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Temporal range: Early Oligocene–Early Miocene
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Canidae
Subfamily: Hesperocyoninae
Genus: Ectopocynus
Wang, 1994
Type species
Ectopocynus simplicidens
  • E. antiquus
  • E. intermedius
  • E. simplicidens

Ectopocynus ("strange dog") is an extinct genus of small bone crushing carnivorous mammal similar to a dog of the family Canidae which inhabited North America during the Oligocene. It lived from 33.3—16.0 Ma and existed for approximately 17.3 million years. [1]

Though a carnivore, dentition suggests this animal was a hypercarnivore or mesocarnivore.[2][3]


Ectopocynus was named by Wang (1994). Its type is Ectopocynus simplicidens. It was assigned to Canidae by Wang (1994) and Munthe (1998).[4]


Two specimens were examined by Legendre and Roth for body mass. The first specimen was estimated to weigh 16.5 kg (36 lb). The second specimen was estimated to weigh 15.2 kg (34 lb).[5]

Ectopocynus is best described as having simple, robust, and blunt yet massive premolars and reduced or lost cusp on lower molars. In this respect, Ectopocynus has many of the characteristics of Enhydrocyon. Remains of Ectopocynus are limited to mandibles and teeth only.


  1. ^ Paleobiology Database: Ectopocynus, Basic info.
  2. ^ R. M. Nowak. 1991. Walker's Mammals of the World. Maryland, Johns Hopkins University Press (edited volume) II
  3. ^ Q. Ji, Z.-X. Luo, C.-X. J.R. Yuan Wible, J.-P. Zhang, and J.A. Georgi. 2002. The earliest known eutherian mammal. Nature 416:816-822
  4. ^ K. Munthe. 1998. Canidae. in C. M. Janis, K. M. Scott, and L. L. Jacobs (eds.), Evolution of Tertiary mammals of North America 124-143
  5. ^ S. Legendre and C. Roth. 1988. Correlation of carnassial tooth size and body weight in recent carnivores (Mammalia). Historical Biology 1(1):85-98