Huge New Predator Nicknamed “Bear Dog” Was Found That Weighed Over 50 Stones


Tartarocyon is part dog and part bear and is thought to have died out around 7.5 million years ago

What Tartarocyon Could Look Like

A half-dog bear believed to have wandered Europe millions of years ago has been identified by an international team of scientists.

The ancient predator was named Tartarocyon – a nod to a large, powerful, one-eyed giant from Basque mythology.

The team of experts, led by Bastien Mennecart from the Natural History Museum in Basel, Switzerland, made the discovery after studying a fossilized jawbone which they determined belonged to a new type of ‘bear dog’. .

The large carnivorous animal species is believed to have weighed up to 320 kilograms (about 705 pounds), appearing in Europe 36 million years ago before becoming extinct around 7.5 million years ago.

The jawbone is about 12 million years old


Denny Navarra/Newsflash)

The paleontologist said: “The jawbone comes from 12.8 to 12 million year old marine deposits that were examined in the small community of Sallespisse in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department of south-west France.”

They explained that the fossilized bone was particularly striking because of its teeth.

“Unlike familiar amphicyonid specimens, this animal has a single lower fourth premolar.

“This tooth is particularly important in determining species and genera.

“As a result, the examined lower jaw probably represents a new genus.

“His name is Tartarocyon. This name comes from Tartaro, a big, powerful, one-eyed giant from Basque mythology.

A representation of the newly discovered species


Denny Navarra/Newsflash)

“The legend of Tartarus is also known in Béarn, the region where the lower jaw was found.

“Floreal Sole, a world-renowned specialist in carnivorous mammals, Jean-François Lesport and Antoine Heitz of the Basel Natural History Museum chose the name of the new genus.”

The fossilized jawbone belongs to a group of predators that resembled “a cross between a bear and a large dog, known as ‘bear dogs'”.

The scientists added: “They belong to a group of carnivores such as dogs, cats, bears, seals and badgers.

“These predators were a widespread part of the European fauna of the Miocene (23 to 5.3 million years ago).

“They were very species-rich and diverse, weighing between 9kg and 320kg. Tarataroyon is estimated at 200kg.

“The last European Amphicyonidae became extinct at the end of the Miocene 7.5 million years ago.”

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