Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Chasmaporthetes gangsriensis: New Fossil Hyena Found in Tibet

Paleontologists have discovered fossils of a previously unknown species of cursorial hyena that lived in what is now Tibetan Plateau during the middle Pliocene, 4.9-4.1 million years ago.

Cursorial hyenas (Chasmaporthetes), also known as hunting or running hyenas, are an extinct genus of hyenas endemic to North America, Africa, and Asia during Pliocene and Pleistocene periods.

The oldest representatives of Chasmaporthetes appeared in the late Miocene of Greece, Chad, and China. However, the genus was already widespread at the time of their earliest record around 7 million years ago.

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