Patriofelis ("father of cats") was a large, cat-like oxyaenid of middle Eocene in North America. It was around 1.2 to 1.8 metres (3.9 to 5.9 ft) long, not including the tail, and weighed about 40–90 kg, making it around the same size as a modern cougar. It had short legs with broad feet, suggesting that it may have been a poor runner, but a quite good swimmer. As its close relative Oxyaena was a reasonably good climber, it is possible Patriofelis could climb as well.[8] It is found in particular in the Bridger Basin of southwestern Wyoming and at John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, Oregon, both in the United States.

Temporal range: 50.5–39.7 Ma Early to Middle Eocene
Patriofelis ferox skeleton
Patriofelis ferox NT.jpg
Reconstruction of Patriofelis ferox
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Oxyaenodonta
Family: Oxyaenidae
Subfamily: Oxyaeninae
Genus: Patriofelis
Leidy, 1872
Type species
Patriofelis ulta
Leidy, 1870
  • Patriofelis ferox (Marsh, 1872)[1]
  • Patriofelis ulta (Leidy, 1870)[2]
synonyms of genus:
  • Aelurotherium (Adams, 1896)
  • Limnofelis (Marsh, 1872)
  • Oreocyon (Marsh, 1872)
synonyms of species:
  • P. ferox:
    • Aelurotherium bicuspis (Wortman, 1901)[4]
    • Aelurotherium latidens (Marsh, 1872)
    • Aelurotherium leidyana
    • Aelurotherium leidyanum
    • Limnofelis ferox
    • Limnofelis latidens (Marsh, 1872)
    • Oreocyon latidens (Marsh, 1872)[5]
    • Patriofelis latidens (Marsh, 1872)
    • Patriofelis leidyanus (Osborn & Wortman, 1892)
    • Patriofelis vorax
  • P. ulta:
    • Ambloctonus coloradensis (Matthew, 1909)[6]
    • Patriofelis coloradensis (Matthew, 1909)
    • Patriofelis compressa (Denison, 1937)[7]


The phylogenetic relationships of genus Patriofelis are shown in the following cladogram.[9][10][11]








Hyaenodonta (sensu stricto)

 sensu lato 







Dipsalidictis aequidens

Dipsalidictis krausei

Dipsalidictis platypus

Dipsalidictis transiens








Patriofelis ferox

Patriofelis ulta



Restoration of Patriofelis ferox by Charles R. Knight
Skull of Patriofelis ulta


  1. ^ O. C. Marsh. (1872.) "Preliminary description of new Tertiary mammals. Part II." American Journal of Science 4(21):202-224
  2. ^ J. Leidy, (1870.) Untitled [Patriofelis ulta proposed during Proceedings of the March 8 meeting of the Academy of Natural Sciences], in Proceedings Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, Volume 22, p. 9-11.
  3. ^ J. Alroy. (2002.) "Synonymies and reidentifications of North American fossil mammals."
  4. ^ J. L. Wortman. (1901.) "Studies of Eocene Mammalia in the Marsh Collection, Peabody Museum." The American Journal of Science, series 4 12:193-206
  5. ^ O. C. Marsh. (1872.) "Note on a new genus of carnivores from the Tertiary of Wyoming." The American Journal of Science and Arts, series 3 4(19-24):406
  6. ^ W. D. Matthew. (1909.) "The Carnivora and Insectivora of the Bridger Basin, middle Eocene." Memoirs of the American Museum of Natural History 9:289-567
  7. ^ R. H. Denison. (1937.) "The broad-skulled Pseudocreodi." Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 37:163-257
  8. ^ Neal Robbins (2006.) "Paleontology Discussions, Patriofelis - A Creodont"
  9. ^ Gunnel, Gregg F.; Gingerich, Philip D. (1991). "Systematics and evolution of late Paleocene and early Eocene Oxyaenidae (Mammalia, Creodonta) in the Clarks Fork Basin, Wyoming" (PDF). Contributions From the Museum of Paleontology. The University of Michigan. 28 (7): 141–180.
  10. ^ Solé, F. & Ladevèze, S. (2017.) "Evolution of the hypercarnivorous dentition in mammals (Metatheria, Eutheria) and its bearing on the development of tribosphenic molars." Evolution & Development, 19(2), 56–68.
  11. ^ Prevosti, F. J. & Forasiepi, A. M. (2018.) "Introduction. Evolution of South American Mammalian Predators During the Cenozoic: Paleobiogeographic and Paleoenvironmental Contingencies"