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Temporal range: Middle Eocene–Late Oligocene
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Infraclass: Marsupialia
Order: Sparassodonta
Superfamily: Borhyaenoidea
Family: Proborhyaenidae
Ameghino, 1897

See the text


Arminiheringiidae Ameghino, 1902

Proborhyaenidae is an extinct family of metatherian mammals of the order Sparassodonta, which lived in South America from the Eocene (Casamayoran) until the Oligocene (Deseadan).[1] Sometimes it has been included as a subfamily of their relatives, the borhyaenids (as Proborhyaeninae).[2] Body mass estimates suggest that proborhyaenids could weigh up to 150 kilograms (330 lb), making them some of the largest known metatherians.[3] Proborhyaenid remains have been found in western Bolivia, Uruguay, southern Brazil, and the provinces of Mendoza, Salta, and Chubut, in Argentina.[4]-

Most proborhyaenids had a robust, hyena-like skull, although one species, Callistoe vincei, had an elongate, narrow skull more reminiscent of a thylacine.[1] The teeth were strongly specialized as carnassials for eating meat, and in Arminiheringia rotated throughout the animal's life to maintain a continuous shearing blade on the tooth.[2] Preserved specimens of their canines lack enamel;[2] in life, the enamel may have been very thin or restricted to the tooth tips. In the genus Arminiheringia the lower canines are protruding. Proborhyaenids can be distinguished from other sparassodonts by their grooved upper and lower canines, which grew continuously throughout the animals' lives like rodent incisors. Bond and Pascual (1983) argued that proborhyaenid canines stopped growing in late adulthood based on a specimen from Mendoza Province, Argentina, but the proborhyaenid identity of this specimen is disputed.[3][1] The presence of open-rooted upper canines in thylacosmilids has led to the suggestion that proborhyaenids are closely related to, or even ancestral to, this group, but this is still controversial.[5][4]



  1. ^ a b c d Babot, María J.; Jaime E. Powell; Christian de Muizon (2002). "Callistoe vincei a new Proborhyaenidae (Borhyaenoidea, Metatheria, Mammalia) from the Early Eocene of Argentina". Geobios 35 (5): 615–629. doi:10.1016/S0016-6995(02)00073-6. 
  2. ^ a b c Marshall, L. Evolution of the Borhyaenidae, extinct South American predaceous marsupials. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1978.
  3. ^ a b Prevosti, Francisco J.; Analía Forasiepi; Natalia Zimicz (2013). "The Evolution of the Cenozoic Terrestrial Mammalian Predator Guild in South America: Competition or Replacement?". Journal of Mammalian Evolution 20: 3–21. doi:10.1007/s10914-011-9175-9. 
  4. ^ a b Forasiepi, Analía M. (2009). "Osteology of Arctodictis sinclairi (Mammalia, Metatheria, Sparassodonta) and phylogeny of Cenozoic metatherian carnivores from South America". Monografías del Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales 6: 1–174. 
  5. ^ Babot, Maria J. (2005). Los Borhyaenoidea (Mammalia, Metatheria) del Terciario inferior del noroeste argentino. Aspectos filogenéticos, paleobiológicos y bioestratigráficos (Thesis).