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Canis lepophagus

Mammalia - Carnivora - Canidae

Taxonomy
Canis lepophagus was named by Johnston (1938). Its type specimen is West Texas University Museum 881, a skull (skull, lacking mandible), and it is a 3D body fossil. Its type locality is Cita Canyon, which is in a Blancan channel sandstone in Texas.

Synonymy list
YearName and author
1938Canis lepophagus Johnston p. 383 figs. Pl. 1 - 3
1980Canis lepophagus Kurten and Anderson p. 167
2009Canis lepophagus Tedford et al. p. 112 figs. 40, 41A–G, 42A–J, 43, 44, 52; appendices 2–4

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RankNameAuthor
kingdomAnimalia()
Triploblastica
Nephrozoa
Deuterostomia
phylumChordataHaeckel 1847
subphylumVertebrata
superclassGnathostomata
Osteichthyes()
Sarcopterygii
subclassDipnotetrapodomorpha(Nelson 2006)
subclassTetrapodomorpha()
Tetrapoda()
Reptiliomorpha
Anthracosauria
Batrachosauria()
Cotylosauria()
Amniota
Synapsida()
Therapsida()
infraorderCynodontia()
Epicynodontia
infraorderEucynodontia
RankNameAuthor
Probainognathia
Mammaliamorpha
Mammaliaformes
classMammalia
subclassTribosphenida()
infraclassEutheria()
Placentalia
Laurasiatheria
Scrotifera
Ferae()
CarnivoramorphaWyss and Flynn 1993
CarnivoraformesFlynn et al.
orderCarnivoraBowditch 1821
suborderCaniformiaKretzoi 1943
superfamilyCanoideaSimpson 1931
familyCanidaeFischer 1817
subfamilyCaninaeGill 1872
tribeCaniniFischer de Waldheim 1817
subtribeCanina()
genusCanis
specieslepophagus

If no rank is listed, the taxon is considered an unranked clade in modern classifications. Ranks may be repeated or presented in the wrong order because authors working on different parts of the classification may disagree about how to rank taxa.

Diagnosis
ReferenceDiagnosis
C. S. Johnston 1938
Diagnosis: Canis lepophagus is more slender in its general proportion than the modern coyote. The sagittal and lamb- doidal crests are more prominently developed. The brain case is not expanded, and the postorbital processes are prominent. The lower jaws are strong in proportion to the size of the skull, and the teeth relatively long antero-posteriorly so that the spaces between them are reduced. Furthermore, the C. lepophagus is somewhat smaller than C. latrans as figured by Elliot ( 1901) in which the length of the skull is 201 mm., while in the Cita Canyon specimen the average length for the three skulls is 190 mm. Breadth across the zygomatic arches in the C. latrans is 111 mm. and in the C. tcpophagus 101 mm. However, the ratio of the width to the length is approximately the same in both instances.
R. H. Tedford et al. 2009Derived characters that distinguish C. lepophagus from E. davisi are larger size and more robust skull and jaws; frontal sinus extends more posteriorly; sagittal crest stronger with contribution from frontal; inion narrower and sometimes pointed; m1 talonid with entoconid and hypoconid usually linked by transverse crest; hypoconulid shelf relatively larger but with distinct cusp rarely present; angular process of mandible more robust; and longer forelimb relative to hind- limb (radius/tibia ratio .80% but ,90%).
Canis lepophagus shares the above derived features with C. ferox, but it differs in more consistent m1 hypoconid-entoconid union through cristids, and reduction of M1 para- style.
C. lepophagus differs from many larger species of Canis in its primitively small size; small I3 relative to I1–I2; P4 protocone more anteriorly directed; p4 lacks a posterolingual shelf and is higher than paraconid of m1; m3 retains two trigonid cusps; less inflated frontal sinus; relatively wider frontal shield; and relatively wider braincase.
Primitive characters that distinguish C. lepophagus from C. latrans are: greater postorbital constriction; zygomatic process dorsoventrally deeper with broad scar for masseter muscle; smaller bulla with less laterally extended tubular auditory meatus; P4 protocone situated more anteriorly; m1 less elongate with trigonid shorter relative to length of talonid and weaker hypoconulid; m2 larger relative to m1, metaconid lower crowned, and anterolabial cingulum stron- ger; less elongate limbs especially forelimb, with radius/tibia ratio exceeding 80% but less than that of C. latrans, where ratio usually exceeds 90%.