Named By: Aymard - 1846.
Classification: Chordata, Mammalia, Arctiodactyla, Entelodontidae.
Species: E. magnus (type), E. antiquus, E. aymardi, E. dirus, E. gobiensis, E. ronzonii.
Size: Around 3 meters long.
Known locations: Across Eurasia.
Time period: Bartonian of the Eocene through to Rupelian of the Oligocene.
Fossil representation: Many specimens.
from North America and Paraentelodon
from Asia, Entelodon
is one of the largest currently known entelodonts,
to Miocene era mammals that are interpreted as pig-like although their
exact relationship to pigs is still strongly debated. The broad
distribution of Entelodon species across Eurasia
reveal that it was a
successful animal. This success may have been down to an omnivorous
diet which means that Entelodon had the capability
to switch and adapt
to different food sources. Additionally the large size of Entelodon
not only meant that fully grown adults were unlikely to be attacked by
creodont predators such as Hyaenodon,
but Entelodon may have also
been in a position to physically drive these predators away from their
kills and feed upon the carcasses of animals themselves.
Since the appearance of entelodonts exploded in popular media from the start of the twentieth-first century there has been some confusion over the name Entelodon and the term entelodont with respect to what they mean. In the simplest terms, a group of animals is named after the first of their kind that was described to science. In this case Entelodon was the first of its kind that was described and so its name was used as a basis for the creation of the Entelodontidae. Members of the Entelodontidae are referred to as ‘entelodonts’ and while this can include the genus Entelodon, it can also include other genera that belong to the group Entelodontidae such as Archaeotherium and Daeodon amongst others. So to reiterate, an entelodont is any animal that belongs to a genus that is assigned to the Entelodontidae, while an Entelodon is an animal that is assigned to the genus Entelodon and because Entelodon is assigned to Entelodontidae, an Entelodon may also be referred to as an entelodont, but not the other way around unless the entelodont in question is actually an Entelodon. This is actually quite easy to pick upon when you remember that genus names like Entelodon always start with a capital letter and are printed in italics, while entelodont is left in standard print and is never capitalised, unless of course it is the first word in a new sentence.