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AMPHICYON "BONE-CRUSHING BEAR-DOG" PHALANX TOE BONE

Suwannee River, Florida, U.S.A.

EARLY MIOCENE PERIOD:  20 - 18 million years ago

Of all the fascinating fauna of prehistoric Florida that we could offer fossil specimens of, this horrific and ferocious beast ranks as one of the most recommended as it is not only rare and bizarre, but its entire family lineage emerged and then went completely extinct during the Miocene Period.  This valuable specimen dates back to the ARIKAREEAN AGE, a term used in the scientific community as part of the North American Land Mammal Ages (NALMA).  These ages represent periods on the geologic time scale as they relate to this type of fauna.

This is a very large phalanx toe bone from the giant bone-crushing bear-dog Amphicyon longiramus.  In the Early Miocene of Florida, no animal was more deadly.  This mammal was the apex predator of its time and had no equal.  Never before have we been fortunate to offer ANY fossil from this rare and little known about beast.  It is likely you will never see anyone offer specimens of this animal!  Post-cranial material from this predator is even more rare so this is one exotic and rare fossil we must recommend to the advanced collector of choice and unusual specimens!  Entire phalanx is intact with no damage or distortion.  Surfaces are superb and joints are like new and complete with posterior joint shown above in the last image.  NO REPAIR and NO RESTORATION.  

Made famous in the BBC digital television presentation "Walking with Prehistoric Beasts", the bear-dogs were ferocious carnivores that ranged from the size of a medium dog to the size of a bear.  These predators known as Amphicyonids were neither dogs nor bears but were more closely related to bears.  They emerged and subsequently went extinct during the Miocene, once inhabiting regions of Eurasia and North America.  

Amphicyonidae were a diverse group with species resembling all or part of modern dogs, hyenas and bears.  Leaner built species had cheek teeth designed for shearing meat whereas the stouter and larger species had teeth designed to crush bone.  Males were larger than females.  They lived in dens and had the ability to dig large burrows.  

Amphicyon longiramus was the largest of the Florida species at the size of a full-grown bear.  This species evolved in Eurasia and migrated to North America.  A. longiramus was the top predatory land mammal of its time in Florida during the Early Miocene.  Its skull was long in comparison to its body size but brain size was lacking.  Its posture and structure were similar to a bear and it is theorized that it must have hunted using ambush techniques that are used today by modern grizzlies.  Most likely, this giant bear-dog burst upon its unfortunate victim at close range and dealt its prey a single deadly blow with its massive forepaw.  This theory of attack is also based on its relative the bear as it was incapable of sustaining long runs in pursuit of prey.  Compared to lighter species of Amphicyonids, Amphicyon longiramus had heavy posterior dentition allowing it to crush bone in its jaws.  

TERRESTRIAL VERTEBRATE FOSSILS FROM THE EARLY MIOCENE OF FLORIDA ARE SUPER RARE AND ONLY FOUND AT A HANDFUL OF SITES - EXOTIC AND VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

THIS BEAST WAS THE APEX PREDATOR OF FLORIDA IN THE EARLY MIOCENE AND HAD NO EQUAL

1.4" long

$175     LM43-001     INCLUDES DISPLAY BOX     Actual Item - One Only

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