Phylogenetic Classification of the Carnivora

Order Creodonta*
    Extinct carnivores

Order Carnivora
    Carnivores with the characteristic P4 / M1 carnassial pair

Superfamily Miacoidea

    Miacidae*: extinct miacids of Paleocene and Eocene age.

Superfamily Canoidea

    Canidae: dogs, wolves, & foxes
    Ursidae: bears
    Ailuridae: lesser (red) pandas
    Procyonidae: raccoons, coatis, kinkajous
    Mustelidae: weasels, martens, minks, wolverines, badgers, skunks, river & sea otters.

    "Pinnipeds" aquatic carnivores
        Phocidae: "True" (earless) seals
        Otaridae: eared seals & sealions
        Odobenidae: walrus

Superfamily Feloidea

    Viverridae: Old World civets
    Herpestidae: Old World mongooses
    Hyaenidae: hyena & aardwolf
    Felidae: cats


Canoids and Feloids are sometimes classed as suborders Caniformia and Feliformia.

Classification of greater & lesser pandas with respect to Ursidae and Procyonidae remains controversial.

Classification of civets and mongooses is undergoing revision.

"Pinnipeds" are a monophyletic lineage within the canoids: evidence and opinion vary as to their closest terrestrial ("Fissiped") relatives. Note that "Pinnipeds" cannot be a separate superfamily without making the balance of the Fissipeds paraphyletic.

Text material © 2002 by Steven M. Carr