Carnivoran Fossils: Cats, Dogs, Bears, Seals & kin | Darwin and Wallace: A Nature & Fossil Store

Carnivoran Fossils: Cats, Dogs, Bears, Seals & kin

          The Carnivorans (meaning “Flesh Devourers”) are an extremely successful group of mammalian predators that evolved from their carnivorous ancestors called the Miacids, approximately 42 million years ago during the Eocene epoch. The most basic distinction within the Carnivora is between members that are most dog-like (the Caniforms), and members that are most cat-like (the Feliforms). This separation developed fairly quickly after having evolved from their common ancestry. Carnivorans are almost entirely carnivorous, with some practicing omnivory. Collectively, the majority of Carnivorans are social and intelligent hunters that use their keen senses of smell, hearing, and sight, as well as their sharp claws and recurved canines to hunt and consume prey. Additionally, Carnivorans are also known for their highly developed carnassial teeth in most species, which act like scissors in slicing off chunks of flesh from their prey. Today they still number in great varieties with over 280 known species, such as the fastest land animal on the planet, the cheetah, the pack-hunting wolf, the tusked walrus, as well as the domestic varieties of cats and dogs that cohabitate with the primates known as humans.

Click on the images below to see the incredible fossils we offer in our Carnivoran selection:

 Canids: Wolves & Dogs

Felids: Cats

Pinnipeds: Seals & Walruses

Ursids: Bears