Viverravidae is a family of extinct placental mammals from the monotypic superfamily Viverravoidea. Viverravid fossils date from 63.3 to 33.9 million years ago.
Viverravids were Paleogene carnivores, along with miacides were closely related to the modern order Carnivores. They first appeared in North America during the Paleocene, over time spread to Europe and disappeared only during the Upper Eocene. The largest members of the family, such as Didymictis vancleaveae, could weigh more than 20 kg, while the smallest members, such as Viverravus minutus, did not exceed 1 kg. The smaller forms were probably insectivorous. The Viverravids lacked third stools, and a parastyl bump developed on the fourth upper premolar, which was reduced or completely suppressed in miacides.
The family Viverravidae was usually associated with the family Miacidae into the superfamily Miacoidea. Recent studies suggest that the superfamily Miacoidea and the family Miacidae are paraphyletic taxa, with viverravids being more distantly related to beasts than miacides. Representatives of Carnivora + Viverravidae + Miacidae are therefore included in the Carnivoramorpha clade, and since 2010 a separate Carnivoraformes has been identified within the Carnivoramorpha for representatives of Carnivora + Miacidae. Viverravidae represent a sister group to these taxa, and the whole family appears to be monophyletic.
Pictures, sounds or videos about Viverravidae on Wikimedia Commons
Taxon Viverravidae in Wikidruz