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Temporal range: Eocene - Holocene, 46–0 Ma
Ailurus fulgens RoterPanda LesserPanda.jpg
Red panda
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Suborder: Caniformia
Infraorder: Arctoidea

Arctoidea is an infraorder of mostly carnivorous mammals which include the extinct Hemicyonidae (dog-bears), and the extant Musteloidea (weasels, raccoons, skunks, red pandas), Pinnipedia (seals, sea lions), and Ursidae (bears), found in all continents from the Eocene, 46 million years ago, to the present.[1] Arctoids are caniforms, along with dogs (canids) and extinct bear dogs (Amphicyonidae). The earliest caniforms were superficially similar to martens, which are tree-dwelling mustelids. Together with feliforms, caniforms comprise the order Carnivora.


Arctoidea was named by Flower (1869). It was reranked as the unranked clade Arctoidea by Hunt (2001), Hunt (2002) and Hunt (2002); it was reranked as the infraorder Arctoidea by Koretsky (2001), Zhai et al. (2003) and Labs Hochstein (2007). It was assigned to Carnivora by Flower (1883), Barnes (1987), Barnes (1988), Carroll (1988), Barnes (1989), Barnes (1992), Hunt (2001), Hunt (2002) and Hunt (2002); and to Caniformia by Tedford (1976), Bryant (1991), Wang and Tedford (1992), Tedford et al. (1994), Koretsky (2001), Zhai et al. (2003), Wang et al. (2005), Owen (2006), Peigné et al. (2006) and Labs Hochstein (2007).[2][3][4]

Family tree[edit]

The cladogram is based on molecular phylogeny of six genes in Flynn, 2005.[5]


AmphicyonidaeYsengrinia americana

Canidae African golden wolf


HemicyonidaeHemicyon sansaniensis

Ursidae American black bear


EnaliarctidaeEnaliarctos mealsi.JPG


Phocidae Common seal


Otariidae California sea lion

Odobenidae Pacific walrus


Ailuridae Red panda


Mephitidae Striped skunk


Procyonidae Common raccoon

Mustelidae European polecat


  1. ^ Paleobiology Database: Arctoidea Basic info[permanent dead link].
  2. ^ R. M. Hunt. 2001. Small Oligocene amphicyonids from North America (Paradaphoenus, Mammalia, Carnivora). American Museum Novitates 3331:1-20
  3. ^ I. Koretsky. 2001. Morphology and systematics of Miocene Phocinae (Mammalia: Carnivora) from Paratethys and the North Atlantic region. Geologica Hungarica Series Palaeontologica 54:1-109
  4. ^ J. Labs Hochstein. 2007. A new species of Zodiolestes (Mammalia, Mustelidae) from the early Miocene of Florida. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 27(2):532-534
  5. ^ Flynn, J. J.; Finarelli, J. A.; Zehr, S.; Hsu, J.; Nedbal, M. A. (2005). "Molecular phylogeny of the Carnivora (Mammalia): Assessing the impact of increased sampling on resolving enigmatic relationships". Systematic Biology. 54 (2): 317–37. doi:10.1080/10635150590923326. PMID 16012099.