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Temporal range: Early Oligocene–Early Miocene
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Canidae
Genus: Osbornodon
Wang, 1994
Type species
Osbornodon fricki
  • O. brachypus
  • O. fricki
  • O. iamonenis
  • O. renjiei
  • O. sensoni
  • O. scitulus
  • O. wangi
Approximate range of Osbornodon based on fossil distribution

Osbornodon ("Osborn's dog") is an extinct genus of bone-crushing canid (canidae) that were endemic to North America and which lived from the Orellan age of the Early Oligocene to Early Miocene epoch 33.9—15.97 Ma (AEO) and existed for approximately 17.93 million years. [1]


Osbornodon was named by Wang (1994). Its type is Osbornodon fricki. It was assigned to Canidae by Wang (1994) and Munthe (1998).[2]


Two fossil specimens were examined by Legendre and Roth for body mass. The first specimen was estimated to have weighed 22.2 kg (49 lb). The second specimen was estimated to have weighed 20.2 kg (45 lb).[3]


Seven known species of the genus Osbornodon existed:

  • Osbornodon fricki (18 Ma)
  • Osbornodon iamonensis (synonyms: Cynodesmus nobilis, Paradaphoenus tropicalis) (21 Ma), Osbornodon renjiei (33 Ma), and Osbornodon sesnoni (32 Ma).


Osbornodon scitulus appears to be a transitional species that partially fills a large morphological and stratigraphical gap within the Osbornodon genus. Compared to Osbornodon renjiei and Osbornodon sesnoni, Osbornodon scitulus possesses derived characters such as large frontal sinus, high sagittal crest, narrow infraorbital canal, short bulla, and broad premolars. O. scitulus differs from Osbornodon wangi in larger size and relatively wider P3 and shorter P4. O. scitulus is distinguishable from Osbornodon iamonensis and later species in its primitive characters such as a non-elongated rostrum, paroccipital process that is not expanded posteriorly, mastoid process not reduced, and p4 not differentially enlarged relative to p3 (Wang, 2003).


  1. ^ Paleobiology Database: Osbornodon Basic info.
  2. ^ 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
  3. ^ S. Legendre and C. Roth. 1988. Correlation of carnassial tooth size and body weight in recent carnivores (Mammalia). Historical Biology 1(1):85-98