What is the ancestral relationship between cats, dogs and bears?

I presume they are more closely related to one another than other paraphyletic clades of mammal.

  • Which came first?
  • What did their common ancestors look like?
  • What are their geographical origins?
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You'll like this: tolweb.org/tree $\endgroup$
    – terdon
    Dec 4, 2013 at 2:39
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ and this: onezoom.org/mammals.htm $\endgroup$
    – Remi.b
    Dec 4, 2013 at 12:46
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Clades are, by definition, monophyletic. $\endgroup$
    – kmm
    Dec 5, 2013 at 18:36

1 Answer 1


Cats, dogs and bears all belong to the Carnivora clade of mammals, but they are not the only ones belonging to this clade. For instance, cats are more closely related to mongoose and hyenas than to dogs or bears, who in turn are more closely related to raccoons, weasels, and walruses.

Their common ancestors likely displayed various adaptations to a carnivorous diet, as the name of the clade suggests, and which are still present in many extant Carnivora (the panda being a well-known exception).

Together with many other groups of mammals, Carnivora are part of a clade named Laurasiatheria thus named because they may have originated in the Laurasia supercontinent, which comprises nowadays north America and Eurasia.


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