Deviation Actions

Eurwentala's avatar

Father of Cats

Published:
By
50 Comments
4K Views
In some part of the endless Eocene forest, a Patriofelis slightly raises it's hackles after hearing a suspicious sound. It soon relaxes, as the thump was only a falling fruit, and not a rival in her territory.

Patriofelis lived about 45 million years ago, and despite its scientific name meaning 'father cat', it didn't actually have anything to do with felids. It was an oxyaenid, an ancient clade of carnivorous mammals apparently related, but not contained within, modern Carnivora. By weight, Patriofelis matched a cougar, but had a lot shorter limbs, perhaps resembling a civet or an otter.

Plants are species known from Eocene Green River Formation: Colocasia sp., a close relative of modern eddoe root, and Platanus leaves.
Image details
Image size
3802x2950px 9.77 MB
© 2016 - 2022 Eurwentala
Comments50
Join the community to add your comment. Already a deviant? Log In
Permian3's avatar
CaptFlameSkull's avatar
the feelsbadman of oxyaenids
CartoonBen's avatar
So THAT's what the earliest ancestor of cats' name was. :) (Smile) Good name. And good art in your case.  It kind of looks like a civet or a genet.
Philoceratops's avatar
I think you may be referring to Proailurus, as Patriofelis was a oxyaenid creodont, and it was VERY distantly related to cats. The similarities are only superficial.
CartoonBen's avatar
:| (Blank Stare) Oh. I'm confused then. Shrug Why do you think Maija (or Eurwentala) said that it was "The Father of Cats?"
Philoceratops's avatar
Patriofelis literally means "father of cats"
CartoonBen's avatar
Sweating a little... Oh. I should have known. LOL. Silly me. Apparently the name they gave to the patriofelis was a misnomer the whole time. Scared Sherlock They must have named it before the remains of the real earliest known cat remains was discovered.
Philoceratops's avatar
Actually, Joseph Leidy described Patriofelis 93 years after Proailurus (the first known cat) was described. Taxonomic nomenclature can be interesting, and here's a site dedicated to that: www.curioustaxonomy.net/index.…
oxpecker's avatar
Beautiful style and composition.
MviluUatusun's avatar
Isn't this also the father of dogs?  I believe I read somewhere that canids and felids had a common ancestor.
Eurwentala's avatar
They sure did have a common ancestor (which was also ancestral to other feliform and caniform carnivores: hyenas, bears, weasels, etc.), but Patriofelis is not ancestral to anything living today. It just has a funny, but misleading scientific name. It literally means "father cat".
MviluUatusun's avatar
Oh, I see.  Well, it's always nice to learn something you had no idea was the truth before you learned it.
Philoceratops's avatar
Hesperocyon may be what you're looking for.
MviluUatusun's avatar
Okay, thanks.  I'll have to look that up.
Philoceratops's avatar
LEXLOTHOR's avatar
I have excavated one of these things. The skull is medio-laterally very broad and the forehead is rather flat. The eyes are spaced much further apart than you have depicted in your illustration.
Eurwentala's avatar
Thanks for pointing this out. When drawing this, I only had side views of the skull to use as reference. Can you maybe direct me to a photograph that shows the correct skull shape?
bh1324's avatar
A cute Patriofelis? What short of sorcery?!

One thing I would point out though is that nasal opening might be a bit to narrow, but it could be just the result of perspective and an enlarger muzzle.
Eurwentala's avatar
You might well be right. When drawing this, I didn't have proper references other than side views of the animal, so I'm really not sure how wide the snout should be.
slothChija's avatar
At first i thought it was an ancestor of modern cats, and I was like "how did a cat evolve from that thing?!"
Eurwentala's avatar
Yeah, that would be odd. But apparently someone saw enough resemblage to give that name. :)
slothChija's avatar
Join the community to add your comment. Already a deviant? Log In