From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivoramorpha
Family: Borophaginae
Genus: Metatomarctus
Wang, 1999
Binomial name
Metatomarctus canavus
(Simpson, 1932)
Type species
Metatomarctus canavus

Metatomarctus is an extinct genus of Borophaginae and a terrestrial canine which inhabited most of North America during the Early Hemingfordian stage of the Miocene epoch living 23.0—5.3 Mya, existing for approximately 17.7 million years[1]


It was first described by Wang in 1999.

These carnivores hunted in packs, like modern canines, and may have preyed upon creatures such as Equus, rodents, and other smaller prey.


Fossil specimens of two individuals' body mass were examined by Legendre and Roth. The first specimen was estimated to weigh 11.1 kg (24 lb). The second specimen was estimated to weigh 10.5 kg (23 lb).[2]

Sister genera[edit]

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

Fossil distribution[edit]

The genus contains one species: M. canavus. Other fossil locations: Maryland, Wyoming, New Mexico, and several in western Nebraska.[5]


  1. ^ PaleoBiologogy Database: Early Hemingfordian Age range and collections
  2. ^ S. Legendre and C. Roth. 1988. Correlation of carnassial tooth size and body weight in recent carnivores (Mammalia). Historical Biology
  3. ^
  4. ^ Dawes County Collection, Paleobiology
  5. ^ PaleoBiology Database: Metatomarctus, basic information

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