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Ancient Bone Crushing Canine Was a Vegetarian

Many people believe that dogs love to eat meat more than they love their veggies. However, according to a jaw analysis of an ancient Bone Crusher that was found in Maryland, a 12-million-year-old fossil, these ancient dogs may have actually been more vegetarian’s than meat eaters.

According to a study that was published in the Journal of Paleontology, a research study was done by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and a new species of the Bone Crusher dog or also known in scientific terms as the Cynarctus wangi has been found and it is believed that this ancient dog, although looked like a coyote, actually acted more like a hyena and ate more plants than meat.

Another name for them, canid, actually lived 12 million years ago during the middle Miocene and was part of the ancient species called bone crushers. They were called bone crushers because they had strong jaws and huge teeth.

Bone crushers lived all over North America about 12 million years ago or between 10 and 30 million years ago. And, because of it being part omnivorous or vegetarian, researchers believe these dogs went extinct because they were not able to compete with the ancestors of today’s coyotes, foxes, and wolves.

What is more shocking is the location where the researchers found the fossil of this ancient breed of dog. According to Discovery News, the location was around the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland where most living things back then were actually sea creatures. Because of this fossil being found here, and because of how old it is, this provides information of what life was really like between 10 and 30 million years ago.

In fact, this is what one researcher, a University of Pennsylvania doctoral student, Steven E. Jasinski, the lead author of the study done,  said about the finding of the fossil of the bone crusher dog species.

Research leader for study done on Ancient bone crusher dog breed.

Photo credit: Youtube.com

Most fossils from this time period represent marine animals, who become fossilized more easily than animals on land. It is quite rare we find fossils from land animals in this region during this time. But, each one provides information for what life was like then.

Fossil of a bone crusher dog's jaw.

Photo credit: Youtube.com

The researchers who studied the fossil believe this ancient dog breed was more omnivorous than carnivorous because of the way its teeth were. They believe this animal lived more like a “mini bear” and that its primary source of food was plants and insects.