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a suborder of extinct predacious mammals. They existed from the Paleocene to the early Pliocene. Creodonts had many primitive features, including a long, low skull with a small brain case, a small brain, usually a complete tooth system, and blunt, hooflike claws. Unlike later terrestrial predators (Fissipedia), carnassial teeth were either absent in creodonts or occupied a different place in the tooth series. Among Creodonta there were predators, scavengers, and omnivores. Some were very large. There were five families, embracing many genera, distributed in Asia, Europe, Africa, and North America. Descended from the insectivores, they include the ancestors of existing terrestrial predators and pinnipeds.