<i>Australohyaena antiqua</i> (Mammalia, Metatheria, Sparassodonta), a large predator from the Late Oligocene of Patagonia

<div><p>An almost complete skull of <i>Australohyaena antiqua</i> (Ameghino), from the Late Oligocene (Deseadan SALMA) of Cabeza Blanca, Chubut Province, Argentina is described and analysed. For more than a century, this species was represented by isolated teeth. The genus <i>Australohyaena</i> gen. nov. is proposed based on a phylogenetic reconstruction that demonstrates that <i>A. antiqua</i> is a Borhyaenidae (Mammalia, Sparassodonta), grouped with <i>Arctodictis</i> and <i>Borhyaena</i>, but not with <i>Pharsophorus lacerans</i>, the genus to which <i>antiqua</i> was formerly assigned. <i>A. antiqua</i> is recognized by several features on the skull, dentary and dentition. In addition, a short snout, large canines, deep jaw, reduced protocone and talonid determine <i>A. antiqua</i> as hypercarnivorous. A vaulted skull, well-developed temporal fossa and little difference on the jaw depth at p3 and m4, are suggestive of bone-cracker specializations. <i>A. antiqua</i> is within the largest Deseadan sparassodonts with a body mass of about 70 kg. Homoplasies are detected within borhyaenoids on lower molar cusps. The metaconid is lost within Sparassodonta, although <i>Pharsophorus</i> and borhyaenids retained the metaconid on m2–m4 or m2–m3.</p><p><a href="http://zoobank.org/urn:lsid:zoobank.org:pub:EDB0575A-C1D9-4C17-B6EB-3D761D1D7DB3" target="_blank">http://zoobank.org/urn:lsid:zoobank.org:pub:EDB0575A-C1D9-4C17-B6EB-3D761D1D7DB3</a></p></div>