STL Science Center

STL Science Center

19 October 2016

Spots and Stripes

(Getty Images)
We do not know the coat color of Borophagus in any particular species of the genus. Using what we know about dogs, wolves, and extant megacarnivores (bears and felids mostly), there are a number of hypothetical fur patterns we could assign to Borophagus. Living on open plains, as we typically see in illustrations of Borophagus, we expect to see the kinds of camouflage and fur patterns that we see in hyenas, leopards, and tigers. These are the types of camouflage we do often see in these illustrations. It is nice to see what you expect. Would that be the case if we had a living Borophagus? We do not actually know, of course, but we can make informed inferences from clues from the environment and the reasons that the illustrations appear as they do are often related to these kinds of inferences. What would people like to see in terms of Borophagus coat colors? My "official" opinion is that the spotted and striped Borophagus is interesting, but perhaps a little convergent on hyenas for the sake of tying in their fantastic bone-cracking capabilities with that kind of fur patterning. There are also plenty of wolf-like patterns illustrated, but tonite is about the spotted bone-cracking dog shown here.

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