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The family Eupleridae comprises 10 living species in seven genera. The animals are endemic to Madagascar. All members of the subfamily Euplerinae were classified as viverrids (civets), while all species in the subfamily Galidiinae were classified as herpestids (mongooses). Molecular studies indicate that the 10 living species of euplerids evolved from one ancestor that probably rafted over from mainland Africa 18-24 million years ago. This makes Malagasy carnivorans a clade [4][5], closely allied with the true herpestid mongooses, their closest living relatives.[2] The hyena family (Hyaenidae) is a sister taxon of the euplerid and herpestid clade and when grouped together with the viverrids and felids, as well as some smaller groups, forms the feliform (cat-like carnivores) clade.[6][7] The herpestids and euplerids diverged in the Oligocene[7], when feliforms shared many similarities, particularly between cats and viverrids. Palaeoprionodon (within the superfamily Aeluroidea) lived in Europe and Asia from the late Eocene or early Oligocene and resembled the modern fossa, while Proailurus, an extinct form of cat, had many viverrid-like characteristics.[8] Despite similarities in the fossil record, modern Malagasy carnivores are distinct, with the subfamilies Euplerinae and Galidiinae bearing similarities with civets and mongooses respectively.[6] Euplerinae (including the fossa, falanouc, and Malagasy civet) has auditory regions similar to those of viverrids, while Galidiinae has auditory regions similar to those of herpestids. Based on this trait, Robert M. Hunt Jr. proposed in 1996 that Madagascar was colonized twice, once by viverrids and once by herpestids. Genetic studies by Yoder and colleagues in 2003 suggested one colonization event by a primitive herpestid ancestor, followed quickly by adaptive radiation. The common ancestor arrived from Africa, probably by rafting, in the late Oligocene or early Miocene (24–18 million years ago)[6][7]; Philippe Gaubert and Veron estimated a divergence date of 19.4 million years ago (16.5–22.7 million years ago).[7][9] The fossa (Cryptoprocta ferox) and Malagasy civet (Fossa fossana) are thought to be the most ancient surviving species in this group. All euplerid species are considered to be threatened, due to habitat destruction, predation and competition from non-native species.[3] Family Eupleridae[4] Subfamily Euplerinae Fossa, Cryptoprocta ferox Giant fossa, Cryptoprocta spelea (extinct) Eastern falanouc, Eupleres goudotii Western falanouc, Eupleres major Malagasy civet, Fossa fossana Subfamily Galidiinae Ring-tailed mongoose, Galidia elegans Broad-striped Malagasy mongoose, Galidictis fasciata Grandidier's mongoose, Galidictis grandidieri Narrow-striped mongoose, Mungotictis decemlineata Brown-tailed mongoose, Salanoia concolor Durrell's mongoose, Salanoia durrelli Phylogeny of Malagasy carnivores (EupleridaeEupleridae Cryptoprocta C. ferox (Fossa) †C. spelea (Giant fossa) Fossa (Malagasy civet) Eupleres (Falanouc) Galidia (Ring-tailed mongoose) Galidictis G. fasciata (Broad-striped Malagasy mongoose) G. grandidieri (Grandidier's mongoose) Salanoia S. durrelli (Alaotra mongoose) S. concolor (Brown-tailed mongoose) Mungotictis (Narrow-striped mongoose) Phylogeny of Eupleridae within Feliformia[7] Feliformia (other feliforms) Viverridae Hyaenidae (hyenas) Herpestidae (mongooses) Eupleridae (Malagasy carnivores) [edit] See alsoList of mammals of Madagascar [edit] References1.^ Wozencraft, W. C. (2005). "Order Carnivora". In Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M. Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 532–628. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494. 2.^ Flynn, J (April 2005). "Molecular phylogeny of the carnivora (mammalia): assessing the impact of increased sampling on resolving enigmatic relationships". Syst. Biol. 54 (2): 317–37. doi:10.1080/10635150590923326. PMID 16012099. 3.^ 4.^ a b Yoder, AD; Burns, A.D.; Zehr, M.M.; Delefosse, S.; Veron, T.; Goodman, G.; Flynn, S.M. (2003). "Single origin of Malagasy Carnivora from an African ancestor" (PDF). Nature 421 (6924): 734–737. doi:10.1038/nature01303. PMID 12610623. Retrieved 19 May 2010. 5.^ Wozencraft, W.C. (2005). "Order Carnivora". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M.. Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 559–561. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. 6.^ a b c Yoder, A.D.; Flynn, J.J. (2003). "Origin of Malagasy Carnivora". In Goodman, S.M.; Benstead, J.P.. The Natural History of Madagascar. University of Chicago Press. pp. 1253–1256. ISBN 0-226-30306-3. 7.^ a b c d e Barycka, E. (2007). "Evolution and systematics of the feliform Carnivora". Mammalian Biology 72 (5): 257–282. doi:10.1016/j.mambio.2006.10.011. 8.^ Köhncke, M.; Leonhardt, K. (1986). "Cryptoprocta ferox" (PDF). Mammalian Species (254): 1–5. Retrieved 19 May 2010. 9.^ Gaubert, P.; Veron, G. (2003). "Exhaustive sample set among Viverridae reveals the sister-group of felids: the linsangs as a case of extreme morphological convergence within Feliformia" (PDF). Proceedings of the Royal Society B 270 (1532): 2523–2530. doi:10.1098/rspb.2003.2521. PMC 1691530. PMID 14667345.