order of mammals

The order Carnivora is a group of mammals. The group is divided into the "cat-like" Feliformia and the "dog-like" Caniformia.

Temporal range: Palaeocene to Recent
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Clade: Carnivoramorpha
Clade: Carnivoraformes
Order: Carnivora
Bowdich, 1821
  • 17, See "Taxonomy"
The carnassial teeth of a dog

Animals of the order Carnivora are carnivores, a term which applies to all flesh-eaters. If one needs to refer to members of the order, then carnivorans is used. Many species of Carnivora are actually omnivores, and a few of them, like the giant panda, eat mostly plants.

The order includes aquatic relatives in the superfamily Pinnipedia, the walruses and seals.


Mammalian carnivores have a particular arrangement of their back teeth. It is to slice the meat of their prey. As the photo shows, two of the back teeth work as meat slicers. If they change their way of life (various aquatic mammals) this feature gets changed or even lost (selected against).[1]



The Carnivores are linked with the Miacids and Viverravids in an unranked clade, the Carnivoramorpha:

The carnivores known as †Creodonts have some relation to these groups, but are placed outside the Carnivoramorpha. The †Mesonychids are another extinct group of early carnivores, which are also not in the Carnivoramorpha.


  1. Wang, Xiaoming; Tedford, Richard H. (2008). Dogs: their fossil relatives and evolutionary history. Columbia University Press, New York. p. 1. ISBN 978-0-231-13529-0. OCLC 502410693.