|“||Hyaenodon. Despite the name, these are not relatives of Hyenas. They are more dangerous by far.||„|
|— Allen, about Hyaenodon|
Hyaenodon (name meaning "Hyaena Tooth") is a genus of Hyaenodontidae that originated during the Late Eocene epoch in what is now North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. Fast and vicious canine-like mammals that measured 6 meters long and were not at all related to Hyenas (despite the name), these carnivores were as large as a rhinoceros and a stag. Among the apex predators of their time, they hunted and killed in packs.
In the episode "The Big, the Small, the Bad, & the Ugly", a small pack of Hyaenodon was brought back to the park from the Oligocene in Mongolia 25 million years ago. They reside in an enclosure in the desert exhibit of the park.
Era & DiscoveryEdit
Hyaenodon first appeared in the Late Eocene period, about 42 million years ago, and lived during the Oligocene to Miocene period, over 25–15 million years ago. They were among the apex predators in their environment, often rivaled by the prehistoric hogs Entelodon. Hyaenodon was first discovered in 1838.
A large, predatory, and territorial canine-like creature, Hyaenodon may seem smaller in appearance compared to larger creatures, such as a Paraceratherium. However, these carnivorous mammals were the size of modern rhinos, standing 5–6 feet (1.6–2 m) tall, measuring around 20 feet (6 m) long, weighing a total of 500 kg (1,000 lbs.), and were easily capable of killing a newborn Paraceratherium calf, assuming they could get passed the mother. In addition to being deadly carnivores, they were also significantly fast and agile predators, able to quickly jump the length of a wide stairway to intercept fleeing prey.
Despite their name, Hyaenodon were not at all related to modern-day hyenas. Nevertheless, they were even more dangerous. Typical of early carnivorous mammals, Hyaenodon has a massive skull, but only a small brain; it has a long skull with a narrow snout, its neck is shorter than its skull, while its body is long and robust and terminated in a long tail. With a powerful set of teeth, Hyaenadon had a bone-shattering bite force of over 1,300 pounds per square inch and a design in the jaws that allowed the teeth to sharpen themselves throughout their entire life.
Behavior & TraitsEdit
Hyaenodon was an apex predator, among the top predators of their environment. This animal preyed on the bizarre group of animals called Chalicotherium, newborn or juvenile Paraceratherium, bear-dogs and a large, omnivorous relative of pigs and wild boars, the Entelodon. Its sheer size and meat-shearing teeth would make a deadly combination, making it an efficient and successful predator. It would also hunt cooperatively with other members of its kind. However, like most other early carnivorous mammals, Hyaenodon wasn't the brightest of animals.
Hyaenodon were stalkers, preferring to spy on and stalk their prey from among cover and shadows, then abruptly leap in for the kill. Hyaenodon apparently lived in very close family units and had fierce parental instincts; mother Hyaenodon would follow and try to stay close to their pups wherever they went, ruthlessly attacking and killing any and all animals that could potentially threaten the young, while the father Hyaenodon would guard the family unit's current surrounding area.
- It is coincidental that Hyaenodon has lived the same amount of time as hyenas, both being 21 million years ago.
- The sound effects for Hyaenodon are that of canines (dogs, wolves, coyotes, and hyenas), cougar, leopard, and bear roars.