entelodonts

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Entelodonts.
Also known as “hell-pigs”, though they were related more closely to hippos and whales than to pigs, Entelodonts were huge pig-like animals that lived during the Eocene-Miocene and appeared to have been one of the largest and most formidable land predators and/or scavengers alive at the time. They were omnivores, mostly, but judging by the massive design of their jaws it’s fairly obvious that they would have tackled large prey as well as plant matter. It is thought that they would have preyed on animals as large as Eporeodon, which grew to the size of a cow. And apparently some Entelodonts, such as Archaeotherium, have been discovered to have hoarded or cached their food- with the discovery of a cache of several early camels. They were so successful that they existed on this planet for approximately 21 million years.

The largest was horse-sized Daeodon, which could have weighed up to 930lbs and stood at around 6.9 feet tall.

(top photo)

Daeodon, from the late Oligocene and early Miocene of North America (~29-19 mya). About 1.8m tall at the shoulders (6′), it was one of the last and largest of the entelodonts, a group of omnivorous even-toed ungulates with long bone-crushing jaws.

Although often called “hell pigs” or “terminator pigs”, entelodonts weren’t actually pigs at all – instead they were much more closely related to hippos, whales, and Andrewsarchus.

Another NHMLA specimen: Entelodont archaeotherium. 

Entelodonts, sometimes facetiously termed hell pigs or terminator pigs are an extinct family of pig-like omnivores endemic to forests and plains of North America, Europe, and Asia from the late Eocene to early Miocene epochs.

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Andrewsarchus mongoliensis, a large mammal from the Eocene of Mongolia, living between about between 45 and 36 million years ago. The only specimen of this animal is a single enormous skull – 83cm long (~33in), twice the size of that of a modern Kodiak bear – so the exact size and appearance of the rest of its body is entirely unknown. Many reconstructions give Andrewsarchus a vaguely wolf-like shape, but this is just as speculative as the chunkier pig-hippo body I’ve used here.

Originally classified as a mesonychid, more recent studies have placed it as an even-toed ungulate closely related to both the entelodont “hell pigs” and the whippomorpha grouping of hippos and cetaceans.

Andrewsarchus had some of the strongest jaws of any land mammal, capable of crunching through large bones, but its teeth were fairly blunt and poorly adapted to shearing flesh like a specialized predator. It was more likely an opportunist, both hunting smaller animals and scavenging carrion and beached sea life along its coastal habitat. It may even have been omnivorous, in which case its lifestyle would have been incredibly similar to its later entelodont relatives.

Entelodont - “Hell Pigs” or “ Terminator Pigs”

A few years ago, Evan and I went to the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, and as usual, my favorite part was the paleontology hall (Prehistoric Journey) where they have a huge Entelodont model, which stood about 6.5 - 7 ft at the shoulders. Imagine if this thing were running around the plains of the U.S. today!

Here’s more about them:

Entelodonts — sometimes facetiously termed hell pigs or terminator pigs — are an extinct family of pig-like omnivores of the forests and plains of North America, Europe, and Asia from the middle Eocene to early Miocene epochs (37.2—16.3 million years ago), existing for about 21 million years. 

Entelodonts are an extinct group of rather pig-like omnivorous mammals with bulky bodies, but short, slender legs, and long muzzles. The largest were the North American Daeodon shoshonensis, and the Eurasian Paraentelodon intermedium, standing up to 2.1 m (6.9 ft) tall at the shoulder, with brains the size of an orange…  (Wikipedia)

And it turns out they’re not all that closely related to pigs:

Entelodonts (properly Entelodontidae) have generally been regarded as suiforms (close kin to pigs and peccaries) but some recent analyses have found the sampled members of the group to be members of the hippo + cetacean clade Cetancodontamorpha and hence fairly well removed phylogenetically from pigs and peccaries. Andrewsarchus, the famous Eocene giant predator or omnivore so often regarded as a mesonychian (or mesonychid), seems to be a cetancodontamorphan close to entelodonts… (from Darren Naish, Tetrapod Zoology, Scientific American)

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Doodle dump! It’s been awhile since I’ve made one of these.

(Row 1, left) For Inktober, I’ve been doing a little project called Daily Dino & Prehistoric Pals, which you can find on my art blog at @avigorito-art. I naturally decided to be a dork and make some Cenozoic GUG, with Ganon as an Entelodont, Link as a dire wolf, and Nabooru as a Smilodon.
(Row 1, right) Some Nabgsan and Midlink furries. I just wanted an excuse to draw Midna as a panther, I’m sorry.
(Row 2, left) Zelda dress design. I plan to explore her design more, but the sketch turned out decent.
(Row 2, middle) some Ghirahim
(Row 2. right) Although it doesn’t happen in the story, Roy and I are super open to the concept of Link and Vridi as a ship.
(Row 3) Nabsgan nose smooshin’
(Row 4) Since they’re all bratty kids right now in the comic (Vridi is an exception though), I just wanted to draw them chummin’ around.
(Row 5) GUG!Ganon hanging with @leafyns’ Ganon!

-Mod Junior

Eusmilus & Entelodon, Mauricio Antón

Nature plays the role of Providence capriciously. 

The saber-tooths fed where they’d taken their prey—at the pool’s edge, in the sandy dirt, under the spartan shadows of thirsty-looking trees—gorging on steaks of flank, blood smearing their faces, yawning as the hot sun sailed overhead and the shade slowly slid out from under their feet. Vultures drew circles above them, and green-painted flies hummed in their cat-like faces, flitting between kill and bloody chops, drinking whatever dripped or oozed, but these were easy to ignore. The kill would feed the Eusmilus pair for days. The female was already eying a nearby tree for a pantry.

But, the gargling bellow of the monster hogs stopped their feeding. After introducing themselves, the pig-things strolled out of the plain, flashing fangs, wagging heads, tails lifted high. The saber-tooths crouched, unsure. The female snarled, made a motion like she was going to pounce, but the entelodonts were unimpressed; they marched right up to the carcass as if the saber-tooths weren’t even there. The nimravids’ protests drowned in the weird brays of the pig-things. The entelodonts were not afraid. The dark truth was that if the saber-tooths didn’t run, they would be unceremoniously crushed in ugly jaws along with their half-eaten prey. 

There was only one option. The Eusmilus pair splashed through the shallows, half in hurry, half in shame, then trotted across the dry clay, dripping, close-lipped as if they didn’t care. Their possessive instinct berated them, but their survival instinct was louder. They did not look back to see the marauders wrench their kill apart, but it was impossible to shut out the noise: the chomps and snorts, bone crunching and tendon snapping—the sickening sounds of unearned feeding.