Viverra leakeyi
aka Leakey's Civet‭ & ‬Giant Civet

Name: Viverra leakeyi.
Phonetic: Vi-ver-ra.
Named By: Petter‭ ‬-‭ ‬1963.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Mammalia,‭ ‬Carnivora,‭ ‬Viverredae,‭ ‬Viverra.
Species: V.‭ ‬leakeyi.
Diet: Carnivore.
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.

Further reading
- 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.


Random favourites