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n. pl.1.(Zool.) A group of mammals which formerly included the Carnivora, Insectivora, Marsupialia, and lemurs, but is now often restricted to the Carnivora.
2.Of a wild nature; - applied to animals, as foxes, wild ducks, etc., in which no one can claim property.
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, published 1913 by G. & C. Merriam Co.
References in classic literature ?
"If the case be put of a partridge, there can be no doubt but an action would lie; for though this be ferae naturae , yet being reclaimed, property vests: but being the case of a singing bird, though reclaimed, as it is a thing of base nature, it must be considered as nullius in bonis .
Nor would Nelly Wade be so familiar with any of the genus ferae. Venerable hunter!