3D Laser Scanning Services Confirm Now-Extinct Bear Dogs Were Once Widespread

Bear Dogs Once Roamed the Land

Once upon a time, there lived powerful predators known as bear dogs across Asia, North America, Europe, and southern Africa. The creatures were equipped with jaws to tear the prey. Researchers based in Pyrenees mountain in Europe have unearthed the jawbone of these extinct carnivores, shedding light on how dangerous these creatures were. The jawbone, studied using 3D laser scanning services, has also revealed how widely distributed they were around the world.

Bear dogs are an extinct group of carnivores in the amphicyonidae family. They possess features similar to animals from the Cinadae and Amphicyonidae families. Its lower jawbone represents a new genus and species of bear dog.

The most striking feature about the jawbone is that its fourth lower premolar had never been seen in the Amphicyonidae family before, indicating that the fossil probably belonged to a new species or genus.

Bear dogs had relatively long snouts and legs like dogs do but were flat-footed and heavy-bodied like bears. The animals had varied sizes, weighing between 9 and 320 kilograms. Researchers believe that Tartarocyon was one of the biggest species, weighing around 200 kilograms. Researchers have not found how closely bear dogs were to other animal families.

Some paleontologists argued that these animals were close to the canids, while others claim were close to the ursids. Discovering a new premolar shape in the family was an interesting finding. It raises questions about how the bear dog’s evolution may have diverged from other species and hints at the carnivore’s ability to crush bones. The original morphology of the Tartarocyon suggests that the animal belonged to the European Amphicyonids.

3D Laser Scanning Services Used to Study the Bear Dog

Researchers at the Natural History Museum in Basel used digital reconstruction and 3D laser scanning services to create a 3D model of the mandible. Upon completion, the mandible will be preserved using 3D scanning services. The two hammer blow represent the missing pieces researchers used to collect the sediment.

Researchers at the Basel-based museum discovered the fossil on the northern edge of the Pyrenees. According to the researchers, the remote area where the fossil was discovered might have been flanked by a sea that covered southwest France during the Miocene.

It is the first Amphicyonid fossil to be discovered in that region, suggesting that these creatures used to roam even more widely across Europe. That might have caused the extensive geographical distribution of bear dogs during the Miocene. According to researchers, every discovery, even a tiny, isolated tooth, will play a critical role in the success of the research.

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