Sarkastodon

Name: Sarkastodon ‭(‬Flesh tearing tooth‭)‬.
Phonetic: Sar-kas-toe-don.
Named By: Granger‭ ‬-‭ ‬1938.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Mammalia,‭ ‬Creodonta,‭ ‬Oxyaenidae.
Species: S.‭ ‬mongoliensis‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Carnivore.
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)‬.

       Not 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 would have been a very large,‭ ‬powerful animal and is often likened to being like a bear.‭ ‬Like many other creodonts,‭ ‬Sarkastodon had robust canine teeth for seizing prey,‭ ‬and sharp pre-molars for slicing flesh.‭ ‬With this in mind it would seem that Sarkastodon‭ ‬was a 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’‬.

Further reading
- A giant oxyaenid from the upper Eocene of Mongolia. - American Museum Novitates 969. - W. Granger - 1938.


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