The Carnassial Pair as a synapomorphy of Cats & Dogs

The diagram indicates that a particular character state (presence of a carnassial pair formed from the 4th upper premolar and the 1st lower molar) occurs Cats and Dogs. Eutherian insectivores (such as shrews) and marsupials (such as kangaroos) retain the ancestral, unspecialized form of the molariform teeth.

Text © 2002 by Steven M. Carr