Fun Patriofelis Facts For Kids

Gurpuneet Kaur
Nov 28, 2022 By Gurpuneet Kaur
Originally Published on Sep 27, 2021
Edited by Christina Harrison
Fact-checked by Pradhanya Rao
Ponder upon these fun and interesting Patriofelis facts about the 'father of cats' inhabiting the Ancient West.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 5.7 Min

The Patriofelis was a genus of large cat-like oxyaenid including two different species, Patriofelis ulta and Patriofelis ferox. While the generic name was coined by Leidy (1870), it also has synonyms for its binomial name like Aelurotherium, Limnofelis, and Oreocyon. Similarly, the binomial names of its species also have several synonyms. As Patriofelis ulta is also known as Ambloctonus coloradensis, Patriofelis coloradensis, and Patriofelis compressa, the Patriofelis ferox is also referred to as Aelurotherium bicuspis, Aelurotherium latidens, Aelurotherium leidyana, Aelurotherium leidyanum, Limnofelis ferox, Limnofelis latidens, Oreocyon latidens, Patriofelis latidens, Patriofelis leidyanus, and Patriofelis vorax. It was also known as 'fathers of cats' or 'father cat'. Although it lived during the Early to Middle Eocene epochs around 50-39 million years ago in North America, it was first discovered in the Bridger Basin of Wyoming in North America in 1870 and is also housed in the American Museum of Natural History.

If the uniqueness of the Patriofelis makes you interested to read more about similar species, you can read about the Hyracotherium and the Merycoidodon.

Patriofelis Interesting Facts

Was the Patriofelis a dinosaur?

No, a Patriofelis was not a dinosaur and was rather an Extinct genus of North American creodont mammals from the family Oxyaenidae. Formerly, Creodonta was ancestral to Carnivora, while convergent evolution also led to similarities between Creodonta and the modern carnivores. Also, it was related to the group of pangolins.

How do you pronounce 'Patriofelis'?

The Patriofelis is prononced as 'pa‧trēōˈfēlə̇s'. The generic name, Patriofelis, was coined in the early 1870s. As species, Patriofelis ulta and Patriofelis ferox, were speculated as large cat-like mammals with their generic name meaning 'fathers of cats' or 'father cat'.

What type of prehistoric animal was a Patriofelis?

A Patriofelis was a species of creodont mammal from the order Carnivora. It was a North American carnivore portraying convergent evolution with the modern carnivores and cats. Also, it was a close relative of Oxyaena speculated to evolve into several similar forms cats, dogs, leopards, and hyenas. Also,

In which geological period did the Patriofelis live?

While the Patriofelis lived between the Early Eocene and Middle Eocene epochs around 50-39 million years ago, it was first discovered and documented by the Philadelphia naturalist, Leidy (1870), while American paleontologist Matthew, also the curator of the American Museum of Natural History, published further search data based on the data recorded by Leidy.

When did the Patriofelis become Extinct?

Although the search data did not pose any major threats to the Patriofelis, the temporal range of the American prehistoric mammals living during the Early Eocene and Middle Eocene came to an end around 40 million years ago. Natural disasters, habitat loss, and predation were the few common causes justifying the extinction of the animal.

Where did a Patriofelis live?

The Patriofelis ulta and Patriofelis ferox lived around North America as the fossils were unearthed from the Bridger Basin in Wyoming and Oregon. Also, the skull and the mounted skeleton are preserved in the American Museum of Natural History.

What was a Patriofelis' habitat?

The Patriofelis had a broad range of habitats including river basins, wetlands, woodlands, and open grasslands, it was found hunting in the conifer forests.

Who did a Patriofelis live with?

A Patriofelis ulta and Patriofelis ferox were similar to the cats, while whether it lived like a one remains questionable. Cats are considered gregarious animals found to live in groups or otherwise in pairs, mainly during the breeding season. Based on the study of fossils, it is challenging to speculate the behavior of the Extinct animals, thus, the temperament and behavior of the Patriofelis is still a conundrum.

How long did a Patriofelis live?

The data recorded based on the fossils and the specimens of the skull of the Patriofelis do not highlight an estimated life span.

How did they reproduce?

Patriofelis ulta and Patriofelis ferox were mammals known as viviparous animals. They reproduced giving birth to offspring. Further, no data is speculating the reproductive behavior of these prehistoric creatures.

Patriofelis Fun Facts

What did a Patriofelis look like?

There was limited data recorded by the American paleontologist, Leidy, 1870, it was further updated in the early 1900s by Matthew. As the teeth and skull and its fragments of fossils are the only material available specifying the appearance and size of the Patriofelis. Although the size of the mammal was similar to the lion or the modern cougar, the teeth were similar to the cat. It has short legs with broad feet and a broad and long tail. Further, it had a small brain in a huge thick skull, unlike the modern lion. Both species, Patriofelis ulta and Patriofelis ferox, had similar appearances.

It is a skeleton of a cat-like mammal with a long tail living during the Early-Middle Eocene epochs.

How many bones did a Patriofelis have?

The Patriofelis fossil remains found in the Bridger Formation were incomplete, the data collected and documented by Leidy and Matthew do not have an estimated number of bones.

How did they communicate?

The Patriofelis communicated via vocal methods and also used several gestures or movements. While there is no precise data recorded highlighting the communicative behavior of the mammal, there are several speculations about the same. Thus, the communication mechanism of the animal remains questionable.

How big was a Patriofelis?

The length of the Patriofelis ranges from 4-6 ft (1.2-1.8 m), while it was approximately 27.6 in (70 cm) tall. Concluding, the size of the Patriofelis ulta and Patriofelis ferox is quite similar to the cougar or the sea lion.

How fast could a Patriofelis move?

Although the data recorded by Leidy and Matthew fails to record the speed of the Patriofelis, it was considered a poor runner but a substantial swimmer.

How much did a Patriofelis weigh?

The Patriofelis mass ranges between 88-198 lb (40-90 kg), it was known as a heavy animal.

What were the male and female names of the species?

The female and male Patriofelis do not have sex-specific names. The Patriofelis and its species uncovered from Bridger Formation are known to have several synonyms to its binomial name like Aelurotherium, Limnofelis, and Oreocyon.

What would you call a baby Patriofelis?

A baby Patriofelis does not have a specific name.

What did they eat?

The Patriofelis was a carnivore primarily feeding upon prehistoric horses, herbivores, and small mammals. As it was often found near the freshwaters, the turtles were speculated as a staple part of the Patriofelis diet.

How aggressive were they?

Although the behavior of the Patriofelis is not recorded so far, the mammal was not known to attack unless threatened. Though it was highly predatory possessing threats to its prey, the defense mechanism adopted by the Patriofelis is not studied so far.

Did you know...

The Patriofelis discovered from the Bridger Formation is known to have been classified into two different species, Patriofelis ferox, and Patriofelis ulta.

Is the Patriofelis the same species as the modern cat?

No, while the cat is thought to have evolved from the Patriofelis, both the mammals are different species as one belongs to prehistoric times and the other is a modern creature.

What was unique about the Patriofelis?

It had short legs with broad feet and was considered a quite good swimmer but a poor runner.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly prehistoric animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other creatures from our Protoceras facts and Hipparion facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Patriofelis coloring pages.


Main/Hero image: Dmitry Bogdanov

Second image: Gally242

Patriofelis Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Prehistoric horses, herbivores, and small mammals

what Type of Animal were they?


Average Litter Size?


What Did They Look Like?

Buff, brown, black, gray, yellow, and white

How Much Did They Weigh?

88-198 lb (40-90 kg)

Skin Type

Hair and fur

How Long Were They?

4-6 ft (1.2-1.8 m)

How Tall Were They?

27.6 in (70 cm)









Scientific Name

Patriofelis ulta

What Were Their Main Threats?

Natural disasters, habitat loss, and predators

What Habitat Did They Live In?

Open conifer forests, river basins, wetlands, woodlands, and open grasslands

Where Did They Live?

North America
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Written by Gurpuneet Kaur

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

Gurpuneet Kaur picture

Gurpuneet KaurBachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

As a skilled content writer, Gurpuneet has written and managed engaging content for multiple websites and companies. Driven by a passion for helping young people achieve their full potential, she brings a unique perspective to her work. She is currently pursuing a degree in Economics from Sri Guru Gobind Singh College Of Commerce. With extensive experience as a tutor, Gurpuneet has made a significant impact by providing guidance and academic support to students. Her dedication extends beyond tutoring as she has volunteered with Action India, where she offered medical assistance and educational aid to underprivileged communities. Additionally, Gurpuneet has contributed to the creation of student study guides for various educational agencies.

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