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Feline: Above: fossa and leopard, middle: spotted hyena and neck striped mongoose, below: pardle roller and African civet

Feline: Above: fossa and leopard , middle: spotted hyena and neck striped mongoose , below: pardle roller and African civet

Class : Mammals (mammalia)
Subclass : Higher mammals (Eutheria)
Superordinate : Laurasiatheria
without rank: Ferae
Order : Predators (Carnivora)
Subordination : Feline
Scientific name
Hay , 1930

The feline-like (Feliformia) are a suborder belonging to the order of the carnivores . They are the sister group of canine species (Caniformia).


Felines usually have shorter but stronger skulls than canines. Your canines are more developed and the number of back molars is reduced.


The feline family includes the following families still alive today:

Three other families, the Percrocutidae , the Nimravidae and the Barbourofelidae , died out in the Miocene and Pliocene, respectively .


The following diagram shows the likely family relationships:


African palm civet (Nandiniidae)


Cats (Felidae)


Crawling cats (Viverridae)


Linsangs (Prionodontidae)


Hyenas (Hyanidae)


Mongooses (Herpestidae)


Malagasy carnivores (Eupleridae)

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Tribal history

Among the feline species, the crawling cats with the genus Pappictidopis from the Shanghuan Formation in China and the genera Pristinictis and Ravenictis found in Canada can be detected as early as the early Paleocene . Belonging to the feline group is concluded here from the reduction in the number of molars to two. The first real cat is the approximately 30 million year old, ocelot-sized Proailurus , who lived in Europe in the Oligocene and early Miocene. Of the feline species, only cats, the Nimravidae, the Barbourofelidae and the hyenas ( Chasmaporthetes ) reached the American continent. All other feline species were restricted to the Old World .


  • Don E. Wilson, Russell A. Mittermeier (Eds.): Handbook of the Mammals of the World. Volume 1: Carnivores. Lynx Edicions, 2009, ISBN 978-84-96553-49-1 .
  • Don E. Wilson, DM Shipowner: Mammal Species of the World. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005, ISBN 0-8018-8221-4 .
  • Thomas S. Kemp: The Origin & Evolution of Mammals. Oxford University Press, Oxford 2005, ISBN 0-19-850761-5 .

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

Web links

Commons : Feline  - Collection of pictures, videos, and audio files