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Dinictis Dinictis Dinictis
Product Code: 71
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12 reviews

Dinictis (Dinictis Leidy, 1854)


Order: Carnivora

Family: Nimravidae

Dimensions: length - 1,2 m, height - 60 cm, weight - 50 kg

Temporal range: during the late Ecene - Early Miocene  epoch (North America)

Typical representative: Dinictis felina Leidy, 1854


Dinictis is an extinct genus of the family Nimravidae, subfamily Nimravinae endemic to North America during the Eocene-Oligocene epochs (30.8—20.6 mya), existing for approximately 10.2 million years.

Dinictis, also known as "false saber-toothed cats", had a sleek body 1.1 metres long, short legs 0.6 metres high with only incompletely retractable claws, powerful jaws, and a long tail. It was very similar to its close relative, Hoplophoneus. The shape of its skull is reminiscent of a felid skull rather than of the extremely short skull of the Machairodontinae. Compared with those of the more recent machairodonts, its upper canines were relatively small, but they nevertheless distinctly protruded from its mouth. Below the tips of the canines its lower jaw spread out in the form of a lobe. Dinictis walked plantigrade (flat-footed), unlike modern felids. It looked like a small leopard and evidently its mode of life was similar to that of a leopard. It was probably not so particular about its food as its descendants, since reduction of the teeth was still in the early stages and Dinictis had not forgotten how to chew. Despite this, in its own environment it would have been a powerful predator.

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