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Class : Mammals (mammalia)
Subclass : Higher mammals (Eutheria)
Superordinate : Laurasiatheria
without rank: Ferae
Order : Predators (Carnivora)
Subordination : Canine
Scientific name
Simpson , 1931

The canine species (Caniformia) are a suborder within the order of the carnivores (Carnivora). They usually have a pointed snout and are often toe-walkers whose claws cannot be retracted (in contrast to their sister group , the feline group (Feliformia)). The seals also developed from canine-like ancestors and can therefore be assigned to this group with their three families.


Canine species are divided into the following families:

Two other families, the Amphicyonidae ("bear dogs") and the Hemicyonidae ("dog bears"), died out in the Miocene . Another extinct group are the possibly paraphyletic Amphicynodontidae , close to either the bears or the seals.


The following diagram shows the likely family relationships:


Dogs (Canidae)


Bears (Ursidae)

 Seals (Pinnipedia) 

Dog seals (Phocidae)


Ear seals (Otariidae)


Walruses (Odobenidae)

 Marten relatives (Musteloidea) 

Little pandas (Ailuridae)


Skunks or skunks (Mephitidae)


Small bears (Procyonidae)


Marten (Mustelidae)


  • DE Wilson, DM Reeder: Mammal Species of the World. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005, ISBN 0-8018-8221-4 .

Individual evidence

  1. John J. Flynn, John A. Finarelli, Sarah Zehr, Johnny Hsu & Michael A. Nedbal: Molecular Phylogeny of the Carnivora (Mammalia): Assessing the Impact of Increased Sampling on Resolving Enigmatic Relationships. Syst. Biol. 54 (2): 317-337, 2005 doi : 10.1080 / 10635150590923326