Know Your Bones: December 2013

Last month’s challenge was a tad bit hard. I chose a creature from the forgotten period of mammal evolution. Isotelus came the closes with:


Entelodont. I can’t identify the species, though.


Isotelus is correct that this critter belongs to the clade Entelodontidae (Entelodont) A.K.A. hell pig. However, this skull specifically belongs to the species Daeodon.


(Taken at the Denver Museum of Natural History and Science)


This handsome critter lived during the Miocene in North America. It belongs to the artiodactyls (even toed ungulates [hoofed]) and Daeodon was the largest species of entelodonts ever discovered in the fossil record. Entelodonts also possess my favorite mammalian skull; it is a wonder to behold.


There is some controversy over what is the closes living relative to the entelodonts. It was long believed that they were closely related to pigs, thus the nick name hell pig, but some studies have placed them closer to hippos and whales. However, much like pigs, they were omnivores and perhaps were active predators when it came to obtaining meat. The entelodonts and Daeodon specifically were amazing creatures that I wish were still alive today.


Moving on to this months challenge:


(Taken at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science)


Since last month was a bit hard, I decided to stick with something simple. Good luck.

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