Megalictis

Name: Megalictis.
Phonetic: Meg-ah-lik-tiss.
Named By: William Diller Matthew‭ ‬-‭ ‬1907.
Synonyms: Aelurocyon brevifacies,‭ ‬Brachypsalis simplicidens,‭ ‬Megalictis brevifacies,‭ ‬Megalictis simplicidens,‭ ‬Paroligobunis,‭ ‬simplicidens.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Mammalia,‭ ‬Carnivora,‭ ‬Mustelidae,‭ ‬Oligobuninae.
Species: M.‭ ‬ferox‭ (‬type‭)‬,‭ ‬M.‭ ‬frazieri,‭ ‬M.‭ ‬petersoni.
Diet: Carnivore.
Size: Estimated between‭ ‬20‭ ‬and‭ ‬60‭ ‬kilograms,‭ ‬but opinions amongst palaeontologists can vary greatly.
Known locations: USA.
Time period: Harrisonian‭ (‬Late Chattian of the Oligocne to Aquitanian of the Miocene‭)‬.
Fossil representation: Multiple individuals.

       Whereas most modern mustelids are relatively small predators that hunt small animals,‭ ‬Megalictis was the prehistoric giant that was comparable to modern dogs and big cats.‭ ‬However exactly how big remains a matter of debate amongst researchers with some saying that Megalictis was relatively light weight at around twenty kilograms,‭ ‬with others suggesting as much as sixty kilograms if not bigger.‭
       Today Megalictis is often described as being physically similar to the wolverine‭ (‬Gulo gulo‭) ‬only much bigger.‭ ‬With this in mind it was probably a generalist predator that could adapt to tackling a variety of different prey that could have also included other small predators as well as herbivores.‭ ‬Because of the physical proportions and joints of the limbs,‭ ‬Megalictis was better suited towards ambush hunting rather than open pursuit.‭ ‬Megalictis probably existed in the same predatory niche as its large relative Ekorus from Africa.



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