Named By: E.P.J. Heizmann, L. Ginsburg & C. Bulot - 1980.
Classification: Chordata, Mammalia, Carnivora, Feliformia, Barbourofelidae.
Species: P. peregrinus (type), P. eggeri.
Known locations: Europe.
Time period: Burdigalian of the Miocene.
Fossil representation: Several specimens.
Prosansanosmilus is similar to another European genus of barbourofelid called Sansanosmilus, but is known from deposits that are dated to being a few million years older than the earliest currently known fossils of Sansanosmilus, hence the addition of ‘Pro’ to the genus name. The early appearance of Prosansanosmilus is also revealed in its more primitive form to later barbourofelids which includes upper canines that are not as well developed as later forms. Prosansanosmilus does still appear however to have been an ambush predator as indicated by its proportionately short legs, an adaptation that is great for sudden acceleration, but not so good for a high top speed over distance. The robust features of the skeleton also hint that it was a very physical predator that may have subdued its prey with physical strength before delivering a killing bite. Although exact size is unavailable, Prosansanosmilus is one of the smaller European genera of barbourofelid.