The order Carnivora has a shorter history in Africa than on any other continent except Australasia and South America. The definite record of the order on the African continent extends back to the Lower Miocene, though some earlier records may exist. During this time, the order has diversified enormously, first as a result of migrations from Eurasia and later as a result of in situ speciation. Despite this, little is known about the history of African Carnivora compared with most continents, mainly due to the geographically biased fossil record on the African continent. For the Plio-Pleistocene, only parts of northern, eastern, and southern Africa have an adequate Carnivoran fossil record, and for the Miocene the situation is much worse, as only some time slices of this epoch have an adequate record in some parts of eastern Africa. This chapter describes the systematic paleontology of Pholidota. It reviews more than 100 genera and about twice that many species. The organization is by family (in standard order) and genus. The chapter concludes with short sections on biogeography and migration patterns.
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