Named By: Joseph Leidy - 1871.
Synonyms: Proviverra pungens, Proviverra grangeri, Sinopa grangeri, Sinopa minor, Sinopa pungens, Stypolophus aculeatus, Stypolophus pungens, Triacodon aculeatus, Triacodon fallax.
Classification: Chordata, Mammalia, Creodonta, Hyaenodontidae.
Species: S. rapax (type), S. ethiopica, S. major.
Size: Around 1 meter long.
Known locations: USA, Mongolia and Egypt.
Time period: Thanetian of the Paleocene through to the Rupelian of the Oligocene.
Fossil representation: Remains of multiple individuals.
a hyaenodontid creodont, Sinopa is considered to
be a relative to the
much more famous Hyaenodon.
Like with this genus, the current known
distribution of Sinopa fossils suggest that it had
stretching from North Africa to North America, though the vast
majority of Sinopa fossils are so far known in the
Like with others of its kind, Sinopa would have
been a predator of
other animals, though it seems to better adapted for hunting smaller
prey through the undergrowth. The proportionately short creodont legs
of Sinopa also suggest that it probably hunted by
ambush rather than
pursuit. This in turn is a reflection of the ecosystems of its time
which would have been closer to dense growths and forests across most
of the available landmasses, the perfect environment for such hunting
strategy. The disappearance of Sinopa in the
early Oligocene also
coincides with a gradual shift in climate from the gradual loss of the
forests and their subsequent replacement by more open grassy land.
This in turn drove an evolutionary shift in new prey and predators
that Sinopa and the other creodonts had problems
There were once many more species of Sinopa registered but later study has found these to represent other existing species. At the time of writing the only conformed species of Sinopa are S. rapax, S. minor and S. ethiopica. S. ethiopoca is currently the only species of Sinopa from Africa, and is based upon the description of a mandible from the Gebel Qatrani Formation of Egypt.
- A Descriptive Catalogue of the Tertiary Vertebrata of Fayum, Egygt. - C. W. Andrews -1906.
- The first species of Sinopa (Hyaenodontida, Mammalia) from outside of North America: implications for the history of the genus in the Eocene of Asia and North America. -Palaeontology 57(1):111-125. - M. Morlo, K. Bastl, W. Wu & S. F. K. Schaal - 2014.