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Viverridae is a family of small to medium-sized mammals, the viverrids (/vˈvɛrɪdz/), comprising 15 genera, which are subdivided into 38 species.[2] This family was named and first described by John Edward Gray in 1821.[3] Members of this family are commonly called civets or genets. Viverrids are found in South and Southeast Asia, across the Wallace Line, all over Africa, and into southern Europe. Their occurrence in Sulawesi and in some of the adjoining islands shows them to be ancient inhabitants of the Old World tropics.[4]

Viverridae[2]
Temporal range: 34–0 Ma
Eocene to Recent[1]
A mosaic of four small photos of viverrids in trees
Viverrids, including (top left to bottom right), species of Paradoxurus, Genetta, Paguma and Arctictis
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Suborder: Feliformia
Infraorder: Viverroidea
Family: Viverridae
Gray, 1821
Genera

Contents

CharacteristicsEdit

 
Binturong (Arctictis binturong) on display at the Museum of Osteology

Viverrids have four or five toes on each foot and half-retractile claws. They have six cutting teeth in each jaw and true grinders with two tubercular grinders behind in the upper jaw, and one in the lower jaw. The tongue is rough with sharp prickles. A pouch or gland occurs beneath the anus, but there is no cecum.[3]

Viverrids are the most primitive of all the families of feliform Carnivora and clearly less specialized than the Felidae. In external characteristics, they are distinguished from the Felidae by the longer muzzle and tuft of facial vibrissae between the lower jaw bones, and by the shorter limbs and the five-toed hind foot with the first digit present. The skull differs by the position of the postpalatine foramina on the maxilla, almost always well in advance of the maxillopalatine suture, and usually about the level of the second premolar; and by the distinct external division of the auditory bulla into its two elements either by a definite groove or, when rarely this is obliterated, by the depression of the tympanic bone in front of the swollen entotympanic. The typical dental formula is: 3.1.4.23.1.4.2, but the number may be reduced, although never to the same extent as in the Felidae.[4]

Their flesh-shearing carnassial teeth are relatively undeveloped.[5] Most viverrid species have a penis bone (a baculum).[6]

ClassificationEdit

Living speciesEdit

In 1821, Gray defined this family as consisting of the genera Viverra, Genetta, Herpestes, and Suricata.[3] Reginald Innes Pocock later redefined the family as containing a great number of highly diversified genera, and being susceptible of division into several subfamilies, based mainly on the structure of the feet and of some highly specialized scent glands, derived from the skin, which are present in most of the species and are situated in the region of the external generative organs. He subordinated the subfamilies Hemigalinae, Paradoxurinae, Prionodontinae, and Viverrinae to the Viverridae.[4]

In 1833, Edward Turner Bennett described the Malagasy fossa (Cryptoprocta ferox) and subordinated the Cryptoprocta to the Viverridae.[7] A molecular and morphological analysis based on DNA/DNA hybridization experiments suggests that Cryptoprocta does not belong within Viverridae, but is a member of the Eupleridae.[8]

The African palm civet (Nandinia binotata) resembles the civets of the Viverridae, but is genetically distinct and belongs in its own monotypic family, the Nandiniidae. There is little dispute that the Poiana species are viverrids.[2]

DNA analysis based on 29 species of Carnivora, comprising 13 species of Viverrinae and three species representing Paradoxurus, Paguma and Hemigalinae, confirmed Pocock's assumption that the African linsang Poiana represents the sister-group of the genus Genetta. The placement of Prionodon as the sister-group of the family Felidae is strongly supported, and it was proposed that the Asiatic linsangs be placed in the monogeneric family Prionodontidae.[9]

Family Viverridae[1][2][10]
Subfamily Image Genus Species
  Arctogalidia Merriam, 1897
Hemigalinae Chrotogale Thomas, 1912
  Cynogale Gray, 1837
  Diplogale Thomas, 1912
  Hemigalus Jourdan, 1837
Paradoxurinae   Arctictis Temminck, 1824
  Macrogalidia Schwarz, 1910
  Paguma Gray, 1831
  Paradoxurus Cuvier, 1822
Viverrinae   Civettictis Pocock, 1915
  Viverra Linnaeus, 1758
  Viverricula Hodgson, 1838
Genettinae   Genetta Cuvier, 1816
  Poiana Gray, 1864

PhylogenyEdit

The phylogenetic relationships of Viverridae are shown in the following cladogram:[1][10]

 Viverridae 
 Paradoxurinae 
 Paradoxurus 

Paradoxurus zeylonensis (Golden palm civet)

Paradoxurus montanus (Sri Lankan brown palm civet)

Paradoxurus stenocephalus (Golden dry-zone palm civet)

Paradoxurus aureus (Golden wet-zone palm civet)

Paradoxurus jerdoni (Jerdon's palm civet)

Paradoxurus hermaphroditus (Asian palm civet)

 Macrogalidia 

Macrogalidia musschenbroekii (Sulawesi palm civet)

 Paguma 

Paguma larvata (Masked palm civet)

 Arctictis 

Arctictis binturong (Binturong)

 Hemigalinae 
 Cynogale 

Cynogale bennettii (Otter civet)

 Chrotogale 

Chrotogale owstoni (Owston's palm civet)

 Diplogale 

Diplogale hosei (Hose's palm civet)

 Hemigalus 

Hemigalus derbyanus (Banded palm civet)

 Arctogalidia 

Arctogalidia trivirgata (Small-toothed palm civet)

 Viverrinae 
 Viverrinae 
 Viverra 

Viverra civettina (Malabar large-spotted civet)

Viverra megaspila (Large-spotted civet)

Viverra zibetha (Large Indian civet)

Viverra tangalunga (Malayan civet)  

Viverra leakeyi (Leakey's civet)

 Civettictis 

Civettictis civetta (African civet)  

 Viverricula 

Viverricula indica (Small Indian civet)

 sensu stricto 
 Genettinae 
 Poiana 

Poiana leightoni (Leighton's linsang)

Poiana richardsonii (African linsang)

 Genetta 

Genetta abyssinica (Abyssinian genet)

Genetta thierryi (Haussa genet)

Genetta victoriae (Giant forest genet)

Genetta johnstoni (Johnston's genet)

Genetta piscivora (Aquatic genet)

Genetta servalina (Servaline genet)

Genetta cristata (Crested servaline genet)

Genetta felina (South African small-spotted genet)

Genetta genetta (Common genet)

Genetta tigrina (Cape genet)

Genetta letabae

Genetta schoutedeni (Schouteden’s genet)

Genetta maculata (Rusty-spotted genet)

Genetta angolensis (Angolan genet)

Genetta pardina (Pardine genet)

Genetta bourloni (Bourlon's genet)

Genetta poensis (King genet)

Extinct speciesEdit

Subfamily Genus Species
Incertae sedis Leptoplesictis Major, 1903[12]
  • L. atavus
  • L. aurelianensis
  • L. filholi
  • L. mbitensis
  • L. namibiensis
  • L. rangwai
  • L. senutae
Kanuites Dehghani & Werdelin, 2008[13]
  • K. lewisae
Tugenictis Morales & Pickford, 2005[13]
  • T. ngororaensis
Viverrinae Viverra Linnaeus, 1758

Ecology and behaviorEdit

They are generally solitary and have excellent hearing and vision. They are omnivorous; the palm civet is almost entirely herbivorous.[5]

Favored habitats include woodland, savanna, mountains, and above all tropical rainforest. Due to heavy deforestation, many face severe habitat loss. Several species, such as the Hose's palm civet, which is endemic to northern Borneo, are considered vulnerable. The otter civet is classified as endangered.[2]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c Gaubert, P. & Cordeiro-Estrela, P. (2006). "Phylogenetic systematics and tempo of evolution of the Viverrinae (Mammalia, Carnivora, Viverridae) within feliformians: implications for faunal exchanges between Asia and Africa" (PDF). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 41 (2): 266–278. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2006.05.034. PMID 16837215. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Wozencraft, W.C. (2005). "Family Viverridae". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M (eds.). Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 548–559. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
  3. ^ a b c Gray, J. E. (1821). "On the natural arrangement of vertebrose animals". London Medical Repository. 15 (1): 296–310.
  4. ^ a b c Pocock, R. I. (1939). The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Mammalia. – Volume 1. Taylor and Francis, London. Pp. 330–332.
  5. ^ a b Wozencraft, W. C. (1984). Macdonald, D. (ed.). The Encyclopedia of Mammals. New York: Facts on File. pp. 134–135. ISBN 0-87196-871-1.
  6. ^ Ewer, R. F. (1998). The Carnivores. Cornell University Press. ISBN 0-8014-8493-6.
  7. ^ Bennett, E. T. (1833). "Notice of a new genus of Viverridous Mammalia from Madagascar". Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London. 1833: 46.
  8. ^ Veron, G.; Catzeflis, F. M. (1993). "Phylogenetic relationships of the endemic Malagasy carnivore Cryptoprocta ferox (Aeluroideae): DNA/DNA hybridization experiments". Journal of Mammalian Evolution. 1 (3): 169–185. doi:10.1007/bf01024706.
  9. ^ Gaubert, P.; Veron, G. (2003). "Exhaustive sample set among Viverridae reveals the sister-group of felids: the linsangs as a case of extreme morphological convergence within Feliformia" (PDF). Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 270 (1532): 2523–2530. doi:10.1098/rspb.2003.2521. PMC 1691530. PMID 14667345.
  10. ^ a b Nyakatura, K. & Bininda-Emonds, O. R. P. (2012). "Updating the evolutionary history of Carnivora (Mammalia): a new species-level supertree complete with divergence time estimates". BMC Biology. 10: 12. doi:10.1186/1741-7007-10-12. PMC 3307490.
  11. ^ Groves, C. P., Rajapaksha, C., Manemandra-Arachchi, K. (2009). "The taxonomy of the endemic golden palm civet of Sri Lanka" (PDF). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. 155: 238–251. doi:10.1111/j.1096-3642.2008.00451.x.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  12. ^ Morales, J., Pickford, M. and Salesa, M.J. (2008). "Creodonta and Carnivora from the Early Miocene of the Northern Sperrgebiet, Namibia". Memoir of the Geological Survey of Namibia. 20: 291–310.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  13. ^ a b Lars Werdelin (2019). "Middle Miocene Carnivora and Hyaenodonta from Fort Ternan, western Kenya" (PDF). Geodiversitas. 41 (6).

External linksEdit