Postcranial morphology and locomotor behaviour of two early eocene miacoid carnivorans, Vulpavus and Didymictis

Ronald E. Heinrich, Kenneth D. Rose

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The postcranial skeletons of two contemporaneous early Eocene carnivorans, the miacid Vulpavus and the viverravid Didymictis, are described and compared with behaviourally diverse small and mediumbodied extant carnivorans. Body mass estimates based on the cross sectional geometry of humeri and femora indicate that these two taxa were similar in size, estimates for both genera ranging from about 3·5 to 7·5 kg. It is argued that Vulpavus was well adapted for climbing and was possibly arboreal, with locomotor behaviours comparable to those of the coatimundi (Nasua). Didymictis, on the other hand, was primarily terrestrial and probably incipiently cursorial. No modern taxon is similar to Didymictis in all aspects of the postcranial skeleton, but the Oriental civet (Viverra) is probably a reasonable modern analogue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)279-305
Number of pages27
JournalPalaeontology
Volume40
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1997

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skeleton
Eocene
Viverridae
humerus
femur
body mass
geometry
Viverra
Nasua

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Palaeontology

Cite this

Postcranial morphology and locomotor behaviour of two early eocene miacoid carnivorans, Vulpavus and Didymictis. / Heinrich, Ronald E.; Rose, Kenneth D.

In: Palaeontology, Vol. 40, No. 2, 05.1997, p. 279-305.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Heinrich, Ronald E. ; Rose, Kenneth D. / Postcranial morphology and locomotor behaviour of two early eocene miacoid carnivorans, Vulpavus and Didymictis. In: Palaeontology. 1997 ; Vol. 40, No. 2. pp. 279-305.
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