The fossilized lower jawbone of a new genus of “bear dog” has been discovered in the French Pyrenees, according to a study published in mid-June.
Monsters as predators prevailed in Asia, South Africa, Europe and North America more than 7.5 million years ago, live sciences reported on Thursday. Although the bear dog is not directly related to dogs or bears, the megafauna appears to be a fusion of both, according to the outlet.
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Live Science continued that the newest genus of bear dog, Tartarocyon, took its scientific name from Tartaro, a legendary Basque giant that used to eat babies. The most ‘surprising’ feature of the latest discovery is the teeth, which were so large and strong that researchers believe they were most likely for ‘breaking bones’, study Lead author, Floreal Sol, told the outlet. (Related: Biggest Florida Python Ever Discovered, And Its Stomach Contents Will Blow Your Mind)
While most bear dogs discovered weigh between 20 to 705 pounds, the newest animal is estimated to weigh nearly 441 pounds, making it one of the largest species, according to Live Science. Other features in the fossil indicate that the genus was probably geographically separated from other canine bears during the Miocene epoch between 23 million and 5.3 million years ago, and the port also persisted.
Various types of bear dogs that scientists found in North America found as small as the Chihuahua, according to to Science.org. The site indicated that fossils of creatures were found in parts of southern Texas. Science.org reports that it is unclear why it went extinct millions of years ago.