By Anjali Goswami, Anthony Friscia
Participants of the mammalian clade Carnivora have invaded approximately each continent and ocean, evolving into bamboo-eating pandas, clam-eating walruses and naturally, flesh-eating sabre-toothed cats. With this ecological, morphological and taxonomic range and a fossil checklist spanning over sixty million years, Carnivora has confirmed to be a version clade for addressing questions of huge evolutionary value. This quantity brings jointly most sensible overseas scientists with contributions that target present advances in our figuring out of carnivoran relationships, ecomorphology and macroevolutionary styles. subject matters diversity from the palaeoecology of the earliest fossil carnivorans to the impacts of festival and constraint on variety and biogeographic distributions. numerous experiences tackle ecomorphological convergences between carnivorans and different mammals with morphometric and Finite aspect analyses, whereas others ponder how new molecular and palaeontological facts have replaced our realizing of carnivoran phylogeny. mixed, those reports additionally illustrate the varied suite of techniques and questions in evolutionary biology and palaeontology.
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Extra info for Carnivoran Evolution: New Views on Phylogeny, Form and Function
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The Nimravidae (‘false sabretooths’) are an archaic group of sabre-toothed carnivoramorphans, initially considered to be close relatives of the Felidae but now of uncertain placement as basal feliforms, basal caniforms, or even outside the carnivoran crown-clade. , 2004). The Amphicyonidae are an extinct lineage often referred to as the ‘bear-dogs’ because of anatomical resemblances to members of both groups. They are of uncertain phylogenetic position; while usually allied with either the canids or the ursids, they might represent basal caniforms or basal arctoids (Hunt, 1977, 1996; Wolsan, 1993; Wyss and Flynn, 1993; Viranta, 1996; see discussion in Finarelli and Flynn, 2006).
There is a brief burst of diversification in the late-middle Eocene (Flynn, 1998). These animals generally had a smaller body mass range than the Viverravidae, with most approximating the size a small house cat (2 kg), although some grew as large as a coyote (20 kg). g. Vulpavus) suggests a tendency towards hypocarnivory and a more generalised diet. Reconstructing the relationships and patterns of evolutionary diversification among the basal Carnivoraformes is a stimulating and active area of research, but many more taxa and characters await inclusion in future analyses.