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Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Canidae
Subfamily: Borophaginae
Tribe: Borophagini
Genus: Desmocyon
(Wang and Tedford, 1992)
  • D. matthewi
  • D. thomsoni
Desmocyon range.png
Range of Desmocyon based on fossil distribution

Desmocyon is an extinct genus of the Borophaginae and a terrestrial canid which inhabited most of North America during the Harrisonian stage of the Late Oligocene through Early Hemingfordian stage of the Early Miocene epoch living 24.8—16.3 Mya existing for approximately 8.5 mya.[1]

Fossil record[edit]

It is a rarely found genus, with fossil deposits only occurring in western Nebraska, Wyoming, New Mexico and north Florida. Desmocyon contains two species: Desmocyon matthewi and Desmocyon thomsoni. It was first named by Wang in 1999.


Fossil specimens of two individuals' body mass were examined by Legendre and Roth. The first specimen was estimated to weigh 5.67 kg (13 lb). The second specimen was estimated to weigh 5.52 kg (12 lb).[2]

Sister genera[edit]

Cormocyon, Euoplocyon, Metatomarctus, Microtomarctus, Protomarctus, Psalidocyon, and Tephrocyon.


  1. ^ PaleoBiology Database: Cormocyon Taxonomy, Species
  2. ^ S. Legendre and C. Roth. 1988. Correlation of carnassial tooth size and body weight in recent carnivores (Mammalia). Historical Biology

General references[edit]

  • 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