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Entelodont

Entelodonts lived from:45-19 million years ago.Partial skeletons are commonly found in the Hsanda Gol fossil beds of Mongolia, but there are much better preserved and very similar fossils found in North America.

Type: Entelodont
Diet:Omnivorous - Mostly scavenging carcasses
Size:Several species are known but the largest Dinohius was about 2.1m at the shoulder.
Pronunciation: en-TELL-oh-don
Latin name: Entelodon
Meaning: "perfect toothed"
Animal Type: Mammal - artiodactyl
Dietary Type: Omnivorous - Mostly scavenging carcasses
Closest Living Relative: Pigs and other cloven-hoofed animals
Size: Several species are known but the largest was about 2.1m at the shoulder.

Entelodonts are the cousins of modern pigs and other hoofed animals. Many of their skulls have very severe wounds, some have gashes upto 2cm deep in the bone between the eyes that could only have been inflicted by other entelodonts during conflict. In fact it seems to have been quite common for one to fit another's head entirely in its mouth! The bony lumps all over their faces, like those of modern warthogs, were perfectly placed to protect delicate areas during these fights. This seems to have worked well as even very scarred entelodonts show no damage to the protected eyes or nose. Their huge skulls were enormously powerful and designed to crush bones. Many teeth marked bones are found in fossil beds with entelodonts. They were clearly scavengers and probably ate anything that they came across. Their thickly enamelled teeth are often broken, and also show marks suggesting they chewed vines and exposed roots for water in the dry season.

The entelodonts are one of the more common fossil animals found in the Mongolian Hsanda Gol formation. However, better preserved specimens have been found in North America.

Although they are related to pigs, some of these huge beasts grew to the size of a rhino. Their jaws were massively powerful, and the bones of brontotheres and other animals show entelodont toothmarks. The most striking features of the entelodonts are the bony knobs all over their skulls. Some of these were simply for the attachment of very strong jaw muscles allowing a wide gape. Others seem to be larger in males, and their purpose was presumably the same as in modern pigs such as warthogs. The lumps were placed so as to protect the eyes and other delicate parts of the skull during fights.

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