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The Viverravidae are an extinct family of early mammalian carnivores. They are in the superfamily Miacoidea, and lived from the early Palaeocene to the Eocene. They first appeared in the Paleocene of North America about 60 million years ago.

Temporal range: Late CretaceousEocene 66 to 40 mya
Scientific classification

Viverravidae is a monophyletic family. In viverravids, the number of molars is reduced to two and the skull is long.

They are probably not related to any living carnivorans.[1] The viverravids were previously thought to be the earliest carnivorans. A recent study of their skull morphology puts them outside the order Carnivora.[2]


  1. Wesley-Hunt G.D. & Flynn J.J. 2005. Phylogeny of the Carnivora: basal relationships among the carnivoramorphans, and assessment of the position of 'Miacoidea' relative to Carnivora. Journal of Systematic Paleontology, 3: 1-28.
  2. Polly, David et al (2006). "Earliest known carnivoran auditory bulla and support for a recent origin of crown-clade carnivora (Eutheria, Mammalia)". Palaeontology 49 (5): 1019–1027. doi:10.1111/j.1475-4983.2006.00586.x.,%202006,%20Viverravus.pdf.