Miocene Burrows of Extinct Bear Dogs: Indication of Early Denning Behavior of Large Mammalian Carnivores

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Science  22 Jul 1983:
Vol. 221, Issue 4608, pp. 364-366
DOI: 10.1126/science.221.4608.364


Partial skeletons of four species of extinct carnivores have been found in their dens excavated in the floodplain of an early Miocene ephemeral braided stream at Agate Fossil Beds National Monument, Nebraska. Bear dogs (Carnivora: Amphicyonidae) were the principal occupants; their den dimensions and body size are similar to those of living wolves and hyenas. Discovery of this predator community extends the record of denning behavior of large mammalian carnivores to the early Miocene, 20 million years ago.

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