Borophagus dudleyi

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Borophagus dudleyi[1]
Temporal range: Late Miocene to Early Pliocene 10.3–4.9 Ma
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Canidae
Subfamily: Borophaginae
Genus: Borophagus
White, 1941
Type species
Borophagus dudleyi

Borophagus dudleyi ("devouring glutton") is an extinct species of the genus Borophagus of the subfamily Borophaginae, a group of canids endemic to North America from the late Hemphillian of the Miocene epoch (10.3 Mya) through the Pliocene epoch (4.9 Mya). Borophagus dudleyi existed for approximately 5.4 million years.[2]


Borophagus dudleyi was originally named Pliogulo dudleyi by T.E. White in 1941.[3] Borophagus dudleyi, like other Borophaginae, are loosely known as "bone-crushing" or "hyena-like" dogs. Though not the most massive borophagine by size or weight, it had a more highly evolved capacity to crunch bone than earlier, larger genera such as Epicyon, which seems to be an evolutionary trend of the group (Turner, 2004). During the Pliocene epoch, Borophagus began being displaced by Canis genera such as Canis edwardii and later by Canis dirus. Early species of Borophagus were placed in the genus Osteoborus until recently, but the genera are now considered synonyms.[1] Borophagus parvus possibly led a hyena-like lifestyle scavenging carcasses of recently dead animals.


Borophagus dudleyi was recombined as Cynogulo dudleyi by Kretzoi in 1968. It was recombined again as Osteoborus dudleyi by Webb in 1969 and Munthe in 1998. The animal was then synonymized subjectively with Borophagus crassapineatus by Richey in 1979. In 1987, Richard H. Tedford returned its original name and Xiaoming Wang along with Richard H. Tedford and Beryl E. Taylor concurred in a 1999 examination.


Typical features of this genus are a bulging forehead and powerful jaws; it was probably a scavenger.[4] Its crushing premolar teeth and strong jaw muscles would have been used to crack open bone, much like the hyena of the Old World. The adult animal is estimated to have been about 80 cm in length, similar to a coyote, although it was much more powerfully built.[5]

Fossil distribution[edit]

Borophagus dudleyi fossil specimens are exclusive to a coastal area of North Carolina.


Existence based on age of fossil collections and recombination with other species.

Can be found in Florida as well. Not exclusive to North Carolina.

Sister genera[edit]

Carpocyon, Epicyon, Paratomarctus and Protepicyon.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Wang, Xiaoming; Richard Tedford; Beryl Taylor (1999-11-17). "Phylogenetic systematics of the Borophaginae" (PDF). Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History. 243. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-03-20. Retrieved 2007-07-08. 
  2. ^ PaleoBiology Database: Borophagus dudleyi, basic info
  3. ^ T. E. White. 1941. Addition to the fauna of the Florida Pliocene. Proceedings of the New England Zoological Club 67-70
  4. ^ Lambert, David (1985). The Field Guide to Prehistoric Life. New York: Facts on File. p. 163. ISBN 0-8160-1125-7. 
  5. ^ Palmer, D., ed. (1999). The Marshall Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals. London: Marshall Editions. p. 220. ISBN 1-84028-152-9. 

Further reading[edit]