(Flesh tearing tooth).
Named By: Granger - 1938.
Classification: Chordata, Mammalia, Creodonta, Oxyaenidae.
Species: S. mongoliensis (type).
Size: Reconstructed skull length about 46 centimetres long.
Known locations: Mongolia - Irdin Manha Formation, further material attributed from the Ulan Shireb Beds.
Time period: Priabonian of the Eocene.
Fossil representation: Skulls and mandibles (lower jaws).
too much is known about Sarkastodon because so far
as only the
skull and jaw are known for certain. The size and construction of
these skulls however strongly suggest that in life Sarkastodon
have been a very large, powerful animal and is often likened to being
like a bear. Like many other creodonts, Sarkastodon
canine teeth for seizing prey, and sharp pre-molars for slicing
flesh. With this in mind it would seem that Sarkastodon
hypercarnivore (an animal that almost it not exclusively eats nothing
but meat), using its teeth to cut bite sized chunks of flesh and
the strength of its jaws (amplified by the short muzzle that
increased the efficiency of the muscles by holding bones nearer the
fulcrum of the jaws) to crush bones.
Sarkastodon would have been one of the more powerful predators of its day, but eventually the creodonts, the group it belonged too, would lose out to newer predators such as the amphicyonids, better known as ‘bear dogs’.
- A giant oxyaenid from the upper Eocene of Mongolia. - American Museum Novitates 969. - W. Granger - 1938.