Animal Database
Kodiak Bear.jpg
A Brown Bear.
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Carnivora

The Carnivora is an order from the Mammalia class. This group includes cats, dogs, bears, wolves, seals, walruses, otters and weasels.


Carnivorans are primarily terrestrial and usually have strong sharp claws, with never fewer than four toes on each foot, and well-developed, prominent canine teeth, cheek teeth that generally have cutting edges. The last premolar of the upper jaw and first molar of the lower are termed the carnassials or sectorial teeth. These are blade-like teeth that occlude with a scissor-like action for shearing and shredding meat. Carnassials are most highly developed in the Felidae and the least developed in the Ursidae.The first carnivoran was a carnivore, and nearly all carnivorans today primarily eat meat. Some, such as cats and pinnipeds, depend entirely on meat for their nutrition. Others, such as raccoons and bears, depending on the local habitat, are more omnivorous; the giant panda is almost exclusively a herbivore, but will take fish, eggs and insects, while the polar bear's harsh habitat forces it to subsist mainly on prey. Carnivorans have teeth, claws, and binocular vision adapted for catching and eating other animals. Many hunt in packs and are social animals, giving them an advantage over larger prey.


Image Description
LionNamibia.jpg Felidae
Felids tend to have lithe and flexible bodies with muscular limbs. In the great majority of species, the tail is between a third and a half the length of the body, although there are some exceptions (for example, the bobcat and margay).
Coyote.jpg Canidae
Canids have relatively long legs and lithe bodies, adapted for chasing prey. All canids are digitigrade, meaning that they walk on their toes. They possess bushy tails, non-retractile claws, and, excepting the African wild dog (Lycaon pictus), a dewclaw on the front feet.
Spotted Hyena.jpg Hyaenidae
This small and very specialized family is comprised of only three living species of hyena and one species of aardwolf. The aardwolf is a small fragile creature who exists exclusively on termites while hyenas, on the other hand, are large predators with heavy heads, necks, and forequarters. The jaws of hyenas are also built strong and the skulls are crowned with a large sagittal crest for muscle attachment giving the animal the ability to crush and consume bones; even those of elephants.
Sea Otter.jpg Mustelidae
The family Mustelidae includes the worlds 65 species of Weasels, Badgers, and Otters. It also includes the worlds smallest carnivore; the American Least Weasel. Mustelids may be either diurnal or nocturnal and may inhabit trees, burrows, or water. They are mainly flesh-eaters and use their keen sense of smell to locate and capture prey.
Walrus.jpg Odobenidae
The family Odobenidae possess only one living member, the walrus. The walrus, in many ways, is a transition between the other two pinniped families. Similar to true seals (Phocids), Odobenids have no external ears, but do move similarly to seal lions and fur seals (Otarids). Many taxonomist recognize two distinct subspecies of walrus, the Atlantic and the Pacific.
Racoon.jpg Procyonidae
The Procyonidae family consists of 19 species including raccoons, ringtails, coatimundis, olingos, the lesser panda and the kinkajou. Procyonids are omnivorous, feeding primarily on small vertebrates, insects, crustaceans, fruit and berries. All procyonids use plantigrade locomotion, in that, they walk on the flat sole of their foot as opposed to faster digitigrade species that walk on their toes (deer, antelope, dogs, cats, etc.)
Sun Bear.jpg Ursidae
The eight species of bears of the world all belong to the family Ursidae. These large, heavy animals occur in a variety of habitats ranging from arctic ice floes to tropical rain forest. All species except the polar bear go through a period of deep sleep during winter. This sleep may last all winter but is not considered true hibernation.
Nandinia binotata.JPG Nandiniidae
The Nandiniidae family consists of 1 species,the African Palm Civet(Nandinia binotata). It is native to the forests of eastern Africa, where it usually inhabits trees. Its diet is omnivorous, and includes rodents, insects, eggs, carrion, fruit, birds and fruit bats. The animal is generally solitary and nocturnal.
Binturong.jpg Viverridae
The Viverridae family consists of almost 35 species of small to medium-sized mammals, the viverrids. Viverrids are found all over the Oriental Region and even beyond it across Wallace's line, all over Africa passing into southern Europe.They are generally solitary and have excellent hearing and vision. Despite their placement in the order Carnivora, they are omnivorous, or, in the case of the palm civet, almost entirely herbivorous.
Fossa.JPG Eupleridae
The Eupleridae family consists of 10 extant species endemic to Madagascar. Probably the best known species is the fossa (Cryptoprocta ferox).They are closely allied with the true herpestid mongooses, their closest living relatives. The fossa and the Malagasy civet (Fossa fossana) are believed to be the most ancient surviving species within this group.
Suricata suricatta.jpg Herpestidae
The Herpestidae family consists of 33 species of mongoose. They are found in southern Eurasia and mainland Africa.Mongooses mostly feed on insects, crabs, earthworms, lizards, snakes, birds, and rodents. However, they also eat eggs and carrion. In contrast to the arboreal, nocturnal viverrids, mongooses are more commonly terrestrial and many are active during the day.
Red Panda.jpg Ailuridae
The Ailuridae family consists of 1 extant species, the Red Panda, and several extint genera. It is native to the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China. They eat mostly bamboo, and may eat small mammals, birds, eggs, flowers and berries. Red pandas are excellent climbers, and forage largely in trees.
Striped Skunk.jpg Mephitidae
The Mephitidae family consists of 12 extant species of skunks, mammals known for their ability to spray a liquid with a strong odor. Different species of skunk vary in appearance from black-and-white to brown or cream colored, but all have warning coloration. Skunks are omnivorous.
California Sea Lion.jpg Otariidae
The Otariidae family consists of 15 extant species of fur seals and sea lions. They reside in subpolar, temperate, and equatorial waters throughout the Pacific and Southern Oceans and the southern Indian and Atlantic Oceans. They are conspicuously absent in the north Atlantic.
800px-Northern Elephant Seal, Piedras Blancas, San Simeon, CA 02feb2009.jpg Phocidae
The Phocidae family consists of 18 extant species of earless seal. Seals live in the oceans of both hemispheres and are mostly confined to polar, subpolar, and temperate climates, with the exception of the more tropical monk seals. Phocids are more specialized for aquatic life than otariids.

Extinct Families

Image Description
Stenoplesictis cayluxi jaws.JPG Stenoplesictidae
Stenoplesictidae is a family of extinct civet-like animals.
Restoration Dinocrocuta gigantea.jpg Percrocutidae
The Percrocutidae is an extinct family of hyena-like feliform carnivores endemic to Asia, Africa, and Southern Europe from the Miocene through Pliocene living 20—2.59 Ma existing for approximately 17.41 million years.
Hoplophoneus primaevus skeleton.jpg Nimravidae
The Nimravidae, sometimes known as false saber-toothed cats, is an extinct family of mammalian carnivores that was endemic to North America, Europe, and Asia. Fossils have been dated from the Middle Eocene through the Late Miocene epochs, spanning approximately 33.2 million years.
Barbourofelis loveorum.jpg Barbourofelidae
The Barbourofelidae are an extinct family of mammalian carnivores of the suborder Feliformia that lived in North America, Eurasia and Africa during the Miocene epoch (16.9—9.0 Ma) and existed for about 7.9 million years.
Amphicyon ingens.JPG Amphicyonidae
The Amphicyonidae is an extinct family of large terrestrial carnivores, which inhabited North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa from the Middle Eocene subepoch to the Pleistocene epoch 46.2—1.8 Mya, existing for approximately 44.4 million years.
Restoration Hemicyon.jpg Hemicyonidae
Hemicyonidae is an extinct group of bear-like carnivoran living in Europe, North America, Africa and Asia during the Oligocene through Miocene epochs 33.9–5.3 Ma, existing for approximately 28.6 million years.
Enaliarctos emlongi-Macrodelphinus.JPG Enaliarctidae
Enaliarctidae is an extinct family of pinniped with only 1 genus,the Enaliarctos. The 5 species in the genus Enaliarctos represented the oldest known pinniped fossils, having been recovered from late Oligocene and early Miocene (ca. 24-22 million years ago) strata of California and Oregon. Enaliarctos has been heralded as the ancestor of all known pinnipeds.
Allodesmus Skeleton.jpg Desmatophocidae
Desmatophocidae is an extinct family of Pinnipeds.
Puijila darwini skeleton.jpg Puijila darwini
Puijila darwini is the only species in Puijila genus.It is an extinct species of seal which lived during the Miocene epoch about 21 to 24 million years ago. It was approximately a metre (three feet) in length.