Cynodictis

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Cynodictis
Temporal range: Late Eocene–Early Oligocene
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Infraorder: Arctoidea
Family: Amphicyonidae[1]
Subfamily: Amphicyoninae
Genus: Cynodictis
Bravard and Pomel (1850)
Species

C. elegans

Cynodictis elegans, ("slender dog marten") is an extinct amphicyonid carnivoran which inhabited Eurasia from the Late Eocene subepoch to the Early Oligocene subepoch living from 37.2—28.4 Ma, existing for approximately 8.8 million years.[2][3]

Anatomy[edit]

Cynodictis had a long muzzle and a low-slung body. It had carnassial teeth for slicing chunks of meat off carcasses. It was about 30 cm at the shoulder.

Fossil distribution[edit]

Fossil specimens have been found from Mengjiapo, China to the Isle of Wight, Great Britain as well as Weisserburg, Germany and 3 sites in France.

In popular culture[edit]

Cynodictis are depicted in an episode of the series Walking with Beasts. In the third episode Land of Giants, they were identified as "bear-dogs". One "bear-dog" drives away a young Indricothere from her litter of pups. The animation shows Cynodictis as digitigrade, walking on its toes, like wolves and dogs do today. Cynodictis was actually plantigrade, meaning that it walked on its whole foot like bears and humans.

References[edit]

Haines, Tim, and Paul Chambers. The Complete Guide to Prehistoric Life. Pg. 176. Canada: Firefly Books Ltd., 2006.

  1. ^ Hunt, R.M. (2001). "Small Oligocene amphicyonids from North America (Paradaphoenus, Mammalia, Carnivora)". American Museum Novitates 3331: 1–20. doi:10.1206/0003-0082(2001)331<0001:SOAFNA>2.0.CO;2. hdl:2246/2884. 
  2. ^ Paleobiology Database: Cynodictis, age range and collections
  3. ^ Egi, Naoko, Takehisa Tsubamoto, and Khishigjav Tsogtbaatar. "New amphicyonid (Mammalia: Carnivora) from the Upper Eocene Ergilin Dzo Formation, Mongolia." Paleontological research 13.3 (2009): 245-249.("...It is similar to Cynodictis, which is a primitive amphicyonid from the late Eocene to early Oligocene of Europe...")