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Deinapr1

Picture by Eugene Hontora
Colorization by Alexander Smyslov

In Paleogene and early Neogene among characteristic inhabitants of open spaces of Eurasia and North America there were entelodons (Entelodontidae) – family of non-ruminant artiodactyls, related to pigs. By structure of teeth, they were omnivores in which diet meat took an essential place. After epoch of mass extinction when many ecological niches appeared free, pigs have taken advantage of a situation, and have taken a vacant place of scavengers. So at plains and in bush of Asia the family of Predatory boars partly occupied a place of hyaenas and bears had appeared.

The typical representative of this family is deinaper (“deino-“ means “terrible”, and “aper” – the boar), the largest species in family. An ancestor of this animal was wild boar (Sus scrofa), the species widely widespread in Eurasia and have successfully survived the period of anthropogenous pressure. The important place in diet of boar was occupied with food of animal origin. One of the evolutionary lines, originated from this species, has gone to the way of adaptation to searching and eating larger amount of food of animal origin. Gradually these animals have turned to scavengers, and even had become able to attack cubs of other animals.

Deinaper

Picture by Pavel Volkov - an earlier image variant

Deinaper is an animal of massive constitution, its growth at a shoulder is about 0.8 m and weight is up to 140 kg. By constitution it is similar to the spotted hyena: at it there is large head on mobile neck. Its body is covered with shaggy rough wool; to winter rich underfur grows. In connection with unusual for hoofed mammals way of life at it spotty colouring developed – strips characteristic for boar juvenile colouring, break up to separate spots. It even more strengthens similarity of deinaper with hyenas. Legs of animal are rather long, adapted to fast running to the big distances. Because of long legs the body seems a little bit short.

Jaw are short and high, able to crush bones. There are large sharp tusks jutting out up and in sides. They are used as the weapon in tournament fights, but in case of need deinaper can use them against predators.
The appearance of muzzle of deinaper is characteristic for pigs. Sense of smell is sharp - with its help animal searches for carrion and finds small animals. Deinaper is aggressive: it can drive away medium-sized predators from catch, threatening them with tusks and making sharp attacks on aside a predator. As this animal lives small groups (up to 4 – 6 adult animals), not any predator can defend the right to the catch in the face of several strong and aggressively adjusted animals.
The group of deinapers supervises extensive territory on which there are some shelters. Borders of territory are marked by heaps of manure, and constantly renewed. In shelters animals spend hottest time of day, becoming more active in the morning and in the evening when the majority of predators hunts. If won over catch at predators does not suffice, deinapers can hunt in the afternoon. Then they attack small animals having a rest in a shadow.
Once per year the female brings posterity: up to 5 – 6 cubs. Feeding female does not take part in hunting, protecting posterity. The only thing, that it presumes to herself – to catch any tiny casual catch like reptiles and rodents. But males and females without cubs after successful hunting necessarily belch for feeding female pieces of meat. Newborn cubs are weak and helpless: they start to stand only at the age of one week, and pass to feeding by meat only at bi-monthly age. Approximately at the age of three months young animals leave lair, and lead nomadic life with parental group. Only at the second year of life the young female can give posterity the first time. And the young male can really apply for domination in clan only since the fourth year of life. Up to this time it leads life of the lonely hunter in boundary territories, gaining strength and experience to challenge once in winter to any old leader of clan and to take his place.

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