Early fossils of shed new light on carnivoraforms, some of our most beloved carnivorous mammals
While the new fossils are not the origin itself of carnivoraforms, they do shed light on some of the earliest forms
New fossils bring to light potential origins of lions, tigers, and bears, among many other well-known and well-liked carnivorous mammals. The new fossils show that carnivoraform may trace their lineage back to 55 million years ago.
The specimens found has been located previously in Belgium, however the new specimen leads to a better understandings of carnivoraforms. Carnivoraforms also include cats, dogs, weasels, and seals.
The new specimens include over 250 teeth of a primitive sort, that indicate that the species
found was similar to the origin of carnivoraforms. Previous finds included a mere 2 molars, while these new fossils even include ‘baby teeth.’
The ankle bones of these carnivoraforms found suggest that the Dormaalocyon latouri was arboreal, or lived and moved among trees. The suggested era of these carnivoraforms is just after the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum. “Its description allows better understanding of the origination, variability and ecology of the earliest carnivoraforms,” said Floreal Sole, one of the researchers.
“The understanding of the origination of the carnivoraforms is important for reconstructing the adaptation of placental mammals to carnivorous diet. Therefore, Dormaalocyon provides information concerning the evolution of placental mmals after the disappearance of the largest dinosaurs (at the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event). Our study shows that the carnivoraforms were very diversified at the earliest Eocene, which allows hypothesizing that they were probably already diversified during the latest Paleocene.” said Floreal Sole,.
While these new fossils are not the origin itself of carnivoraforms, it is an early representation of the group. These fossils indicate that there were even more primitive species of this group.