Osteological evidence for predatory behavior of the giant percrocutid (Dinocrocuta gigantea) as an active hunter
We present osteological evidence that a rhinocerotid skull belonging to a female Chilotherium wimani was bitten by a giant percrocutid, Dinocrocuta gigantea. Aided by comparative evidence of black rhino (Diceros bicornis) predation by extant spotted hyenas Crocuta crocuta, we interpret the healed wound on the C. wimani female as an injury incurred by the late Miocene D. gigantea. The hunting paleoecology of the giant percrocutid D. gigantea has long been speculated, but thus far no clear evidence has been discovered to point to the predatory habits of this carnivore. The present specimen of C. wimani provides evidence to indicate that the giant percrocutid shared similarities in predatory behavior to the modern spotted hyena: it was an active hunter in spite of the specialized bone-cracking craniodental morphology which imparted superb capability for processing bone.
vertebrate paleontology collection, Hezheng Paleozoological Museum, Gansu, China
the locality prefix of Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Chinese Academy of Sciences