6 November 2009. Edmonton, AB, Canada.
A new study on the mandibular biomechanics of the extinct hyena-like Dinocrocuta gigantea has been published online (advance of print) in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. The authors are Zhijie Jack Tseng from the University of Southern California and Dr. Wendy Binder from Loyola Marymount University; both are associates of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.
This new paper is complementary to an earlier one on the cranium of Dinocrocuta published in the Biological Journal of the Linnean Society.
Main findings combining data from both studies suggest that the cranium of Dinocrocuta matches that of modern spotted hyena Crocuta in its performance even at a sub-adult stage. However, the same is not true for the jaws; the sub-adult Dinocrocuta dentary is structurally weaker compared to a sub-adult Crocuta, and may present evidence of differential ontogenetic trajectories in the two carnivorans.