What are Miacids?
Miacids are an extinct group of mammalian carnivores that gave rise to cats, bears, dogs, skunks, mongooses, hyenas, and all other felids and canids. Relatively small and frequently described as marten-like, miacids were the first wave of mammalian carnivores to evolve 65 million years ago, after an asteroid obliterated the dinosaurs and left numerous ecological niches wide open. Miacids persisted until 33 million years ago. The miacids that survived evolved into the carnivorans we know today — including the family dog or cat. Carnivorans are sometimes referred to as the most intelligent mammalian group outside of the great apes. Relatively small carnivores, miacids were typically the size of housecats, although a few species were as large as modern-day wolves. Many were arboreal (lived in trees), but some lived on the ground, where they consumed small mammals like rodents and invertebrates like beetles. The miacids are divided into two groups: Miacidae, which evolved into the canifor