10 jul. 2019
Amphicyon belonged to the group of bone-crushing “bear-dogs”. These animals looked like a wrong hybrid between a bear and a wolf, having massively built bodies and small, dog-like heads. They also had large, thick tails and teeth like a modern wolf. In some parts of the world, like North America, they were the top predator of their time, replacing several other species when they first appeared. It had very well-developed forelimbs which it probably used to wrestle large prey to the ground. Amphicyon was probably an omnivore, having a lifestyle comparable to that of a brown bear.
North America, Eurasia and Africa
Miocene to Pliocene
Amphicyon major lived during the Miocene epoch of Eurasia and fossils have been unearthed in Southern Europe, France, Germany and Turkey. A. major had a total length of 1.8 m and weighed about 180 kg, which made it one of the smaller species within the genus, but still had the size of a modern day lion.
Argot, C. (2010). Morphofunctional analysis of the postcranium of Amphicyon major (Mammalia, Carnivora, Amphicyonidae) from the Miocene of Sansan (Gers, France) compared to three extant carnivores: Ursus arctos, Panthera leo, and Canis lupus. Geodiversitas, 32(1), 65-106.