Answer Monday!

Last week, I shared a mandible and tooth fragment from an animal that I thought many of you would recognize. Many of you quickly surmised it was a canine of some sort, but which one?

This was a Tomarctus sp. in the Canidae family from the Miocene, found in what is now Nevada. From Prehistoric-Wildlife.com:

"A relative of such genera as Aelurodon and Borophagus,‭ ‬Tomarctus is another one of the hyena-like‭ ‘‬bone crushing‭’ ‬dogs of the Miocene.‭"

Bone crushing dogs? That sounds like fun! 

"Tomarctus is known to have existed for at least the first half of the Miocene,‭ ‬and seems to have disappeared with the appearance of later borophagine forms like Aelurodon.‭ ‬During the early half of the Miocene Tomarctus would have lived amongst other groups of carnivores such as false sabre-toothed cats,‭ ‬bear dogs and entelodonts."

When I was poking through the archives I found several more jaw fragments from the same area, so expect more bone crushers, biters, and scratchers in the coming weeks! 

Minda Berbeco
Short Bio

Minda Berbeco is the former Programs and Policy Director at NCSE.

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