Sansanosmilus

Name: Sansanosmilus ‭(‬Sansan knife‭)‬.
Phonetic: San-san-oh-smilus.
Named By: Miklós Kretzoi‭ ‬-‭ ‬1929.
Synonyms: Possibly Sansanosmilus vallesiensis.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Mammalia,‭ ‬Carnivora,‭ ‬Feliformia,‭ ‬Barbourofelidae.
Species: S.‭ ‬jourdani,‭ ‬S.‭ ‬jourdani vallesiensis,‭ ‬S.‭ ‬palmidens,‭ *‬S.‭ ‬vallesiensis‭ (‬possible synonym to S.‭ ‬jourdani vallesiensis‭)‬.
Diet: Carnivore.
Size: About‭ ‬1.5‭ ‬meters long,‭ ‬80‭ ‬kilograms in weight.
Known locations: Eurasia.
Time period: Serravallian of the Miocene.
Fossil representation: Several specimens.

       Although fossil remains form China have been attributed to Sansanosmilus‭ (‬for the species S.‭ ‬palmidans‭)‬,‭ ‬most of the currently known fossils come from Europe.‭ ‬This would suggest that the highest population density for Sansanosmilus was in Europe,‭ ‬however caution should be used before coming to this conclusion since fossil deposits of certain times are evenly distributed across the globe,‭ ‬nor is the level of faunal inclusion in these deposits absolute.‭ ‬For this reason the geographical and temporal distributions of extinct animals including Sansanosmilus are usually a case of best educated guess.
       At around one and a half metres long and with a weight estimate of about eighty kilograms,‭ ‬Sansanosmilus was quite a bit smaller than the type genus of the Barbourofelidae,‭ ‬Barbourofelis.‭ ‬Additionally the enlarged upper canine teeth of Sansanosmilus were a little smaller as well.‭ ‬Together these might suggest a prey specialisation for smaller animals that did not require as much brute strength to take down,‭ ‬although the robust skeleton of Sansanosmilus is indicative of a powerful musculature.‭ ‬Also smaller prey would not require such large canines for a killing bite,‭ ‬perhaps across a more vulnerable area such as the neck.
       Other barbourofelids include Prosansanosmilus and Ginsburgsmilus,‭ ‬Vampyrictis and Syrtosmilus amongst others.



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