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Fitaweskus

Possible reconstruction of a Fitaweskus.

Fitaweskus (name meaning Slender murderer) was a mongoose mammal that was native to North America. They were about the size of a modern day Virginia opossum. Like their closest living relatives, the Indian grey mongoose, they were omnivorous that fed on mostly smaller animals, but also fed on some fruit. They first appeared in northeastern Siberia in the Middle Oligocene (31 mya) and first appeared in North America in the Late Oligocene (27 mya), but they somehow became extinct in Asia around 25 mya and in North America around 1.9 mya. When they were alive, they resembled a modern day mongoose like meerkats, Indian grey mongooses, etc, but some earlier species of Fitaweskus were the earliest ancestors of Cetofelis, Lutonsotherium, Homodon, dylanuses, and relatives.

Extinction

FitaweskusFossilSkull

A fossilized skull of a mongoose, Fitaweskus.

It is unknown why Fitaweskus became extinct in the Late Pliocene. It is possible that they died out because of the climate change causing the Ice Age, but as recent evidence shows, climate change likely didn't effect their populations during that time. Newer fossils suggests that it is more likely that competition from some newer predators like mustlid-group mammals (black-footed ferrets, weasels, etc) drove the Fitaweskus to extinction.

De-Extinction and reintroduction plans

In 2014, a group of Japanese scientists have brought this animal back through De-Extinction with no negative side effects, unlike the failed plan to bring the Pyrenean ibex back, using a domestic meerkat as a surrogate mother. These resurrected fitaweskuses are now a very common household pets in North America alone, about as common as house cats. There has been a lot of talk whether the resurrected Fitaweskuses would have positive impact or negative impact (competing with the now-native weasels, black-footed ferrets, ect) remains questionable.

Fitaweskus
  • Domain: Eukarya
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Subphylum: Vertebrata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Order: Carnivora
  • Family: Felidae
  • Superfamily: Herpestidae
  • Genus: †Fitaweskus
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