The Eocardiidae are an extinct family of caviomorph rodents from South America. The family is probably ancestral to the living family Caviidae,[1] which includes cavies, maras, and capybaras and their relatives. McKenna and Bell (1997) divided eocardiids into two subfamilies, Luantinae for two of the oldest genera (Asteromys and Luantus) and Eocardiinae for remaining genera. Kramarz (2006) has recommended the abandonment of these subfamilies, as the genera placed in Luantinae appear to represent basal eocardiids, rather than a specialized side branch. The latter hypothesis had been proposed by Wood and Patterson (1959).[2]

Temporal range: Early-Mid Miocene (Colhuehuapian-Friasian)
~21.0–15.5 Ma
Skeletal restoration of Eocardia
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Superfamily: Cavioidea
Family: Eocardiidae
Ameghino 1891
Subfamilies and Genera



Fossils of the family were found in the Colhuehuapian to Friasian Pinturas, Sarmiento, Santa Cruz, Río Jeinemeiní and Collón Curá Formations and the Colhué Huapí Member of Argentina and the Cura-Mallín Group of Chile.[3]


  1. ^ Kramarz, 2006
  2. ^ Wood & Patterson, 1959
  3. ^ Eocardiidae at


  • Kramarz, A.G. 2006. Eocardiids (Rodentia, Hystricognathi) from the Pinturas Formation, late early Miocene of Patagonia, Argentina. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 26(3):770-778.
  • Wood, A.E. and Patterson, B. 1959. Rodents of the Deseadan Oligocene of Patagonia and the beginnings of South American rodent evolution. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology 120:281-428.

Further readingEdit

  • McKenna, Malcolm C., and Bell, Susan K. 1997. Classification of Mammals Above the Species Level. Columbia University Press, New York, 631 pp. ISBN 0-231-11013-8