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Temporal range: Middle Eocene
Patriofelis skeleton
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Superorder: Laurasiatheria
Family: Oxyaenidae
Genus: Patriofelis
Leidy (1872)
  • P. ulta
  • P. ferox

Patriofelis (Latin: Father Cat) was a large, cat-like oxyaenid of middle Eocene, some 45 million years ago in North America. It was around 1.2 to 1.8 metres (3.9 to 5.9 ft) long, not including the tail, and weighted about 40–90 kg, making it around the same size as a modern cougar. It had short legs with broad feet, suggesting that it may have been a poor runner, but a quite good swimmer. As its close relative Oxyaena was a reasonably good climber, it is possible Patriofelis could climb as well (Robbins 2006). It is found in particular in the Bridger Basin of southwestern Wyoming and at John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, in the U.S. state of Oregon.



Restoration by Charles R. Knight
Skull of Patriofelis ulta