Review and photos by ‘Itstwentybelow’
Andrewsarchus was a large basal mesonychid which existed roughly 45 million years ago during the Eocene epoch. It is known only from a large skull measuring more than three feet long and a few bone fragments, so most reconstructions of the animal’s postcranial anatomy are based on its smaller and more well known mesonychid relative Mesonyx. If the proportions of Andrewsarchus were similar to Mesonyx in life, then this animal may be the largest terrestrial predatory mammal known to science. The name means “Andrew’s ruler” and was named for the famous American paleontologist Roy Chapman Andrews, whose team discovered the skull during an expedition to Mongolia in 1923.
Andrewsarchus is rarely depicted in toy lines and this model is the only currently widely available version. Luckily it is also the best. The figure is about 4.5 in. long and is in roughly 1:40 scale which is always nice to see, just like Hans there in the photos. The animal is in a striding position, snarling with its ears pulled back as if sizing up prey or a rival Andrewsarchus. The predominant color is a yellowish tan which is darker on the back and lighter on the belly. The figure is detailed to look like it is covered in fur, which I think works fine here. The cranium and snout are a chocolate brown color. Faint brown stripes are present on the sides and legs, with some spots on the “cheeks”.
In terms of accuracy, it resembles a typical mesonychid. It’s anyone’s guess as to what it really looked like but I’m sure it wasn’t too far from this and the sculptors did a great job. Mesonychids, unlike modern Carnivora, had hooves instead of claws on their feet and it was nice to see these not only present on this figure but also a different color from the rest of the foot. It was, however, odd to see paw pads on the bottom of each foot but hey, who knows I guess. They add nice detail. This is the first reproduction of this animal I’ve seen with the tassel of fur on the end of the tail, but more details are fine. The eyes have individual pupils. The canines are large and prominent. The entire skull for that matter is very faithful to the holotype.
Overall I think this is a great figure and one that anybody interested in prehistoric mammals, or paleontology for that matter, should have. This is like the mammal T.rex here! It is cheap, accurate (as accurate as it can get!), dynamic, and 1:40 scale. What more could a collector ask for?
Available here for just $4.99