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.
Left - right mandible of
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
isolated tooth of Osteoborus cynoides,
Pliocene Epoch, Ogallala Formation, Hemphill County, Texas
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.