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Related to Carnivoran: family Felidae


One of the larger orders of placental mammals, including fossil and living dogs, raccoons, pandas, bears, weasels, skunks, badgers, otters, mongooses, civets, cats, hyenas, seals, walruses, and many extinct groups organized into 12 families, with about 112 living genera and more than twice as many extinct genera. The subdivision of the order into three superfamilies has long been practiced and the following groups seem appropriate: Miacoidea, Canoidea, and Feloidea. The primary adaptation in this order was for predation on other vertebrates and invertebrates. A few carnivorans (for example, bear and panda) have secondarily become largely or entirely herbivorous, but even then the ancestral adaptations for predation are still clearly evident in the structure of the teeth and jaws. The Carnivora have been highly successful animals since their first appearance in the early Paleocene.

Structural adaptations involve the teeth and jaws. The dentition is sharply divided into three functional units. The incisors act as a tool for nipping and delicate prehension, and the large, interlocking upper and lower canines for heavy piercing and tearing during the killing of prey. The cheek teeth are divided into premolars (for heavy prehension) and molars (for slicing and grinding), which may be variously modified depending on the specific adaptation, but there is a constant tendency for the last (fourth) upper premolar and the first lower molar to enlarge and form longtitudinal opposed shearing blades (the carnassials). In all carnivorans the jaw articulation is arranged in such a manner that movement is limited to vertical hinge motions and transverse sliding. The temporal muscle dominates the jaw musculature, forming at least one-half of the total mass of the jaw muscles.

The earliest fossil records are early Paleocene, but the earliest well-represented material comes from the middle Paleocene of North America. During the Paleocene and Eocene the stem-carnivorans or miacoids underwent considerable diversification in both the Old and New World. At the end of Eocene and beginning of Oligocene time throughout the Northern Hemisphere, a dramatic change took place within the Carnivora; this was the appearance of primitive representatives of modern carnivoran families. See Mammalia, Pinnipeds



an order of mammals.

The body length ranges from 13 cm (short-tailed weasel) to 3 m (bears), while the weight, from 30 g to 700 kg. Carnivores are mainly flesh-eating animals; some are omnivorous or herbivorous. The canine teeth are well developed. The molars of most species have sharp cusps; more rarely the cusps are blunt. In many carnivores the fourth upper premolar and the first lower molar are opposite one another, are enlarged, and are adapted for tearing meat; these are the carnassial teeth. The extremities have four or five digits; the claws are well developed, sometimes retractile. In the skull the orbit is usually in communication with the temporal fossa. Carnivore young are born blind and helpless.

Carnivores are distributed throughout the world, except Australia. They are descended from primitive insectivores. The first carnivores were the now-extinct creodonts.

The order Carnivora is usually divided into two suborders: Arctoidea and Aeluroidea. The former includes the families Canidae, Ursidae, Procyonidae, and Mustelidae, while the latter includes Viverridae, Hyaenidae, and Felidae.

Many carnivores are beneficial animals, providing valuable furs and destroying harmful rodents. Some, such as the wolf, destroy domestic animals.


Mlekopitaiushchie Sovetskogo Soiuza, vol. 2. parts 1–2. Edited by V. G. Geptner and N. P. Naumov. Moscow, 1967–72.
Zhizn’ zhivotnykh, vol. 6. Moscow, 1971.



(vertebrate zoology)
A large order of placental mammals, including dogs, bears, and cats, that is primarily adapted for predation as evidenced by dentition and jaw articulation.
References in periodicals archive ?
As far as carnivorans are concerned, the record of Megantereon cultridens and Meles thorali at Villarroya and Almenara-Casablanca 4 apparently represents the first record of these taxa in Europe, suggesting that by this time these species might have been already distributed throughout this continent (Palmqvist et al., 2007; Madurell-Malapeira et al., 2009a, 2011a,b).
Regarding carnivorans, in Iberia several Middle Villafranchian species did not survive the transition into the Late Villafranchian and its associated climatic shifts, including Megantereon cultridens, Acinonyx pardinensis, Pliocrocuta perrieri, Chasmaportetes lunensis, Lycaon falconeri, Nyctereutes megamastoides and Meles thorali.
Iberian Late Villafranchian/Early Galerian carnivorans and early hominin dispersals
In particular, taphonomic studies carried out in the Orce localities suggest that large carnivorans, such as Pachycrocuta, were responsible of an intense bone modification activity during the Early Pleistocene.
Detections of our pooled category, Other carnivorans, did not differ between track plates and sand stations ([[chi square].sub.1] = 2.28, p = 0.131), however, sample size was small and weasels appeared to respond differently to substrate than the canids and felids.
The widespread use of similar track stations for detection and monitoring of carnivorans by wildlife or natural resource agencies is supported by our data.
Since the Early Miocene, prior to the appearance of the true bears, the Hemicyonidae show a rapid diversification that made of this group, along with the Amphicyonidae, the predominant medium to large sized carnivorans until the beginning of the Late Miocene, when they became locally extinct, coinciding with the appearance of the Ursidae, Hyaenidae and Machairodontinae felids in the Western Europe faunas.
The Vallesian is a period of change in both the carnivorans communities, with the first occurrence of large hyenas and machairodontinae felids (Fraile et al, 1997), and in the environmental conditions.
(2003): Dispersal of Neogene Carnivorans between Asia and North America.
His research reveals that in the case of marsupials, carnivorans and strepsirrhine primates that eat harder, tougher and bigger foods have a lesser degree of fusion.
As a result, species with Neotropical ties, including many ungulates and carnivorans, comprise a substantial portion of Florida's Pleistocene fauna (Webb and Wilkins 1984).