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Temporal range: Paleocene–Early Eocene
Pachyaena gigantea.JPG
P. gigantea jaws
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Mesonychia
Family: Mesonychidae
Genus: Pachyaena
Cope, 1874
  • P. gigantea
  • P. intermedia
  • P. nemegetica
  • P. ossifraga
  • P. gracilis

Pachyaena (literally, "Thick Hyena") was a genus of heavily built, relatively short-legged mesonychids that originated from Asia and spread to North America. The species ranged in size from a coyote to a bear.

Size varied depending on the species: For P. gracilis, the body mass estimated based in femur length is 24.0 kg, for P. ossifraga is about 56.9 kg, and for the large P. gigantea is 81.7 kg.[1][2] However weight estimations of P. gigantea vary from 129 to 396 kg.[3]


The genus' greatest diversity is seen in North America, with P. ossifraga known from Latest Paleocene strata of Wyoming, and P. gigantea, P. intermedia, and P. gracilis known from Early Eocene strata of Wyoming. P. nemegetica is known from Late Paleocene strata of Mongolia.


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  3. ^ J. Sargis, Eric (2009) Mammalian Evolutionary Morphology: A Tribute to Frederick S. Szalay p.130

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