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Andrewsarchus prehistoric mammal, illustration

Andrewsarchus prehistoric mammal, illustration

C046/0707

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80.5 MB (4.9 MB compressed)

6496 x 4329 pixels

55.1 x 36.6 cm ⏐ 21.7 x 14.4 in (300dpi)

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Credit

ROMAN UCHYTEL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROMAN UCHYTEL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Andrewsarchus. Illustration and photo-reconstruction Andrewsarchus mongoliensis (bone cruncher), the largest carnivorous land mammal that lived during the Eocene epoch between 32 to 60 million years ago. It had a long snout with large, sharp teeth and flat cheek teeth that may have been used to crush bones. Because Andrewsarchus is only known from a single enormous skull (83 cm long and 56 cm wide), whether it was an active predator or a large scavenger is open to debate, as is its exact time range. Though scientists can't be sure, the huge skull suggests the animal may have been twice as big as a grizzly bear, making it the largest carnivorous land mammal of all time. It is believed that Andrewsarchus fed on turtles, because the only Andrewsarchus fossil was found in a prehistoric coastal area. Some scientists think Andrewsarchus is a close relative of whales, since they share a similar jaw structure.

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