Scientific classification

The diverse order Carnivora includes over 260 placental mammals. While the Giant Panda is a herbivore, nearly all others eat meat as their primary diet item: some (like the cat family) almost exclusively, others (like the bears and foxes) are more omnivorous. Members of the Carnivora have a characteristic skull shape, and their dentition includes prominent canines and carnassials.

    • Suborder Fissipedia
      • Family Canidae: dogs and allies; 35 species in 10 genera
      • Family Procyonidae: raccoons and allies; 19 species in 7 genera
      • Family Ursidae: bears; 8 species in 5 genera
      • Family Mustelidae weasels, ferrets, badgers, and otters; 55 species in 24 genera
      • Family Mephitidae skunks; 10 species in 3 genera
      • Family Felidae: cats; 37 species in 4 genera
      • Family Viverridae: civets and allies; 35 species in 20 genera
      • Family Herpestidae: mongooses and allies; 35 speces in 17 genera
      • Family Hyaenidae: hyenas and Aardwolf; 4 species in 4 genera
    • Suborder Pinnipedia
Most authorities also list the pinnipeds in Carnivora. Alternatively, they can be listed as a separate order: