Named By: Galbreath - 1953.
Classification: Chordata, Mammalia, Carniora, Caniformia, Amphicyonidae.
Species: D. harpagops (type).
Size: Weight estimated around 1.4 kilograms.
Known locations: USA, Colorado - Cedar Creek.
Time period: Early Rupelian of the Oligocene.
Fossil representation: Single individual specimen.
not a very well-known amphicyonid,
help to reinforce
the image of the earlier bear dogs being very small predators that were
second to creodont mammals like Hyaenodon
during the Oligocene.
Ultimately however the creodonts did not adapt to changing climatic
conditions which drove the development of new prey types, and with
the arrival of newer larger bear dog forms such as Amphicyon,
bear dogs took over from the creodonts.
Because of its small size, Drassonax would have been a hunter of other small animals as well as possibly a scavenger that fed upon the leftovers from the larger predators. These larger predators included the aforementioned creodonts as well as false sabre-toothed cats. Both of these types of predators would have been easily capable of killing a small amphicyonid like Drassonax.
- A contribution to the Tertiary geology and paleontology of northeastern Colorado. - University of Kansas Paleontological Contributions Vertebrata 4:1-120. - E. C. Galbreath - 1953.