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Osteoborus cynoides - Bone crushing dog
Range:  North America
Size:  150 - 200 lb (68 - 91 kb)

Osteoborus first appeared during the Late Miocene Epoch (about 8 million years ago), and became extinct by about 1.5 million years ago during the Pleistocene.  It was a genus of primitive dogs with robust, conical teeth quite similar to those of hyenas.  This kind of dentition is an adaptation to crushing bones.  In fact, the group of dogs to which this genus belongs is known as the borophagines (bone eaters).  Note the massively thickened enamel and stout build of the tooth shown in the second photo.  These dogs are believed to have not been active hunters, but primarily scavenging in habit.

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Left - right mandible of Osteoborus cynoides, Pliocene, Hemphill County, TX

Centre - skull of Osteoborus sp., Pliocene, west TX

Right - palette of Osteoborus hilli, Pliocene, Harrell Ranch, Randall County, TX

Specimens on exhibit at the Panhandle Plains Historical Museum, Canyon, TX

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mandible, skull, and palate of Osteoborus - Image  C. Campbell

 
fossil tooth of Osteoborus cynoides - Image  C. Campbell
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An isolated tooth of Osteoborus cynoides, Pliocene Epoch, Ogallala Formation, Hemphill County, Texas
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This is a tooth from a different genus of borophagine dog called Epicyon validus.  This rare specimen is of Miocene age, and was found in Dixie County, FL.
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fossil tooth of Epicyon validus
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