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Temporal range: Late Oligocene–Late Miocene
Skeletal restoration of Eocardia
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Suborder: Hystricomorpha
Family: Eocardiidae
Ameghino, 1891
Subfamilies and Genera



The Eocardiidae are an extinct family of caviomorph rodents from South America. The family is probably ancestral to the living family Caviidae (Kramarz, 2006), which includes cavies, maras, and capybaras and their relatives. McKenna and Bell (1997) divided eocardiids into two subfamilies, Luantinae for two of the oldest genera (Asteromys and Luantus) and Eocardiinae for remaining genera. Kramarz (2006) has recommended the abandonment of these subfamilies, as the genera placed in Luantinae appear to represent basal eocardiids, rather than a specialized side branch. The latter hypothesis had been proposed by Wood and Patterson (1959).


  • Kramarz, A.G. 2006. Eocardiids (Rodentia, Hystricognathi) from the Pinturas Formation, late early Miocene of Patagonia, Argentina. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 26(3):770-778.
  • McKenna, Malcolm C., and Bell, Susan K. 1997. Classification of Mammals Above the Species Level. Columbia University Press, New York, 631 pp. ISBN 0-231-11013-8
  • Wood, A.E. and Patterson, B. 1959. Rodents of the Deseadan Oligocene of Patagonia and the beginnings of South American rodent evolution. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology 120:281-428.