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Temporal range: Late Cretaceous - Recent
Serengeti Lion 1.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Infraclass: Eutheria
Magnorder: Boreoeutheria
Superorder: Laurasiatheria
(unranked): Ferae

Ferae is a clade of mammals, consisting of the orders Carnivora (over 260 species, around the globe) and Pholidota (8 species of pangolin in tropical Africa and Asia). Pangolins do not look much like carnivorans (wolves, cats, seals, and so on), and were thought to be the closest relatives of Xenarthra (armadillos, sloths, and so on). But recent DNA research found the close relationship to carnivorans. Ferae also includes Creodonta, extinct primitive carnivoran-like mammals. Several extinct orders, relatives of Pholidota, are members of Ferae as well. These orders are sometimes united with the Pholidota in one, large order, Cimolesta. An alternate name, Ostentoria, has also been proposed for a grouping of Carnivora and Pholidota.[1]

According to recent studies (reflected in the diagram below), the closest relatives of Ferae are Perissodactyla (horses, tapirs and rhinos) and Cetartiodactyla (which combines Artiodactyla--camels, pigs, ruminants and hippos—with Cetacea--whales and dolphins).[2][3] An alternate phylogeny (less supported) holds that the closest relatives to Ferae are Perissodactyla and Chiroptera (bats), not Cetartiodactyla.[4] Ferae together with Perissodactyla has been called Zooamata. Ferae, Perissodactyla, and Chiroptera together has been called Pegasoferae.












  1. ^ Amrine-madsen, H.; Koepfli, K.P.; Wayne, R.K.; Springer, M.S. (2003). "A new phylogenetic marker, apolipoprotein B, provides compelling evidence for eutherian relationships". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 28 (2): 225–240. doi:10.1016/S1055-7903(03)00118-0. PMID 12878460. Retrieved 2008-04-19. 
  2. ^ BioMed Central | Full text | A higher-level MRP supertree of placental mammals
  3. ^ Zhou, X. et al. (2011). "Phylogenomic analysis resolves the interordinal relationships and rapid diversification of the Laurasiatherian mammals". Systematic Biology 61 (1): 150–64. doi:10.1093/sysbio/syr089. PMC 3243735. PMID 21900649. Retrieved 3 October 2011.  (Advance Access; published online 7 September 2011)
  4. ^ Nishihara, H.; Hasegawa, M; Okada, N (2006). "Pegasoferae, an unexpected mammalian clade revealed by tracking ancient retroposon insertions". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 103 (26): 9929–34. doi:10.1073/pnas.0603797103. PMC 1479866. PMID 16785431.