Named By: Petter - 1963.
Classification: Chordata, Mammalia, Carnivora, Viverredae, Viverra.
Species: V. leakeyi.
Size: Estimated around 59 centimetres high at the shoulder, 40 kilograms in weight.
Known locations: Ethiopia, Morocco, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania.
Time period: Tortonian of the Miocene through to the Pliocene.
Fossil representation: Partial remains of several individuals.
Viverra leakeyi was the largest species of the Viverra genus of civets. Also it is so far the only species identified as living in Africa, with the other living species of Viverra (V. civettina, V. megaspila, V. tangalunga and V. zibetha) being known only from across Asia. When still alive V. leakeyi would have been much larger than these other species, with dentition that suggests a greater preference towards eating meat (living civets have been observed eating some fruits as well as meat). The late Miocene saw many larger versions of animals we know today and in Kenya Viverra leakeyi may have shared its habitat with the large mustelid Ekorus.
- Laetoli: a Pliocene Site in Northern Tanzania. - Clarendon Press, Oxford, Great Britain - M. D. Leakey & J. M. Harris - 1987.
- Basicranial anatomy of the giant viverrid from 'E' Quarry, Langebaanweg, South Africa. Palaeoecology and Palaeoenvironments of Late Cenozoic Mammals. - Tributes to the Career of C. S. (Rufus) Churcher 588-597. - R. M. hunt - 1996.