Ailurids | Animalia Kingdom Wiki

Ailurids / Red panda

The ailurids (Ailuridae) are a family of mammals in the order Carnivora. The family includes the red panda (the only living representative) and its extinct relatives.

Frédéric Georges Cuvier first described those of the genus Ailurus as belonging to the raccoon family in 1825; this classification has been controversial ever since. It was classified in the raccoon family (Procyonidae) due to morphological similarities of the head, the color of the ringed tail, and other morphological and ecological characteristics.

Red Pandas have no living close relatives and their closest fossil ancestors, Parailurus, lived 3-4,000,000 years ago. There may have been as many as three different species of Parailurus, all larger and more robust on the head and jaw, living in Europe and Asia, but possibly crossing the Bering Strait in the Americas.

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