.4" Oligocene Fossil Hemicyonine Bear (Cephalogale) Tooth - France

This is a beautifully preserved tooth from a Hemicyonine bear, also known as "bear dog" of the family Hemicyoninae (species - Cephalogale minor) that was collected from the Upper Oligocene in Lot (formerly Quercy), France. It comes with an acrylic display case.

The Quercy Phosphorites Formation in France is world famous for its Eocene to Miocene faunas, especially those from the upper Eocene to lower Oligocene. The latter particularly helped to understand the ‘Grande Coupure’, a dramatic faunal turnover event that occurred in Europe during the Eocene-Oligocene transition. Fossils from the Quercy Phosphorites were excavated during the mid-19th century until the early 20th century from a series of sites that are no longer accessible. These fossils have subsequently dispersed between several research institutions, unfortunately losing some temporal and geographical information in the process. This material is part of an old collection we acquired that presumably was collected along with this material in the 19th or early 20th century. A recently published paper on the mammals of the Quercy Phosphorites can be found below.

The upper Eocene-Oligocene carnivorous mammals from the Quercy Phosphorites (France) housed in Belgian collections

Cephalogale is an extinct genus of Hemicyonine Bear/"Dog Bear" that inhabited North America and Europe from the Oligocene to the Early Miocene, existing for over 20 million years. Dog bears earned their name for their mix of dog and bear-like characteristics. They were about the size of modern day coyotes and had short legs, optimized for quick sprints as opposed to long distance running. This indicates that they ambushed their prey instead of chasing them down. Fossil footprints suggest that like present day bears, these animals walked in a flat-footed way. They likely dug burrows as shelter for themselves and their offspring.
Cephalogale minor
Lot (Formerly Quercy), France
Quercy Phosphorites Formation
.4" Wide
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