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Miacis (Wikimedia Commons)


Miacis (Greek for "mother animal"); pronounced me-AH-sis


Woodlands of Europe

Historical Epoch:

Late Paleocene (55 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 8 inches long and less than a pound


Insects, small animals and eggs

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Small size; weasel-like body


About Miacis:

Although a handful of Mesozoic mammals coexisted with dinosaurs (the best-known being Repenomamus, which actually ate dinosaurs), Miacis was one of the first carnivorous furballs to appear on the scene after the Mesozoic Era, popping up in Europe a mere 10 million years or so after the dinosaurs went extinct, in the late Paleocene epoch. Judging from its small, sleek, weasel-like build, the tiny Miacis probably spent most of its time high up in trees, where it feasted on bugs, small animals, and bird eggs.

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