Help ferret out a carnivore evolution timeline

OK, a cow-orker had her daughter and ferret in at work, and another cow-orker (also owning a ferret) came by to chat.

She made the point several times about ferrets being in the “bear family.” OK, obviously not accurate, but I didn’t speak up, because I thought I’d end up looking like a jerk, and opted to mention to her privately that it’s really part of the weasel (mustelid) family.

But here’s the point: I came across a neat timeline at some point that showed carnivore evolution, sorta arranged like a tree, indicating where each of the modern families of carnivores that showed the commonality of ancestors back to that showed where the modern families of carnivores diverged all the way back to the miacids.

I didn’t bookmark it, of course, and now I don’t know what I did to find it.

I do remember that the major split was the “dog-like” carnivores (dogs, raccoons, bears, weasels), and the “cat-like” carnivores (cats, mongooses, hyenas), but I seem to recall that bears, dogs, and 'coons have a more recent common ancestor than they do with their mustelid relatives.

Anyone with some further insight??? (Not interested with the feliform side.)

Here is a pdf document that may be similar to what you had bookmarked. The document contains a number of mammalian cladograms, including the one you are specifically interested in (it’s on page 7 of the document). The numbers at the nodes are the approximate times (in “millions of years ago”) for the indicated splits. Of interest is the mentioned major split between caniforms and feliforms which occurred about 50 mya, and the branch that would lead to Canidae split off at about 45 mya. Mustelids were next to split off (42.78 mya), and bears (Ursidae) at 38.6 mya.

Note also that the age of the crown groups (families) represents the age of the oldest known fossil for that group. Thus, the oldest known mustelid is about 23.3 million years old, while the branch which gave rise to mustelids diverged from the Procyonid / Ailurid / Ursid / Phocid / Otariid branch about 42.7 million years ago.

nm