Originally Posted by Whack-a-Mole
Not sure but the best I can tell is perhaps Therapsids
are the common ancestor to the order carnivora. Take that with a grain of salt.
Well, yeah, but only in the sense that they're the common ancestor to all
mammals, from platypus to muskox.
Wikipedia has a pretty good article on Carnivora
, including some fairly recent reassignments on ancestry within the order. There's a couple of things I consider suspect in Wiki's account of their taxonomy, but I'll take a raincheck and see what someone more familiar with carnivore taxonomy has to say.
Key info you probably wanted, from the article:
Originally Posted by Wikipedia
Carnivorans apparently evolved in North America out of members of the family Miacidae (miacids) c 42 million years ago. They soon split into cat-like and dog-like forms (feliformia and caniformia).
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The divergence of carnivorans from other miacids, as well as the divergence of the two clades within Carnivora, Caniformia and Feliformia, is now inferred to have happened in the middle Eocene (ca. 42 million years ago). Traditionally the Viverravidae (viverravids) had been thought to be the earliest carnivorans with fossil records first appearing in the Paleocene of North America about 60 million years ago, but recently described evidence from cranial morphology now places them outside the order Carnivora.
The Ursidae first occur in North America in the Late Eocene (ca. 38 million years ago) as the very small and graceful Parictis that had a skull only 7 cm long. Like the canids, this family does not appear in Eurasia and Africa until the Miocene. The other caniform families Amphicyonidae, Mustelidae and Procyonidae occur in both the Old World and the New World by the Late Eocene and Early Oligocene.