Minda Berbeco's picture

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!