Temporal range: 13.6–2.5 Ma
Falconer & Cautley, 1836
†A. myanmarensis (Ogino et al., 2011)
Agriotherium is an extinct genus of bears whose fossils are found Miocene through Pleistocene-aged strata of North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia, living from ~13.6–2.5 Ma, existing for approximately . Materials of the late surviving A. africanum from Africa has suggested that A. africanum died out soon during the early Gelasian.
Agriotherium was about 2.7 metres (9 ft) in body length and weighed around 900 kg (1,980 lb), making it larger than most living bears. Except for the extinct subspecies of the modern polar bear Ursus maritimus tyrannus and Arctotherium, Agriotherium was, along with the short-faced bear, Arctodus simus, the largest member of terrestrial Carnivora. It had dog-like crushing teeth. Its primary diet was carnivorous and secondary was omnivorous possibly classifying this animal as mesocarnivore. With a body mass close to those of most large ungulates (bovines, cervids, camelids, and others), it is probable that Agrotherium could have preyed on these. Agriotherium also likely scavenged, and would not have been hesitant about stealing kills from such animals as the sabertooth cat Amphimachairodus, with whom it shared territory in both China and North America, and the feliform Barbourofelis, which it lived alongside in Texas, as evidenced by fossil deposits at Coffee Ranch.
- Specimen 1: 79.3 kg (175 lb)
- Specimen 2: 652.6 kg (1,440 lb)
A 2011 estimate that compared the bites of a few selected bears, both extant and extinct, concluded that Agriotherium had the strongest bite-force of any mammalian land-predator yet estimated.
Sites and age of specimens:
- American Cyanimid Company site, Bone Valley Formation, Polk County, Florida ~13.7—11.6 Ma.
- Venta del Moro, Spain ~9–5.3 Ma.
- Lang. E Quarry, South Africa ~5.3–3.6 Ma.
- Carlin High Quarry, Elko County, Nevada ~23–5.3 Ma.
- Vialette, Haute Loire, France ~3.2–2.5 Ma.
- Middle Awash, Ethiopia ~11.6–3.6 Ma.
Agriotherium ranged widely; fossils of four or more species have been found in Europe, India, China, North America and South Africa. It is the only ursoid known to have colonized sub-Saharan Africa (amphicyonid "bear dogs" also reached the area).
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