Welcome Guest [Log In] [Register]
Welcome to Carnivora. We hope you enjoy your visit.


You're currently viewing our forum as a guest. This means you are limited to certain areas of the board and there are some features you can't use. If you join our community, you'll be able to access member-only sections, and use many member-only features such as customizing your profile and voting in polls. Registration is simple, fast, and completely free.


Join our community!


If you're already a member please log in to your account to access all of our features:

Username:   Password:
Add Reply
Andrewsarchus mongoliensis
Topic Started: Jan 12 2012, 09:28 PM (15,354 Views)
Taipan
Member Avatar
Administrator

Andrewsarchus mongoliensis

Posted Image

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: †Mesonychia
Family: †Triisodontidae
Genus: †Andrewsarchus
Species: †A. mongoliensis

Andrewsarchus was a predatory ungulate (hoofed mammal) that lived during the late Eocene Epoch of the Cenozoic Era. This group constituted the only segment of the ungulates that was carnivorous, and the largest, andrewsarchus mongoliensis was the largest mammalian predator ever to walk on land. Oddly enough, andrewsarchus was most closely related to hippos and pigs rather than to more familiar groups of predators like big cats or dogs. Fossils of this giant have been uncovered in Central Asia, primarily Mongolia.

Posted Image

Physical Description
Andrewsarchus is known only from an enormous skull (83 cm long and 56 cm wide) and pieces of bone, but the skull's similarity to that of smaller mesonychids suggests that Andrewsarchus had the same wolf-like body on a larger scale.

It is possibly the largest land-dwelling carnivorous mammal known. "If Andrewsarchus was proportioned in the same manner as Mesonyx obtusidens, it had a length from the snout to the back of the pelvis of about 12 feet and a height from the ground to the shoulder or middle of the back of about 6 feet. Thus in round numbers it is possible that it may have been three times the size of Synoplotherium (Dromocyon) vorax or of Mesonyx obtusidens." However, like many archaic animals, Andrewsarchus and other mesonychids had a superproportionally large head in comparison to their body size.

Extrapolating from the body proportions of similar mesonychids, such as Mesonyx, Andrewsarchus was probably about 4 metres (13 feet) long and may have stood nearly 2 metres (6 feet) at the shoulders. The cranium is about twice the length of an Alaskan brown bear (Ursus arctos middendorffi), but much narrower, and about triple the length of an Rocky Mountain wolf (Canis lupus occidentalis). Since the average brown bear weighs less than 1,000 pounds, and only an extreme specimen of a wolf weighs up to 77 kg (170 lb), we can only suggest, proportionately extrapolating body sizes, that Andrewsarchus probably weighed somewhere between 400 to 1,000 pounds at the most. But since we have only the skull, and no other fossil evidence, this is pure speculation. Paleontologists that researched Andrewsarchus for the highly acclaimed award-winning BBC video "Walking with Prehistoric Beasts" state as a "Key Fact": "Weight - one quarter of a metric ton," or 551 pounds."

Further fossil finds should shed light on the size of the animal, as it is not known if the present specimen represents an average, or exceptional animal of the species. Nor does it specify its age.

Posted Image

Its enormous jaws would have been extremely powerful, enough to bite through bone and tough armor and hides of animals like brontotherium living at the same time. Weighing in at nearly a ton, it must have been a fearsome sight indeed and dwarfed even the largest grizzly bear.

Posted Image

Diet
Due to the well-preserved nature of the uncovered skull in Mongolia, the evidence for andrewsarchus being an active predator is dubious. Although it had rows of large, curved teeth, they were rather blunt, which would be unsuited for attacking living prey. Also, its large size and heavy weight might have made it unsuited to chase down swift-moving prey. It is legitimate to say that andrewsarchus was actually a scavenger, using its giant size to scare away smaller scavengers and even apex predators in order to steal carcasses. Yet, the size of andresarchus' jaws makes the idea of it being a scavenger feeding on washed up carrion on the Asian coastal areas unfitting as well. Furthermore, an endothermic animal that size would have needed an enormous amount of food in order to keep it going. As with most large, carnivorous animals, it is likely that andrewsarchus was an opportunistic carnivore. This means that it could have either attacked live prey or scavenged according to what was most available or feasible at the time.

Reason For Extinction
Andrewsarchus went extinct due to a number of factors. The gradual shift in climate at the end of the Eocene could have affected the numbers of prey items in Asia at the time. If it was a scavenger, andrewsarchus could have profited from these hard times for herbivores, but only for a limited time. Furthermore, competition from smaller, faster predators called creodonts drove giants like andrewsarchus out of existence.

Posted Image

Scaled Skull Size Comparison

Posted Image
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
Taipan
Member Avatar
Administrator

Andrewsarchus (Museum recreation)
Posted Image
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
Taipan
Member Avatar
Administrator

prehistoriccat
 
Posted Image


Posted Image
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
Megafelis Fatalis
Carnivore
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Roman Yevseyev
Posted Image
Edited by Megafelis Fatalis, Mar 31 2012, 04:33 PM.
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
Megafelis Fatalis
Carnivore
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Andrewsarchus (~83cm long skull) - Drawing by biarmosuchus
Posted Image
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
linnaeus1758
Member Avatar
Omnivore
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
First time I see a reconstruction of its skull.

http://other-worlds.ucoz.ru/news/andrewsarchus_carstvennyj_zver_ehndrjusa/2011-04-20-4
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
linnaeus1758
Member Avatar
Omnivore
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
Posted Image
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
tomegatherion
Member Avatar
Unicellular Organism
[ * ]
This is outdated. Andrewsarchus was a Cetancodontamorpha, related to whales, entelodonts and hippos.

Spaulding, M; O'Leary, MA; Gatesy, J (2009). Farke, Andrew Allen, ed. "Relationships of Cetacea (Artiodactyla) Among Mammals: Increased Taxon Sampling Alters Interpretations of Key Fossils and Character Evolution"
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
1 user reading this topic (1 Guest and 0 Anonymous)
« Previous Topic · Extinct Animals · Next Topic »
Add Reply

Skin created by Crash-Cheetah of Forum Chat