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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Agate in Sioux County, Nebraska — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Beardog

 
 
Beardog Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, June 11, 2022
1. Beardog Marker
Inscription.  In 1981 while excavating a nearby hill, Dr. Robert Hunt of the University of Nebraska uncovered a large carnivore den complex. The dens had been mainly inhabited by wolf-sized animals called beardogs, the largest carnivores in existence 19 million years ago. These burrows, containing numerous fossil skeletons, represented the oldest known denning behavior of large carnivores.

The dens were burrowed into ashy sediment that filled the earlier waterhole. Found inside the dens were scavenged bones of juvenile rhinoceroses, camels, and oreodonts, probable food sources for the beardogs. The presence of a juvenile and an adult female beardog in the same den chamber suggests that the dens were used to care for the young. Some of the den inhabitants probably died simultaneously, perhaps drowning during a flood or dying in a drought. Sediment then filled the dens, preserving them for discovery millions of years later.

Captions
Upper Right: Located near the waterhole periphery and burrowed six feet down, the den chambers were similar in size to those of modern wolves and hyenas.
Lower Right:
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The beardog
Daphoenodon was the largest of the five carnivores found in the dens. Besides Daphoenodon, another beardog, a giant wolverine, a small marten, and a tiny fox-like dog were discovered.

 
Erected by Agate Fossil Beds National Monument, National Park Service.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: PaleontologyParks & Recreational Areas. A significant historical year for this entry is 1981.
 
Location. 42° 24.927′ N, 103° 43.595′ W. Marker is in Agate, Nebraska, in Sioux County. Marker can be reached from River Road, 3.2 miles east of State Highway 29. The marker is located along the 2 mile Fossil Hill loop trail. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 301 River Road, Harrison NE 69346, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Menoceras (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Chalicotheres (about 600 feet away); Historic Excavations (about 600 feet away); Footprints in the Mud (about 800 feet away); An Ancient Waterhole (approx. 0.2 miles away); Quarry A (approx. 0.2 miles away); Exploring the Niobrara (approx. half a mile away); Fossil Hills Trail (approx. ¾ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Agate.
 
More about this marker. The Agate Fossil Beds National Monument
Beardog Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, June 11, 2022
2. Beardog Marker
is a fee-free National Park Service site.
 
Also see . . .
1. History & Culture. Agate Fossil Beds National Monument (Submitted on July 15, 2022, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.) 

2. Daphoenodon. Wikipedia (Submitted on July 16, 2022, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.) 
 
The view of the Beardog Marker from the pathway image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, June 11, 2022
3. The view of the Beardog Marker from the pathway
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 16, 2022. It was originally submitted on July 15, 2022, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. This page has been viewed 75 times since then and 11 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on July 16, 2022, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.

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Apr. 14, 2024