Amphicyonidae Trouessart, 1885 are among the oldest known carnivoran groups, with the oldest representatives in Europe belonging to the genus CynodictisBravard & Pomel, 1850. This genus, discovered in the middle of the 19th century, presents a particularly confusing taxonomic history. Early on it was subject to taxonomic inflation, but now its diversity is reduced to six species. It is therefore interesting to question the relevance of dental characteristics, knowing that these structures have, very often, been the only anatomical elements used for the description of extinct mammalian taxa. Thanks to the several deposits of the Quercy Phosphorites, many crania of Cynodictis are available, allowing us to address this issue. In this comparative study, several skulls belonging to this genus are compared. Finally, we describe a new species, Cynodictis peignei n. sp., and discuss the relevance of cranial characters in comparison with dental characters and the ecological information from these structures.
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Vol. 42 • No. 16