The cephalic arterial pattern in 53 fissipeds, representing all the classical families, is described on the basis of corrosion casts prepared by means of a special plastic injection and corrosion technique. The results are discussed on an ontogenetic and phylogenetic basis and related to current theories on the systematic classification of fissipeds at a higher taxonomic level (infraorders or superfamilies). In this respect, especially the systematic position of the canids and hyaenids in relation to the felids is discussed, the greatest importance being attached to the contribution of the external carotid artery system to the intracranial circulation. Also the very specific cephalic arterial pattern in the herpestines, one of the two viverrid subfamilies studied, is emphasized.

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