STL Science Center

STL Science Center

26 September 2013

Ending on A Sadder Note

Miacidae has been an interesting family to look at. Essentially they would have, had they been domesticated, the all around pet for everyone. If you like dogs, they are like dogs. If you like cats, they are a lot like cats, and they climb trees rather well. The last two genera, Ziphacodon and  Xinyuictis round out the family and, though not a lot of information is readily available about either genus, they do exemplify the cosmopolitan geography of the family. We have seen species from Europe as well as America and Ziphacodon rugatus M. R. Thorpe, 1923 is not an exception. Xinyuictis tenuis Zheng et al., 1975, however, is an exception in the family in that it was discovered in central Asia; the Jiangxi province of China to be exact. The species were identified, initially, approximately 100 years apart as well, making them an even more interesting end of the line (Marsh 1872 originally describes Ziphacodon). If all of the illustrations and descriptions have not painted a satisfactory picture of these little carnivores for you this week, check out African civets; they have essentially an identical body shape and are approximately equal in size.

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