(ORDO NEWS) — The bowels of the planet Earth store a lot of interesting things: not only the cultural remains of the past, but also the remains of outlandish animals. So, in France, they found something completely unexpected.
A group of paleontologists from France have discovered fossils of a species of large animal previously unknown to science in the southwest of their country.
It is believed that this is a “bear dog” that lived about 12 million years ago in the regions of Europe. The ancestor of modern dogs and bears was given the name Tartarocyon cazanavei, where the first word is the name of the giant Tartaro from Basque mythology. The second word is the name of the owner of the farm where the remains were found.
Amphicyonids, that is, those very “bear dogs”, are predatory and already extinct mammals resembling our modern animals.
It is known that they appeared about 45 million years ago in North America, then ended up in Europe, Africa and Asia. The last representatives of this species were alive about 8 million years ago.
French paleontologists managed to discover the jaw of Tartarocyon cazanavei: the analysis showed that the animal often fed on vertebrates.
The length of the preserved teeth allowed scientists to determine the mass of the predator – almost 200 kilograms, which makes Tartarocyon cazanavei one of the largest members of the family.
At the same time, the smallest individuals were about 9 kilograms, the largest ones could reach 300 kilograms.
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