Well-preserved skeleton reveals the ecology and evolution of early carnivorous mammals

Prior to the rise of modern day mammalian carnivores (lions and tigers and bears, as well as weasels, raccoons, wolves and other members of the order Carnivora), North America was dominated by a now extinct group of mammalian carnivores – the hyaenodontids. While fossils of hyaenodontids are relatively common from the early Eocene (between 50 and 55 million years ago), most of these are specimens of teeth. A new find of a nearly complete skeleton, described in the most recent issue of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, has allowed for a more detailed study of the ecology and evolutionary relationships of these early carnivores. —> Read More