Paroodectes

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Paroodectes
Temporal range: Early Eocene
Paroodectes feisti.JPG
Fossil
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivoramorpha
Superfamily: Miacoidea
Family: Miacidae
Genus: Paroodectes
Species: P. feisti

Paroodectes was a miacid animal that lived during the early Eocene (ca. 50 million years ago) in the rain forests and swamps of the present-day Germany. It was a prehistoric predator that had the size and the appearance of a cat and was well adapted to climbing, as is apparent from its limbs, joints and shoulder bones. Its long tail gave balance for tree climbing and jumping from branch to branch. Paroodectes probably hunted in the tree tops on insects, rodents and small monkeys.

Only one species of Paroodectes (P. feisti) has been found, and this was at the Messel Pit located southeast of Frankfurt, Germany. The pit was formed during the Geiseltalian Period (or Middle Eocene) about 50 million years ago. The fossil was found by private collector Otto Feist in 1974. It was described in 1980 by Rainer Springhorn who said the following about the species: "The odontological features of the Messel-Miacid are nearest to the new world genus Oodectes from the Bridger Basin (Bridgerian). No direct relationship exists to European species. The structure of the postcranial skeleton shows great conformity with North American Miacinae. Differences result from proportions skull-length/stature and length of vertebral column/length of limbs. A well-developed clavicle is extant. Scaphoid, lunar and central are distinct. Metatarsals are elongated. Hand and foot are adapted to plantigrade locomotion. An arboricole [living in trees] habit is assumed. Some morphologic features are reminiscent of the Viverridae and some Procyonidae."[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Springhorn, Rainer (1980). "Paroodectes feisti, der erste Miacide (Carnivora, Mammalia) aus dem Mittel-Eozän von Messel". Palaeontologische Zeitschrift (in German and Latin). 54 (1/2): 171–198. doi:10.1007/BF02985887.  reported at "Paroodectes feisti new genus new species the 1st miacid carnivora mammalia from the middle eocene of messel west germany". TropHort.com. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007.