Re-evaluation of the very large Eomellivora fricki (Pia, 1939) (Carnivora, Mustelidae, Mellivorinae) from the Late Miocene of Austria

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We re-evaluated the Austrian material for Hadrictis fricki Pia, 1939, from the localities Wien XII-Altmannsdorf and Gaiselberg (MN9, Vallesian, Late Miocene), concluding that Hadrictis can be considered as a synonymy of Eomellivora Zdansky, 1924; we therefore named it as Eomellivora fricki. This species is one of the earliest representatives of the genus, together with E. piveteaui Ozansoy, 1965. Our phylogenetic analyses indicate that Eomellivora forms a monophyletic group, establishing the sister clade of the large and derived Late Miocene Ekorus ekakeran. Eomellivora fricki shows a primitive dental morphology and is the largest species of the genus. This species shows the complexity of the genus Eomellivora, in which large and small species coexisted since the beginning of the Late Miocene.
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