Chinese Science Bulletin

, Volume 55, Issue 17, pp 1790–1794

Osteological evidence for predatory behavior of the giant percrocutid (Dinocrocuta gigantea) as an active hunter

Articles Geology

Abstract

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.

Keywords

predation rhinocerotid chilothere Dinocrocuta Miocene China 

Abbreviation

HMV

vertebrate paleontology collection, Hezheng Paleozoological Museum, Gansu, China

LX

the locality prefix of Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Chinese Academy of Sciences

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Copyright information

© Science China Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Evolutionary Systematics of Vertebrates, Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and PaleoanthropologyChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.Department of Vertebrate PaleontologyNatural History Museum of Los Angeles CountyLos AngelesUSA
  3. 3.Integrative and Evolutionary Biology Program, Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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