Vulpavus palustris (Marsh 1871) Bridgerian (Early to Middle Eocene) was a primitive miacid, a mink-like carnivorous member of a clade that preceded the Carnivora, which includes minks, seals, cats, dogs and bears. Here Vulpavus was derived from a sister to Asioryctes and Eomaia and phylogenetically prededed Notharctus and Nandinia.
Distinct from Eomaia, the skull of Vulpavus was relatively smaller. It had a shorter deeper rostrum, including a shorter premaxilla with two fewer incisors. The canines were relatively enlarged. In the upper jaw the first two premolars were reduced. The molars were flattened. The lower incisors were reduced to three. The lower canine was enlarged. The anterior premolars were reduced and premolar 1 was absent. The anterior molar was enlarged to become a carnassial tooth. The dentary was deeper anteriorly. The orbit was taller, admitting a larger eyeball.
The second cervical (the atlas) was enlarged. The subsequent neural spines were all taller. The dorsals and lumbars were longer. The ribcage was not as deep and each rib was more gracile. The sacrum was longer. The chevrons were absent from the caudal vertebrae.
The scapula was broader dorsally. The ulna was more robust. The manus was more robust. Metacarpals III and IV were the longest and subequal.
The pelvis was longer and no epipubic bones were present. The femur was longer and longer than the humerus. The tibia was relatively more robust while the fibula was more gracile. The metatarsals were not alike in length and mt IV was the longest.
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