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Hello dear fellow forum members,

I have a question that will hopefully evoke speculative answers.

As I have built models of many aquatic animals from anomalocarids to whales, I thought another creature that would fit into my collection is Kolponomos, sometimes called the oyster bear.

I intend to use a cave bear skeleton toy as a rough basis, adapting it to look like Kolponomos.

But alas, I just found out that nobody knows what they looked like behind the neck.

I always read that there where "some postcranial bones" known and found out just recently that this really means only some cervical vertebrae, one metapodial and one phalangeal bone.

The only source I could find that mentioned the specific bones at all was the one in the picture below.

So here are my two questions:

Is there more recent material?

And if not so, what can the known bits tell us? They are described as somewhat intermediate between Ursids and Pinnipeds, so would it be plausible to assume a slightly reduced hindlimb?

I am prepared to make use of artistic license, but I hope to be as acurate as possible with the little data I have.

Any input is welcome, educated guesses, creative ideas, but most of all feedback from anyone who has some knowledge about this strange beast.

Thanks in advance,



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Hi Mahnmut,


I have been fascinated by Kolponomos as well.  I'm afraid it is still known from only a partial snout, one essentially complete skull and the postcranials you noted.  One scientist has referred to it as being "long-fingered."  It has been called "bear-like" and perhaps more closely-related to amphicyonids.  I think Bobby would know the latest on this animal.


Artist Ray Troll provided a restoration of the animal on page 87 and 150  in the book, "Cruisin' The Fossil Coastline (Johnson and Troll, 2019).  He modeled his version apparently after a grizzly bear.





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Thanks Siteseer.

At least I know now that i didn´t miss the newest finds. And " long-fingered" is also something I can work with.



I will post My own speculation in the Palaeorecreation section:


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Yup, there's just those few bones preserved with one of the Kolponomos specimens (K. newportensis type specimen?) is it. Someone will find another one in the next 20 years!


Here's one from "Neptunes Ark" by Ken Kirkland:



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On 25.1.2020 at 3:32 AM, Boesse said:

 Here's one from "Neptunes Ark" by Ken Kirkland:

Thank you.

I very much appreciate that book and love the title.

The Kolponomos reconstruction is great, but I think quite on the conservative side insofar as the body is very close to a bear with long feet.

Of course conservative is the way to go in a scientific reconstruction with close to no data, but I wondered if the few seal- and otter- like characteristics in the few known bones could justify a little less bearlike version.

Anyway, whatever I build will be sci-fi at best if not fantasy. I will ruminate that one a little longer, maybe someone digs up another bone meanwhile.



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