Temporal range: Late Eocene–Early Oligocene
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Cynodictis elegans as it appeared in Walking with Beasts
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Family: Amphicyonidae
Genus: Cynodictis
Bravard and Pomel, 1850
Species: C. elegans
Binomial name
Cynodictis elegans
Bravard and Pomel, 1850

Cynodictis elegans, ("slender dog marten") is an extinct amphicyonid carnivoran which inhabited Eurasia from the Late Eocene subepoch to the Early Oligocene subepoch living from 37.2—28.4 Ma, existing for approximately 8.8 million years.


Cynodictis had a long muzzle and a low-slung body. It had carnassial teeth for slicing chunks of meat off carcasses. It was about 30 cm at the shoulder.

Fossil distribution

Fossil specimens have been found from Mengjiapo, China to the Isle of Wight, Great Britain as well as Weisserburg, Germany and 3 sites in France.

In popular culture

Cynodictis are depicted in an episode of the series Walking with Beasts. In the third episode Land of Giants, they were identified as "bear-dogs". One "bear-dog" drives away a young Indricothere from her litter of pups. The animation shows Cynodictis as digitigrade, walking on its toes, like wolves and dogs do today. Cynodictis was actually plantigrade, meaning that it walked on its whole foot like bears and humans.