the DNA itself. Until now.