|Named By:||Arambourg in 1961|
|Classification:||| Chordata | Mammalia | Carnivora | Caniformia | Arctoidea | Amphicyonidae ||
Afrocyon is an extinct genus of large, mostly carnivorous bone-crushing mammals known as bear dogs, of the family Amphicyonidae endemic to Africa during the Miocene to Pliocene living from 11.6--5.3 Ma and existed for approximately 6.3 million years.
The only known afrocyn fossils that exist today are various parts of the animal's body. These fossils began showing up soon after the last noted remains of another bear dog known as Agnotherium were excavated. The remains of the afrocyon were discovered in the country of Tunisia.
The man who discovered afrocyon was named Camille Louis Joseph Arambourg. Arambourg was born in Paris in 1885 and later died in Paris in 1964, just three years after he discovered afrocyon. He originally studied agricultural engineering, but he eventually searched for fossils around the world.
The first bear dog named was Amphicyon, a close relative to afrocyon. There have been many others named which are believed to be related to afrocyon. The majority of bear dogs are believed to have weighed under one hundred kilograms. The afrocyon had to face many predators in its era. Some scientists have concluded that ancient cats are the cause of the fall of the bear dog, as well as other canine-like creatures of that time.
The afrocyon is thought to have lived life like a modern-day brown bear. However, they closely resembled modern dogs ("Remains"). Remains of this creature were dug up in California. A jaw bone and fangs that were an inch in length were dug up by the excavation team. They have estimated that the bear dog dug up would have weighed about two hundred pounds ("Remains"). The afrocyon and its ancestors are believed to have gone extinct due to faster and much larger predators that were constantly evolving around them.