genus of mammals

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Temporal range: 5.332–0 Ma Late Miocene - recent
Common and Japanese raccoon dog
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Canidae
Subfamily: Caninae
Genus: Nyctereutes
Temminck, 1838[2]
Type species
Canis viverrinus[1]
Temminck (= Canis procyonoides J.E.Gray, 1834)

N. procyonoides
N. viverrinus

Nyctereutes (Greek: nyx, nykt- "night" + ereutēs "wanderer") is a genus of canid which includes only two extant species both known as raccoon dogs; the common raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides) and the Japanese raccoon dog (Nyctereutes viverrinus).[1] Nyctereutes first entered the fossil record 5.5 million years ago (Mya) in northern China. It was one of the earliest canines to arrive in the Old World. All but two species became extinct before the Pleistocene.

Nyctereutes megamastoides fossil skull


They are typically recognized by their short snouts, round crania and the shaping of their molars, specifically the ratio between M1 and M2. Nyctereutes is considered mainly an opportunistic carnivore, feeding on small mammals, fish, birds and insects, alongside occasional plants, specifically roots. Their diet is mostly influenced through environmental factors.[3]


Extant species

Image Scientific name Distribution
Nyctereutes procyonoides - Raccoon Dog - Jenot.png Nyctereutes procyonoides Mongolia, Russian Far East, China, Korea, Vietnam; introduced to Europe
Tanuki in Higashiyama Zoo - 2.jpg Nyctereutes viverrinus Japan

Fossil species

  • Nyctereutes abdeslami 3.6—1.8 Mya (Morocco)[4]
  • Nyctereutes donnezani 9.0—3.4 Mya (Eastern Europe, Spain)
  • Nyctereutes megamastoides (Europe)
  • Nyctereutes sinensis 3.6 Mya—781,000 years ago (Eastern Asia)[5]
  • Nyctereutes tingi
  • Nyctereutes vinetorum
  • Nyctereutes lockwoodi


  1. ^ a b c Wozencraft, W. C. (2005). "Genus Nyctereutes". In Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M. (eds.). Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 532–628. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
  2. ^ Temminck, C.J. (1838). "Over de geslachten Taphozous, Emballonura, Urocryptus en Diclidurus" [About the genera Taphozous, Emballonura, Urocryptus and Diclidurus]. Tijdschrift voor Natuurlijke Geschiedenis en Physiologie (in Dutch). 5: 1–34.
  3. ^ Farjand, Arya; Zhang, Zhao-Qun; Liu, Wen-Hui; Jiao, Chen-Hui; Wang, Li-Hua (June 2021). "The evolution of Nyctereutes (Carnivora: Canidae) in the Nihewan Basin, Hebei, northern China". Palaeoworld. 30 (2): 373–381. doi:10.1016/j.palwor.2020.07.002. S2CID 225565692.
  4. ^ Paleobiology Database: ''Nyctereutes abdeslami basic info.
  5. ^ Paleobiology Database: ''Nyctereutes sinensis basic info.

Further reading

Original content from Wikipedia, shared with licence Creative Commons By-Sa - Nyctereutes