(cohort Ferungulata, superorder Ferae)
The more ancient of the two placental mammalian carnivorous orders, an extinct order that comprises two families (Oxyaenidae and Hyaenodontidae) which appeared in the late Palaeocene and dwindled to extinction in the Pliocene. Oxyaenids were rather mustelid, although some were large; hyaenodonts had more narrow skulls, longer legs, and well-developed carnassials. They diversified into forms reminiscent of the dogs, cats, and hyenas of the order Carnivora. Only the hyaenodonts survived the Eocene and filled the role of scavengers until they were displaced by the modern hyena. Creodonts were small-brained and slow-moving, and are not related closely to modern carnivores.
Subjects: Earth Sciences and Geography — Zoology and Animal Sciences.