The diverse order Carnivora (/kɑːrˈnɪvərə/ or /ˌkɑːrnɪˈvɔərə/; frae Latin carō (stem carn-) "flesh", + vorāre "tae devour") includes mair nor 280 species o placental mammals. Its members are formally referred tae as carnivorans, whauras the wird "carnivore" (eften popularly applee'd tae members o this group) can refer tae ony meat-eatin organism. Carnivorans are the maist diverse in size o ony mammalian order, rangin frae the least wheasel (Mustela nivalis), at as little as 25 g (0.88 oz) an 11 cm (4.3 in), tae the polar beir (Ursus maritimus), which can wecht up tae 1,000 kg (2,200 lb), tae the soothren elephant seal (Mirounga leonina), whose adult males wecht up tae 5,000 kg (11,000 lb) an measur up tae 6.9 m (23 ft) in lenth.

Temporal range: 42–0 Ma
Middle Eocene-Holocene[1]
Various carnivorans
Scientific classification e
Kinrick: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Cless: Mammalia
(unranked): Carnivoramorpha
Order: Carnivora
Bowdich (1821)[2]

The first carnivoran wis a carnivore, an nearly aw carnivorans the day primarily eat meat. Some, sic as cats an pinnipeds, depend entirely on meat for thair nutreetion. Ithers, sic as raccoons an beirs, dependin on the local habitat, are mair omnivorous; the giant panda is almaist exclusively a herbivore, but will tak fish, eggs an insects, while the polar beir's hersh habitat forces it tae subsist mainly on prey. Carnivorans hae teeth, claws, an binocular vision adaptit for catchin an eatin ither ainimals. Mony hunt in packs an are social ainimals, givin them an advantage ower mair muckle prey.


  1. Heinrich, R.E.; Strait, S.G.; Houde, P. (Januar 2008). "Earliest Eocene Miacidae (Mammalia: Carnivora) from northwestern Wyoming". Journal of Paleontology. 82 (1): 154–162. doi:10.1666/05-118.1.
  2. Bowditch, T. E. 1821. An analysis of the natural classifications of Mammalia for the use of students and travelers J. Smith Paris. 115. (refer pages 24, 33)

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