Were there mammalian pursuit predators in the tertiary? Dances with wolf avatars

  title={Were there mammalian pursuit predators in the tertiary? Dances with wolf avatars},
  author={Christine M. Janis and Patricia Brady Wilhelm},
  journal={Journal of Mammalian Evolution},
Fast-running, long-legged pursuit carnivores are familiar members of the present-day ecosystem, and it has been assumed that extinct large predators took similar ecomorphological roles (i.e., were “wolf avatars”) in past faunas. While these fossil taxa may also have been meat-specialists, we present evidence from limb morphology to show that there was no modern type of pursuit predator until the latest Tertiary. In contrast, ungulates evolved longer legs similar to those of present-day… 
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