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Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Canidae
Subfamily: Borophaginae
Tribe: Borophagini
Genus: Tephrocyon
  • T. rurestris

Tephrocyon is an extinct genus of the Borophaginae and a small to medium-sized terrestrial canine (bone-crushing dog) which inhabited most of North America during the Barstovian stage of the Middle Miocene 16.3—13.6 Ma, existing for approximately 2.7 million years.[1]


Fossil specimens of two individuals' body mass were examined by Legendre and Roth. The first specimen was estimated to weigh 12.9 kg (28 lb). The second specimen was estimated to weigh 12.1 kg (27 lb).[2]

Fossil record[edit]

It is a rarely found genus, with fossil deposits only occurring in western Nebraska, Wyoming, New Mexico and north Florida. Desmocyon contains one species: Tephrocyon rurestris. It was first named by Merriam 1909.

Sister genera[edit]

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


  1. ^ PaleoBiology Database: Tephrocyon Taxonomy, Species
  2. ^ S. Legendre and C. Roth. 1988. Correlation of carnassial tooth size and body weight in recent carnivores (Mammalia). Historical Biology
  • The Biology and Conservation of Wild Canids by David W. Macdonald and Claudio Sillero-Zubiri; page 42 ISBN 0-19-851556-1

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