family of extinct placental mammals

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: 66.043–33.9 Ma early Paleocene - late Eocene
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Clade: Carnivoramorpha
Superfamily: Viverravoidea
Wortman & Matthew, 1899
Family: Viverravidae
Wortman & Matthew 1899[1]
[see 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.[3] The viverravids were previously thought to be the earliest carnivorans. A recent study of their skull morphology puts them outside the order Carnivora.[4]


  1. Wortman, J. L.; Matthew, W. D. (1899). "The ancestry of certain members of the Canidae, Viverridae, and Procyonidae". Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History. 12: 109–138. hdl:2246/1535. OCLC 46687698.
  2. "†family Viverravidae (Wortman & Matthew, 1899) (placental)". Fossilworks. Retrieved 29 June 2019 from the Paleobiology Database.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: postscript (link)
  3. 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.
  4. Polly, David; et al. (2006). "Earliest known carnivoran auditory bulla and support for a recent origin of crown-clade carnivora (Eutheria, Mammalia)" (PDF). Palaeontology. 49 (5): 1019–1027. doi:10.1111/j.1475-4983.2006.00586.x. S2CID 27819519. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-05-24. Retrieved 2014-05-31.