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Temporal range: Middle Miocene to Late Pliocene
Dinocrocuta gigantea.jpg
Dinocrocuta gigantea
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Suborder: Feliformia
Family: Percrocutidae
Werdelin & Solounias, 1991

Percrocutidae is an extinct family of hyena-like feliform carnivores endemic to Asia, Africa, and Southern Europe from the Miocene through the Pliocene, existing for about 17.41 million years.[1]

Dinocrocuta gigantea skull cast, Zoological Museum in Copenhagen.

The first percrocutids are known from the middle Miocene of Europe and western Asia and belonged to the genus Percrocuta. Percrocuta already had large premolars, but did not carry such a massive bite as the later form Dinocrocuta, from the later Miocene.[2] Originally, these carnivores were placed with the hyenas in the family Hyaenidae. Today, most scientists consider the Percrocutidae to be a distinct family — although usually as sister-taxa/immediate outgroup to Hyaenidae.[3] Sometimes it is placed with carnivoran genera, such as Stenoplesictis, into the family Stenoplesictidae.


  • Percrocuta (including Capsatherium; Middle Miocene to Late Pliocene of Africa, Middle to Late Miocene of Eurasia)
  • Dinocrocuta (Middle Miocene of Africa, Middle to Late Miocene of Asia)

The list follows McKenna and Bell's Classification of Mammals for prehistoric genera (1997).[4] In contrast to McKenna and Bell's classification, they are not included as a subfamily into the Hyaenidae but as a separate family Percrocutidae.


  1. ^ Paleobiology Database: Percrocutidae basic information
  2. ^ Alan Turner & Mauricio Antón: Evolving Eden. An Illustrated Guide to the Evolution of the African Large-Mammal Fauna. Columbia University Press, New York, 2004. ISBN 0-231-11944-5
  3. ^ Borja Figueirido, Zhijie JACK Tseng, Alberto Martín-Serra, Skull Shape Evolution In Durophagous Carnivorans, Evolution 67(7):1975-93 · July 2013 DOI: 10.1111/evo.12059 · Source: PubMed
  4. ^ Malcolm C. McKenna, Susan K. Bell: Classification of Mammals: Above the Species Level in Columbia University Press, New York 1997, 631 Seiten, ISBN 0-231-11013-8
  • Jordi Agustí: Mammoths, Sabertooths and Hominids 65 Million Years of Mammalian Evolution in Europe, Columbia University Press, 2002. LCCN 2001-42251 ISBN 0-231-11640-3