Abstract

The carnivores are a fascinating group. Trends in their evolution and the convergent and parallel developments of life history strategies have intrigued us all (Eisenberg 1986). Carnivora literally means “eaters of flesh.” Thus, the ordinal name describes an attribute or aspect of a niche that some but not all members of the order Carnivora occupy. The first flesh-eating mammal group to appear in the fossil record, however, is not at all closely related to the modern-day carnivores. The Deltatheridia appeared in the Paleocene and dominated the carnivore niche for a considerable period of time (Van Valen 1966). At the time of the Upper Eocene the first members of the order Carnivora may be found as fossils (see Martin, this volume). These are generally assigned to the family Miacidae. The miacids persisted until the Oligocene. When they are first recognizable in the fossil record, they show enlarged canine teeth and specialized shearing carnassial teeth. The shearing teeth involved the opposition of the fourth upper premolar with the first lower molar. The miacids did not have an ossified tympanic bulla and the carpal bones remained unfused. In the Late Eocene and Early Oligocene the more advanced carnivores make their appearance, with an ossified bulla and a fusion of the scapholunar in the carpus (Dawson and Krishtalka 1984).

Keywords

Life History Strategy Polar Bear Giant Panda Large Carnivore Golden Jackal 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Bertram, B. C. R. 1975. Social factors influencing reproduction in wild lions. J. Zool. 177:463–482.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Dawson, M. R., and Krishtalka, L. 1984. Fossil history of the families of recent mammals. In: S. Anderson & J. Knox Jones, Jr., eds. Orders and Families of Recent Mammals of the World, pp. 11-58. New York: John Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar
  3. Eisenberg, J. F. 1981. The Mammalian Radiations. Chicago: Univ. Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  4. Eisenberg, J. F. 1986. Life history strategies of the Felidae: Variations on a common theme. In: S. Douglas Miller & D. D. Everett, eds. Cats of the World: Biology, Conservation, and Management, pp. 293–303. Washington, D.C.: National Wildlife Federation.Google Scholar
  5. Ewer, R. F. 1973. The Carnivores. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell Univ. Press.Google Scholar
  6. Gentry, R. L., and Kooyman, G. L., eds. 1986. Fur Seals: Maternal Strategies on Land and at Sea. Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press.Google Scholar
  7. Gittleman, J. L. 1986. Carnivore brain size, behavioral ecology and phylogeny. J. Mamm. 67:23–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Kaufmann, J. 1962. Ecology and social behavior of the coati, Nasua narica, on Barro Colorado Island, Panama. Univ. California Publ. Zool. 60:95–222.Google Scholar
  9. King, J. E. 1964. Seals of the World. London: British Museum.Google Scholar
  10. Kruuk, H. 1972. The Spotted Hyena. Chicago: Univ. Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  11. Kleiman, D. G., and Eisenberg, J. F. 1973. Comparisons of canid and felid social systems from an evolutionary perspective. Anim. Behav. 21:637–659.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Moehlman, P. 1983. Socioecology of silverbacked and golden jackals. In: J. F. Eisenberg & D. G. Kleiman, eds. Advances in the Study of Mammalian Behavior, pp. 423–453. Special Publication no. 7. Lawrence, Kans.: American Society of Mammalogists.Google Scholar
  13. O’Brien, S. J., Nash, W. G., Wildt, D. E., Bush, M. E., and Benveniste, R. E. 1984. A molecular solution to the riddle of the giant pandas phylogeny. Nature 317:140–144.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Rood, J. 1983. The social system of the dwarf mongoose. In: J. F. Eisenberg & D. G. Kleiman, eds. Advances in the Study of Mammalian Behavior, pp. 454–488. Lawrence, Kan.: American Society of Mammalogists.Google Scholar
  15. Russell, J. K. 1983. Altruism in coati bands: Nepotism or reciprocity: In: S. K. Wasser, ed. Social Behavior in Female Vertebrates, pp. 263–290. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  16. Sarich, V. M. 1969. Pinniped phylogeny. Syst. Zool. 18:286–295.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Schaller, G. 1972. The Serengeti Lion. Chicago: Univ. Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  18. Simpson, G. G. 1945. The principles of classification and a classification of mammals. Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist. 85.Google Scholar
  19. Smythe, N. 1970. The adaptive value of the social organization of the coati (Nasua narica). J. Mamm. 51:818–820.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Stains, H. J. 1984. Carnivores. In: S. Anderson & J. Knox Jones, Jr., eds. Orders and Families of Recent Mammals of the World, pp. 491-522. John Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar
  21. Van Valen, L. 1966 Deltatheridia, a new order of mammals. Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist. 132:1–126. and 8 plates.Google Scholar
  22. Zeuner, F. E. 1963. A History of Domestic Animals. London: Hutchinson.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • John F. Eisenberg

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations