Daeodon – Prehistoric Pig Fossils

Daeodon ArtFirst, I invite you to think of a pig, perhaps a cute baby pig playing in the mud. They’re little, pink, adorable, right? Okay, now let me introduce you to Daeodon, “dreadful tooth” or “terrible pig”. This prehistoric animal is still a pig, but now I invite you to imagine the exact opposite of the cute little baby pig you had in mind before. This pig stood taller than a man and weighed close to 2,000 pounds. They were approximately 12 feet long from tip of snout to tip of tail. Some of the largest known specimens had heads which were up to 3 feet long. This size makes them the largest known entelodont — terminator pigs or hell pigs. Because of their large size, they had a unique structure of tendons and muscles supporting their skulls. This structure most closely resembles that of bison or rhinos today. In fact, scientists believed at first that entelodonts were actually prehistoric hippos. Also, unlike other entelodonts, they had slender legs and only two toes on each foot, rather than four.

 

Daeodon FossilDaeodon lives from 23 million years ago to 5 million years ago in North America. They were discovered in the mid-1800s and named in 1978 by Edward Drinker Cope. They lived alongside many other big-name predators, such as saber-toothed tigers, but Daeodon was bigger and scientists believe that they often scared big cats and dogs away from their prey just by their size and menacing tusks alone. Daeodon had a full set of teeth, including canines, incisors, and molars. Their jaws were powerful enough to crush bone. Daeodon wasn’t evolved to be a hunter. They were strictly opportunistic and relied on others to catch their prey for them. These gigantic pigs probably were omnivorous (the proof being in modern pigs’ behavior and their teeth, having both shearing and grinding abilities), so if there happened to be no convenient prey around, they could have eaten plants.

The distribution of Daeodon, from the fossil record that we have today, seems to have been localized in North America. They weren’t very common, similar to how prey animals are many times more abundant than predators. Their low frequency in the fossil record seems to indicate that they weren’t hunted by any other animals and occupied a similar tier in the Miocene food web as some of the apex predators of the day.

The following banner contains an affiliate link from which we earn a referral.  Thank you for your support.

iPhone Cases

Hope you enjoyed! Thank you for reading. If you have a question or request for a future blog topic, please feel free to leave one in the comments down below. We publish a new blog every Tuesday and Friday so, until next time, goodbye!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.