Early Giant predator
(Andrewsarchus mongoliensis)


From this animal only a single skull without lower jaw has been found, but that is enough to see that it was a member of the Mesonychians family. The Mesonychidea were a kind of bizarre carnivores, they looked like giant dogs but in fact they were hoofed animals. They had five little hoofs instead of claws, their relatives are hippo's, pigs and even whales. From the carnivorous hoofed animals only those who lived in water, the whales, survived. Those who stayed on the land, like Andrewsarchus, became exinct. But after that, there is no mammalian landpredator who became as big as Andrewsarchus, its skull was almost a meter long, which would make the whole animal 5 meters (about 16 feet) long and 2 meters (7 feet) high at the shoulder. Its hoofed feet could'nt be used for killing prey, but its long jaws had bone-crushing power. Andrewsarchus hunted, probably solitarily, on juvenile Brontotheres. Although there has been suggested that it specialised in eating turtles. Andrewsarchus' skull was found in Mongolia, he and other Mesonychians lived during the late Eocene.