Classification: Chordata, Mammalia, Carnivora, Mustelidae.
Species: E. ekakeran (type).
Size: 60 centimetres tall at the shoulder.
Known locations: Kenya.
Time period: Messinian of the Miocene.
Fossil representation: Remains to identify a single species.
to have been one of the last of the giant mustelids to evolve.
Appearing in Kenya around six million years ago, Ekorus
loosely termed to be a leopard sized predator that was suited to ambush
hunting in the forests of late Miocene Kenya. However the creation
and expansion of the Great Rift Valley seems to have triggered a shift
from the moist forests to drier more open grass plains. This
subsequent shift in ecosystem favoured predators that were suited for
running in open spaces over ambush hunters like Ekorus.
In terms of predatory niche Ekorus is considered to be analogous to earlier Meglictis from North America. Additionally, Ekorus may have occasionally come across the giant civet Viverra leakeyi.
- Mio-Pliocene Carnivora from Lothagam, Kenya, by L. Werdelin. In Lothagam: Dawn of Humanity in Eastern Africa, Columbia University Press - M. G. Leakey & J. D. Harris - 2003.