Carnivorous dog-bear fossil discovered in France

The discovery of a dog-bear mandible fossil in France suggests that this ancient animal was more scattered around the world than previously thought.

In the Pyrenees, researchers have found a fossil of a dog-bear mandible. This animal, now extinct, was rare in this region, and this mandible probably belonged to a new genus of amphicyonidae (carnivores related to canids).

Animals that look like both bears and dogs

Despite their name, bear-dogs were neither bears nor really dogs, but that did not prevent them from presenting characteristics close to canids (dogs, wolves, foxes) and ursids (pandas and bears).

Bear-dogs, or Amphicyonidae, varied widely in size and weight: some representatives of this family could weigh more than 750 kg ! During the Miocene, ie 23 to 5.3 million years ago, these carnivorous animals were present in many areas of the northern hemisphere. In Europe, their presence was relatively rare, but the fossil just discovered by a team of scientists in the Pyrenees, proves thatthey had succeeded in expanding and adapting to this region.

A new breed of massive wolfhounds

In addition, the mandible fossil found is surprising in its size (20 centimeters), and the researchers believe that it belonged to a new genus of dog-bear, the Tartarocyon. Live Science, which was able to contact a member of the scientific team, details in its article:

Researchers estimate that Tartarocyon was one of the largest species, weighing approximately 200kg (441 pounds).”

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