A hypocarnivore is an animal that consumes less than 30% meat for its diet, the majority of which consists of non-vertebrate foods that may include fungi, fruits, and other plant material Examples of living hypocarnivores are the black bear Ursus americanus, binturong Arctictis binturong, kinkajou Potos flavus and humans
The evolutionary division of carnivory into three groups, including hypercarnivore and mesocarnivore, appears to have occurred about 40 million years ago mya The term hypocarnivory is used with increasing frequency in describing early Canidae evolution, and reliance upon that survival strategy has a documented history in North American Borophaginae during the Miocene 2303 to 533 mya Twenty-five species of hypocarnivore co-occurred on the North American continent 30 mya A shift from hyper- to hypo- occurred at least three times among Oligocene and Miocene canids Oxetocyon, Phlaocyon, and Cynarctus
Large hypocarnivores Ursus were rare and developed in the mid-to-late Miocene-Pliocene as Borophaginae became extinct
Examination of dentition shows that postcarnassial molar volume expands with hypocarnivores while decreasing in hypercarnivores Prohesperocyon 38 mya—339 mya displayed a shift in relative proportion between slicing and grinding functions indicative of a dietary shift away from vertebrate foods to one including fruits
- List of feeding behaviours
- ^ Van Valkenburgh, B "Déjà vu: The evolution of feeding morphologies in the Carnivora" Retrieved January 26, 2014
- ^ Wang, X, Tedford, RH and Taylor, BE 1999 "Phylogenetic systematics of the Borophaginae Carnivora: Canidae" Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 243: 1–391 CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list link
- ^ Ewer, RF 1973 The Carnivores Ithaca: Cornell University Press
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