Research on other Fossil Carnivores | Natural History Museum of Los Angeles

This upper canine of an extinct false sabertooth, Barbourofelis whitfordi, is the only one known in California. It is recently collected from the Red Rock Canyon State Park, Mojave Desert, California.

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Xiaoming Wang: Research on Fossil Carnivores

Fossil carnivores (Order Carnivora) consist of a large group of mammalian predators that play a very important role in the ecology of mammal communities. Fossils carnivores are generally rare due to their position in the top of the food chain, but diligent search for these fossils sometimes results in unexpected discoveries.

My own research includes the skunk family (Mephitidae), the weasel family (Mustelidae), the hyena family (Hyaenidae), as well as carnivore faunas from various places in the world.

Ancestral skunks

This nearly complete skull and lower jaws of an ancestral skunk, Martinogale faulli Wang, Whistler, Takeuchi, 2005, is the oldest and most primitive member of this family in North America. This beautiful specimen is from the Red Rock Canyon, Mojave Desert, California. For additional reading see a Natural History article about skunk evolution:

Red Panda from Tennessee

This is only the second specimen of a red panda in North America (the first one is in our collection). This upper first molar is the holotype of Pristinailurus bristoli Wallace and Wang, 2004 from the Gray Site in eastern Tennessee, where a sinkhole deposit allows us a rare glimpse into the past biota in that part of the country during the late Miocene and Pliocene.

Early arctoids

This partial skull of Amphicynodon teilhardi Matthew and Granger, 1924 is from the Hsanda Gol Formation of Mongolia (Oligocene). This small fox-sized carnivore is close to the ancestral forms that gave rise to later arctoides (large group of carnivorans including bears, raccoons, and weasels). (see Wang, McKenna, Dashzeveg, 2005)

New "badger" from Tibetan Plateau

One of the surprising discoveries in our fieldwork in Tabenbuluk is this skull of Kinometaxia guangpui Wang, Qiu, Wang, 2004. This early mustelid seems to be related to a highly peculiar group (Leptarctines) of badger-like animals in the Miocene of North America.