Subject Information

SUBJECT Carnivora (order)
TYPE AAT
ALTERNATE carnivores
REFERENCE ID 300310328
NOTES Order containing around 270 species in 12 families, being the most diverse of any mammalian order; the taxonomy of the major categories has been in a state of flux for more than a century. Carnivores have in common that they possess teeth and claws adapted for catching and eating other animals. Some eat primarily or exclusively meat, while others are omnivores. Members are typically hunter and scavenger meat-eating mammals such as dogs, cats, wolves, foxes, bears, and seals. Given that the order includes such great taxonomic diversity, the characteristics used to separate Carnivora from other mammalian orders and to define the subdivisions of Carnivora are primarily structural, notably certain features of the skull (such as jaw articulation), feet (number of toes, lack of opposability of the hind toe, type of claws, and fusion of certain bones), and teeth (both the overall tooth pattern and the shape of individual teeth).
HIERARCHY Agents Facet>Living Organisms>Eukaryota (domain)>Animalia (kingdom)>Chordata (phylum)>Vertebrata (subphylum)>Mammalia (class)>Carnivora (order)
CHILDREN Canidae (family)

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