Facts about Andrewsarchus, an extinct prehistoric animal

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Dinosaur Jungle   >   Other Prehistoric Animals   >   Andrewsarchus



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Scientific Classification
  Kingdom Animalia
  Phylum Chordata
  Class Mammalia
  Order Mesonychia
  Family Triisodontidae
  Genus Andrewsarchus
Andrewsarchus lived during the late Eocene epoch of the Paleogene period in Asia (fossils have been found in Mongolia), between about 45 million and 36 million years ago. Andrewsarchus was a mammal of the extinct order Mesonychia - the Mesonychids were a group of hoofed carnivores which were related to artiodactyls (even-toed ungulates) and cetaceans (the group containing whales, dolphins and porpoises).

To date, only the animal's skull and a few other bones have been found, so not all details of the animal's lifestyle are clear (for example, we are not certain whether it was an active predator or a scavenger). It is known to be have been heavily built with an enormous skull, a long snout with large teeth (including sharp cutting teeth, and flat cheek teeth that could have crushed bones), a long body, a long tail, and short legs with hoofed toes.

Because no complete specimen has yet been found, the exact size of Andrewsarchus remains a subject of much debate. It was probably around 12 feet (3.7 meters) long from head to pelvis, not including the tail, and its shoulders may have been 6 feet (1.8 meters) above the ground. Its weight was probably somewhere between 400 and 1,000 pounds (180 to 450 kilograms) - although where in this wide range it fell, remains a subject of debate. One thing is for sure though, it was one of the largest mammalian land predators ever to have lived.

Andrewsarchus Timeline:

Andrewsarchus as a hoofed mammalian carnivore that lived between 45 and 36 million years ago

Andrewsarchus as a hoofed mammalian carnivore that lived between 45 and 36 million years ago

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