Basicranial morphology of Late Miocene Dinocrocuta gigantea (Carnivora: Hyaenidae) from Fugu, Shaanxi
Abstract Dinocrocuta gigantea was once moved out of the Hyaenidae based on its peculiar deciduous teeth and placed in a separate family–the Percrocutidae. A D. gigantea skull from Fugu, Shaanxi Province is scanned with the internal structures of its bulla reconstructed, described in detail, and compared with other feliforms. The basicranium of D. gigantea shows a typical hyaenid pattern, which supports the traditional view that it should remain within the Hyaenidae and questions the validity of the Percrocutidae. The basicranium of D. gigantea also possesses a number of unique features, suggesting that it could be an early side-branch of the Hyaenidae.
Key words Fugu, Shaanxi; Late Miocene; Hyaenidae; Dinocrocuta gigantea; basicranium