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    This chapter has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Averianov, Alexander Obraztsova, Ekaterina Danilov, Igor Skutschas, Pavel and Jin, Jianhua 2016. First nimravid skull from Asia. Scientific Reports, Vol. 6, Issue. 1,

    PROTHERO, Donald R. 2014. Species longevity in North American fossil mammals. Integrative Zoology, Vol. 9, Issue. 4, p. 383.

    Siliceo, Gema Salesa, Manuel J. Antón, Mauricio Monescillo, Marcos F. G. and Morales, Jorge 2014. Promegantereon ogygia(Felidae, Machairodontinae, Smilodontini) from the Vallesian (late Miocene, MN 10) of Spain: morphological and functional differences in two noncontemporary populations. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, Vol. 34, Issue. 2, p. 407.

    Slater, Graham J. and Van Valkenburgh, Blaire 2008. Long in the tooth: evolution of sabertooth cat cranial shape. Paleobiology, Vol. 34, Issue. 03, p. 403.

    THERRIEN, FRANÇOIS 2005. Feeding behaviour and bite force of sabretoothed predators. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, Vol. 145, Issue. 3, p. 393.

    Joeckel, R. M. Peigné, Stéphane Hunt, Robert M. and Skolnick, Robert I. 2003. The auditory region and nasal cavity of Oligocene Nimravidae (Mammalia: Carnivora). Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, Vol. 22, Issue. 4, p. 830.

    PEIGNÉ, STEPHANE and DE BONIS, LOUIS 2003. Juvenile cranial anatomy of Nimravidae (Mammalia, Carnivora): biological and phylogenetic implications. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, Vol. 138, Issue. 4, p. 477.

    Peigne, Stephane 2003. Systematic review of European Nimravinae (Mammalia, Carnivora, Nimravidae) and the phylogenetic relationships of Palaeogene Nimravidae. Zoologica Scripta, Vol. 32, Issue. 3, p. 199.

    PEIGNÉ, STÉPHANE 2001. A primitive nimravine skull from the Quercy fissures, France: implications for the origin and evolution of Nimravidae (Carnivora). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, Vol. 132, Issue. 4, p. 401.

    Peigné, Stéphane Chaimanee, Yaowalak Jaeger, Jean-Jacques Suteethorn, Varavudh and Ducrocq, Stéphane 2000. Eocene nimravid carnivorans from Thailand. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, Vol. 20, Issue. 1, p. 157.

    Biknevicius, A. R. Van Valkenburgh, B. and Walker, J. 1996. Incisor size and shape: implications for feeding behaviors in saber-toothed “cats”. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, Vol. 16, Issue. 3, p. 510.

  • Print publication year: 1996
  • Online publication date: July 2010

22 - Nimravidae



The Eocene to Oligocene Nimravinae was the first radiation of cat-like carnivorans. This radiation was centered in North America. Generic and specific taxonomy and temporal ranges are discussed. Eleven North American species, in six genera, are recognized as valid. Cladistic analysis based on a preliminary character analysis provides strong support for clades consisting of Nimravus and Dinaelurus (Nimravini) and the species referred to Hoplophoneus and Eusmilus (Hoplophoneini). Pogonodon and the Hoplophoneini are sister taxa, and Dinictis and Hoplophoneus are probably paraphyletic. Dinictis, Pogonodon and the Hoplophoneini display moderate to extreme development of sabertooth morphologies, whereas the Nimravini lacks these cranial and mandibular features and Dinaelurus crassus has conical teeth. Species diversity increased from the Chadronian to the Whitney an and declined in the early Arikareean. Although the postcranial skeleton of the nimravines most resembles that of modern carnivorans that inhabit closed forest habitats, the diversification of the group coincided with the initial stages of the development of grassland habitats in central North America during the Eocene to Oligocene transition. Nonetheless, the extinction of the clade at the end of the early Arikareean might be associated with the widespread establishment of grassland ecosystems in the late Oligocene.


The Nimravidae are cat-like, predominately sabertoothed, carnivorans of late Eocene to late Miocene age that are known from North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. Nimravids superficially resemble the true cats (Felidae) in their cranial morphology, hypercarnivorous dentition, and retractile claws.

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The Terrestrial Eocene-Oligocene Transition in North America
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