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Temporal range: Miocene, 16.9–9 Ma
Barbourofelis loveorum.jpg
Barbourofelis loveorum at the Florida Museum of Natural History
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Suborder: Feliformia
Family: Barbourofelidae
Schultz, et al., 1970[1]

Barbourofelidae is an extinct family of mammalian carnivores of the suborder Feliformia that lived in North America, Eurasia and Africa during the Miocene epoch (16.9—9.0 Ma) and existed for about 7.9 million years.[2]


The Barbourofelinae were named by Schultz et al. (1970). The type genus is Barbourofelis. It was assigned to Nimravidae by Bryant (1991);[3] and to Carnivora by Morlo et al. (2004).[4]

Barbourofelidae was previously classified as a subfamily of the extinct Nimravidae, but is now thought to be taxonomically closer to the Felidae than to the Nimravidae,[5] and has subsequently been reranked as a distinct family by Morlo et al. (2004).[4] Barbourofelids first appear in the fossil record in the Early Miocene of Africa. By the end of the Early Miocene, a land bridge had opened between Africa and Eurasia, allowing for a faunal exchange between the two continents. Barbourofelids migrated at least three times from Africa to Europe (Morlo 2006).[6] While the genus Sansanosmilus evolved in Europe, barbourofelids also migrated through Eurasia and reached North America by the late Miocene, represented there solely by the genus Barbourofelis.



The following cladogram is based on Robles et al. (2013) and uses the reassigned genera as described therein.[7]


Eofelis edwardsii

Nimravus intermedius

Pseudaelurus spp.

Proailurus lemanensis


Prosansanosmilus eggeri  

Prosansanosmilus peregrinus  

Afrosmilus turkanae   Afrosmilini

Afrosmilus africanus  

Afrosmilus hispanicus  


Sansanosmilus palmidens  


Albanosmilus jourdani

Albanosmilus whitfordi



Barbourofelis loveorum  

Barbourofelis morrisi  

Barbourofelis fricki  

Barbourofelis piveteaui  



  1. ^ "Paleobiology Database (Barbourofelidae)". Retrieved 19 Oct 2012. 
  2. ^ PaleoBiology Database: Barbourofelidae, basic info
  3. ^ H. N. Bryant. 1991. Phylogenetic relationships and systematics of the Nimravidae (Carnivora). Journal of Mammalogy.
  4. ^ a b Michale Morlo; Stéphane Peigné & Doris Nagel (January 2004). "A new species of Prosansanosmilus: implications for the systematic relationships of the family Barbourofelidae new rank (Carnivora, Mammalia)". Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. 140 (1): 43. doi:10.1111/j.1096-3642.2004.00087.x. 
  5. ^ Lars W. van den Hoek Ostende; Michael Morlo & Doris Nagel (July 2006). "Fossils explained 52 Majestic killers: the sabre-toothed cats". Geology Today. 22 (4): 150. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2451.2006.00572.x. 
  6. ^ Michael Morlo (2006). "New remains of Barbourofelidae from the Miocene of Southern Germany: implications for the history of barbourid migrations". Beiträge zur Paläontologie, Wien. 30: 339–346. 
  7. ^ Josep M. Robles , David M. Alba , Josep Fortuny , Soledad De Esteban-Trivigno , Cheyenn Rotgers , Jordi Balaguer , Raül Carmona , Jordi Galindo , Sergio Almécija , Juan V. Bertó & Salvador Moyà-Solà , Journal of Systematic Palaeontology (2013): New craniodental remains of the barbourofelid Albanosmilus jourdani (Filhol, ) from the Miocene of the Vallès-Penedès Basin (NE Iberian Peninsula) and the phylogeny of the Barbourofelini, Journal of Systematic Palaeontology, DOI:10.1080/14772019.2012.724090