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Order Carnivora.jpg
Various carnivorans, wi feliforms (tiger, spottit hyena an African civet) tae the left, an caniforms (broun beir, grey wouf an wolverine) tae the richt.
Scienteefic clessification
Kinrick: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Cless: Mammalia
Infracless: Eutheria
Superorder: Laurasiatheria
Order: Carnivora
Bowdich, 1821

The diverse order Carnivora (/kɑːrˈnɪvərə/ or /ˌkɑːrnɪˈvɔərə/; frae Latin carō (stem carn-) "flesh", + vorāre "tae devour") includes ower 280 species o placental mammals. Its members are formally referred tae as carnivorans, whauras the wird "carnivore" (eften popularly applied tae members o this group) can refer tae ony meat-eatin organism. Carnivorans are the maist diverse in size o ony mammalian order, rangin frae the least wheasel (Mustela nivalis), at as little as 25 g (0.88 oz) an 11 cm (4.3 in), tae the polar beir (Ursus maritimus), which can weigh up tae 1,000 kg (2,200 lb), tae the soothren elephant seal (Mirounga leonina), whose adult males weigh up tae 5,000 kg (11,000 lb) an measur up tae 6.9 m (23 ft) in length.

The first carnivoran wis a carnivore, an nearly aw carnivorans the day primarily eat meat. Some, such as cats an pinnipeds, depend entirely on meat for their nutreetion. Ithers, such as raccoons an beirs, dependin on the local habitat, are mair omnivorous; the giant panda is almaist exclusively a herbivore, but will tak fish, eggs an insects, while the polar beir's harsh habitat forces it tae subsist mainly on prey. Carnivorans hae teeth, claws, an binocular vision adaptit for catchin an eatin ither ainimals. Mony hunt in packs an are social ainimals, givin them an advantage ower lairger prey.

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