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Temporal range: Middle Miocene–Late Miocene
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Canidae
Subfamily: Borophaginae
Tribe: Borophagini
Subtribe: Borophagina
Genus: Carpocyon
Webb, 1969
Type species
Carpocyon webbi
Webb, 1969
Carpocyon range.png
Range of Carpocyon based on fossil distribution

Carpocyon is an extinct member of the Borophaginae, and a terrestrial canid (dog) which inhabited most of North America during the Barstovian stage of the Middle Miocene through the Hemphillian stage of the Late Miocene epoch 13.6 to 5.3 Ma Mya.[1] Carpocyon existed for approximately 16.5 million years.


Carpocyon was named by Webb in 1969 and assigned to Canidae by Webb that same year. In 1988, Carroll assigned it to Canidae with X. Wang assigning it to Borophaginae in 1999.


Two fossil specimens of Carpocyon were measured by Legendre and Roth in 1988. They estimated that specimen one weighed 24.1 kg (53 lb) and the second weighed 21.8 kg (48 lb).[2] Its physical size was between a jackal and a small wolf.


  • Carpocyon compressus (synonymous with Cynodesmus cuspidatus) lived 23.13—13.6 Ma, existing for 23.13 million years. Weight of two specimens were estimated at 19.3 kg (43 lb) and 17.6 kg (39 lb)
  • Carpocyon limosus lived from 16.3—10.3 Ma, existing for 17.97 million years.
  • Carpocyon robustus lived 13.6—10.3 Ma, existing for 13 million years. Weight of two specimens were 27 kg (60 lb) and 24.3 kg (54 lb).
  • Carpocyon webbi lived from 16.3—10.3 Ma, existing for 6 million years. Weight of two specimens were estimated at 30.4 kg (67 lb) and 27.2 kg (60 lb)

Sister genera[edit]

Borophagus, Epicyon, Paratomarctus and Protepicyon.


  • The Biology and Conservation of Wild Canids By David W. Macdonald, and Claudio Sillero-Zubiri ISBN 0-19-851555-3
  • Flynn, J.J., 1998. Early Cenozoic Carnivora ("Miacoidea"). pp. 110–123 in C.M. Janis, K.M. Scott, and L.L. Jacobs (eds.) Evolution of Tertiary Mammals of North America. Volume 1: Terrestrial Carnivores, Ungulates, and Ungulatelike Mammals. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. ISBN 0-521-35519-2


  1. ^ PaleoBiology Database: Carpocyon Taxonomy, Species
  2. ^ S. Legendre and C. Roth. 1988. Correlation of carnassial tooth size and body weight in recent carnivores (Mammalia). Historical Biology: p. 85-98
  • Xiaoming Wang, Richard H. Tedford, Mauricio Antón, Dogs: Their Fossil Relatives and Evolutionary History, New York : Columbia University Press, 2008; ISBN 978-0-231-13528-3