From Miacis to the hyena.


A few days ago, I was watching the documentary typical of Africa, with its eternal battles between lions and hyenas, when something caught my attention. Early in the documentary, the narrator describing for the umpteenth time the hyenas, he said these were animals that were closer, evolutionarily speaking, a cat than a dog. I found it very funny because hyenas are very similar to dogs, even as they live in herds, ... that's when I started researching, from the beginning (or almost).

We talked of Miacis, the "animal mother", the ancestor of both dogs and cats (both as feliforms Caniformes. Following the storyline, we find gender Prionodon a split where the two genera of felids (where is the Smilodon or saber-toothed tiger and) and barbourofélidos, coming at last to viverrids (the picture above). This name is very important, viverrids developed at the end of the Eocene and they are the ancestors of hyenas and genets (Hyaenidae, Herpestidae, Eupleridae).
I imagine that no need to explain the differences between  Caniformia and Feliformia , shaped like a dog or cat shaped, with long snouts and claws fixed or short snouts and retractable claws ... but really, the peculiarity that differentiates these two groups is that the auditory bullae have their feliforms (bony capsules enclosing the middle and inner ear). This is a key to the diagnosis in the classification of species as Feliforme versus Caniforme. In the auditory bullae are feliforms dual chamber composed of two bones joined by a partition. The Caniformes has a single chamber or partially divided auditory bullae, composed of a single bone.

So it is true that the hyena (like all such) come from Miacis, and that is nearer to a big cat than a wolf. Although it is true that is nearer to a genet, a ferret or a tiger. Certainly within the family Hyaenidae we can also find the Hyena giant extinct.

The appearance of the viverrids was like a genet but more slender, had the sharp nose, long neck, tail as long as the rest of the body and dentition hipercarnívora (carnassial teeth, which cut the flesh the way scissors) which is not known is if your hair was streaked, spotted or brown uniform color. It lived in the Eocene and the two species are present linsang striped and spotted linsang.

I present a video of one of a genet, a representative living with an appearance similar to the first Feliformia  ... (precursors of the hyenas, cats, tigers or genets and weasels), perhaps this is greater.

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