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Temporal range: Miocene
Plithocyon armagnacensis.JPG
Plithocyon armagnacensis skull
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Suborder: Caniformia
Family: Hemicyonidae
Subfamily: Hemicyoninae
Genus: Plithocyon
Ginsburg, 1955

see text

Plithocyon is an extinct genus of bear-like hemicyonid carnivore of the Miocene epoch, endemic to North America and Europe living from ~15.97—7.25 Ma, existing for approximately 8.72 million years.


Plithocyon was named by Ginsburg (1955). It was assigned to Ursidae by Ginsburg (1955) and Carroll (1988); and to Hemicyoninae by Hunt (1998).[1][2]


Body mass[edit]

Two specimens were examined by Legendre and Roth for body mass.[3]

  • Specimen 1: 79.3 kg (170 lb)
  • Specimen 2: 652.6 kg (1,400 lb)

Fossil distribution[edit]

Sites and age of specimens:


  • Plithocyon antunesi Ginsburg & Morales, 1998
  • Plithocyon armagnacensis Ginsburg, 1955
  • Plithocyon barstowensis (Frick, 1926)
  • Plithocyon bruneti Ginsburg, 1980
  • Plithocyon conquense Ginsberg
  • Plithocyon ursinus (Cope, 1875)


  1. ^ R. L. Carroll. 1988. Vertebrate Paleontology and Evolution. W. H. Freeman and Company, New York 1-698 [K. Behrensmeyer/K. Behrensmeyer/M. Carrano]
  2. ^ Hunt, R. M. (1998). "Ursidae". In Jacobs, Louis; Janis, Christine M.; Scott, Kathleen L. Evolution of Tertiary Mammals of North America: Volume 1, Terrestrial Carnivores, Ungulates, and Ungulate like Mammals. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. pp. 174–195. ISBN 0-521-35519-2. 
  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
  • Ginsburg, L. & Morales, J. 1998. Les Hemicyoninae (Ursidae, Carnivora, Mammalia) et les formes apparentées du Miocène inférieur et moyen d'Europe occidentale. Ann. Paléontol. 84 (1): 71-123.