1. Education
Send to a Friend via Email

Epicyon

By

epicyon

Epicyon (Wikimedia Commons)

Name:

Epicyon (Greek for "more than a dog"); pronounced epp-ih-SIGH-on

Habitat:

Plains of North America

Historical Epoch:

Middle-Late Miocene (15-5 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 5 feet long and 150 pounds

Diet:

Meat

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Large size; big-cat-like head

About Epicyon:

Possibly the largest prehistoric dog that ever lived, Epicyon was a true "canid," belonging to the same general family as wolves, hyenas and modern dogs--and was thus a different beast altogether from the non-canid "creodont" mammals (typified by the giant Sarkastodon) that previously ruled the North American plains. Epicyon weighed in the neighborhood of 150 pounds--as much as a full-grown human--and it possessed unusually powerful jaws and teeth, which made its head look more like that of a big cat than a dog or wolf. However, paleontologists don't know much about Epicyon's feeding habits: it may have hunted alone or in packs, and it may even have subsisted exclusively on already-dead carcasses.
  1. About.com
  2. Education
  3. Dinosaurs
  4. Prehistoric Animals
  5. Prehistoric Mammals A to Z
  6. Epicyon - About.com Prehistoric Mammals

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.