Two bear dogs fighting over a carcass

Bear dogs

Despite being named bear dogs, members of this family were neither bears nor dogs, but a group of their own that was related to both. Fossilised footprints of larger species show that they walked much like modern bears, their feet flat on the ground and moving the two left legs and two right legs together alternately. Smaller species lived in underground dens, and could probably burrow for prey if it outran them. Bear dogs were commonly found in Eurasia during the Oligocene, but also spread to North America where they would have fed on small rodents and rabbits, possibly climbing trees in pursuit of some prey.

Scientific name: Amphicyonidae

Rank: Family

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Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

When they lived

Discover the other animals and plants that lived during the following geological time periods.