Indarctos

Name: Indarctos ‭(‬India bear‭)‬.
Phonetic: Ind-ark-tos.
Named By: ‭P‬ilgrim‭ ‬-‭ ‬1913.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Mammalia,‭ ‬Carnivora,‭ ‬Ursidae.
Species: I.‭ ‬salmontanus‭ (‬type‭)‬,‭ ‬I.‭ ‬anthracitis,‭ ‬I.‭ ‬arctoides,‭ ‬I.‭ ‬atticus,‭ ‬I.‭ ‬nevadensis,‭ ‬I.‭ ‬oregonensis,‭ ‬I.‭ ‬vireti,‭ ‬I.‭ ‬zdanskyi.
Diet: Omnivore‭?
Size: Details unavailable.
Known locations: Across Africa,‭ ‬Asia,‭ ‬Europe and North America.
Time period: Tortonian to Messinian of the Miocene,‭ ‬possibly into the Zanclean of the Pliocene.
Fossil representation: Remains of multiple individuals.

       Fossils of Indarctos were first discovered in India,‭ ‬hence the genus name,‭ ‬but as time went on it was discovered that this prolific genus of bear was actually living across most of the old world continents of Africa,‭ ‬Asia and Europe,‭ ‬and even the new world continent of north America,‭ ‬especially the western United States though remains have been found as far as Florida.‭ ‬The oldest fossils of Indarctos are usually cited as those coming from the Muddy Creek Formation of Arizona,‭ ‬however this Formation is often only generally credited as being Miocene age‭ (‬rarely upper Miocene‭)‬.‭ ‬The earliest appearance of Indarctos fossils in the Miocene are‭ ‬concentrations in fossil deposits that are about eleven to ten million through to five million years in age.‭ ‬This firmly places the main temporal appearance of Indarctos in the Tortonian to Messinian periods of the Miocene,‭ ‬with some fossils from Libya suggesting the early Pliocene as well.‭ ‬Although in theory the Indarctos fossils of Muddy Creek might be earlier,‭ ‬they can also be the same age as the other remains known from the US,‭ ‬and at the time of writing it is safer to place Indarctos within the Tortonian period at the earliest,‭ ‬since this is supported by the occurrences of fossils known elsewhere.‭
       Indarctos was a fairly primitive bear that in the past has been considered to be similar to others such as Agriotheirum.‭ ‬The diet of the bear is also uncertain since most bears are known to be omnivorous.‭ ‬It’s possible that Indarctos may have preferred either a more meat or plant inclusive diet over one another,‭ ‬but at this time details are still unknown.


Further reading
-‭ ‬Preliminary observations on Carnivora from the Sahabi Formation,‭ ‬F.‭ ‬C.‭ ‬Howell‭ ‬-‭ ‬1987.

-‭ ‬Late Miocene large mammals from Yulafli,‭ ‬Thrace region,‭ ‬Turkey,‭ ‬and their biogeographic implications,‭ ‬D.‭ ‬Geraads,‭ ‬T.‭ ‬Kaya,‭ ‬and S.‭ ‬Mayda‭ ‬-‭ ‬2005.





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