Named By: Stephane Peigne, Manuel J. Salesa, Mauricio, Anton & Jorge Morales - 2008.
Synonyms: Amphicyon castellanus.
Classification: Chordata, Mammalia, Carnivora, Caniformia, Amphicyonidae, Amphicyoninae.
Species: M. castellanus, M. anceps.
Size: Details unavailable.
Known locations: Spain, Madrid - Cerro de Battalions-1 (Battalions Hill).
Time period: Late Miocene.
Fossil representation: Partial remains of at least 12 individuals, including 5 juveniles.
fossil material for Magericyon was originally
described as a species of
until a new study by Peigne et al in 2008. Magericyon
was found to be different from Amphicyon by close
study of the form and
proportion of the teeth. In naming the new genus the describers chose
the name Magericyon from the word Magerit, the
original name for
Madrid combined with the ancient Greek for cyon which means dog.
Magericyon was further split into two species with M.
shorter and narrower canine teeth than M. castellanus.
Magericyon remains are known from the Cerro de Battalions area of Spain which has been interpreted as a natural predator trap due to the exceptionally high abundance of carnivorous mammals in this area. Studies of modern large predatory mammals indicate that predators most likely to go after animals and carrion stuck in predator traps are those that live in groups, although solitary predators are also known to do this. This might hint at possible pack hunting for Magericyon, particularly since juvenile remains have also been found, although this may be indicative of family groups where the young stay and scavenge with the parent.
Other predators known from this region include sabre-toothed cats such as Machairodus.