Carnivores are ecologically diverse mammals. Dietary adaptations vary from strict herbivory to pure carnivory. These adaptations have evolved independently several times within families, so evolution within the order is iterative. I used 2 databases to examine whether ecological adaptations have an effect on longevity or spatial distributions of fossil carnivores. Miocene hypercarnivorous species had, on average, the widest spatial distributions. Their temporal distributions were not significantly longer than those of other carnivores. Body size also had a significant interaction with maximum spatial distribution. Large-bodied carnivores, regardless of feeding adaptations, had larger geographical ranges, but did not have greater longevity. However, when all the data were pooled, temporal distribution had a significant correlation with spatial distribution. The position of hypercarnivores at the top of the food chain and their specialized adaptations for meat eating probably increased their extinction risk to the same level of more narrowly distributed, less specialized carnivores.
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