May 28, 2022
Miacidae are a family of extinct primitive carnivores that lived during the Paleocene and Eocene, about 62-34 million years ago. Miacids have existed for about 28 million years. Miacids are thought to have been the ancestors of modern carnivores of the order Carnivore. They were small predators, similar in appearance to martens or civets, with long and supple bodies and long tails. Some species were arboreal, while others lived on land. Miacids probably fed on invertebrates, lizards, birds and smaller mammals. Compared to modern beasts, miacides were generally more primitive, without a fully ossified tympanic bulge, but with developed blockbusters (consisting of an elongated fourth premolar and a first molar). The Miacidae family, as traditionally conceived, is not monophyletic, but a paraphyletic series of tribal taxa. Miacids, together with the Viverravidae family, have traditionally been included in the superfamily Miacoidea, however, the newer systematics combines the representatives of Carnivore + Miacoidea into the Carnivoramorpha clade. Representatives of miacids + representatives of the Carnivora group are then included in the separate Carnivoraformes clade within the Carnivoramorpha clade.