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15.12.2015 16:18 - Encyclopedia Largest prehistoric animals Vol.1 Vertebrates part1 Mammals ch.1 Carnivores - Felids,sequel - Jaguars,Cougars and Cheetahs
Автор: valentint Категория: Забавление   
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Последна промяна: 03.07.2019 17:09


The genus Panthera probably evolved in Asia between six and ten million years ago.The jaguar is thought to have diverged from a common ancestor of the Panthera at least 1.5 million years ago and to have entered the American continent in the Early Pleistocene via Beringia, the land bridge that once spanned the Bering Strait. Results of jaguar mitochondrial DNA analysis indicate that the species" lineage evolved between 280,000 and 510,000 years ago.
Its immediate ancestor was Panthera onca augusta, which was larger than the contemporary jaguar.

Phylogenetic studies generally have shown the clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa) is basal to this group.
Fossils of extinct Panthera species, such as the European jaguar (P. gombaszoegensis) and the American lion (P. atrox), show characteristics of both the jaguar and the lion (P. leo).Based on morphological evidence, the British zoologist Reginald Innes Pocock concluded that the jaguar is most closely related to the leopard (P. pardus).However, DNA-based evidence is inconclusive, and the position of the jaguar relative to the other species varies between studies.

Giant Jaguar
Jaguars today are rather smallish cats if compared to lions or tigers; they usually average 60-100 kgs (132-220lbs), and the largest males (recorded from South America) were around 150 kgs (330lbs), about the size of an African lioness. In prehistoric times, however, both North and South America were home to gigantic jaguars, belonging to the same species as modern day jags (Panthera onca) but much bigger.

These giant jaguars also had longer limbs and tails than jaguars living today; scientists believe that jaguars used to be open plain denizens, but that competition with American lions and other big cats forced them to adapt to more forested environments, where they developed their modern short-legged appearance.
Giant prehistoric jaguars were about the size of a fully grown lion or tiger, and were probably several times stronger, with a much stronger bite.
There are two subspecies of prehistoric giant jaguars known to date; Panthera onca augusta, from North America, and Panthera onca messembrina, from South America (also known as the Patagonian panther). Both of them were active during the Pleistocene period, but went extinct about 11.000 years ago, during the last Ice Age.

European Jaguar (Panthera gombaszoegensis)
The European Jaguar (Panthera (Onca) Gombaszoegensis) distributed from the end of the Late Pliocene about 1.5 million years ago and early Pleistocene in Eurasia and is the earliest known Panthera species in Europe. The uniqueness of this cat is that it can be considered as a link between large Pantherine cats of the Old and New Worlds. A form similar to Panthera gombaszoegensis has been found dating from the early Pleistocene of East Africa and had both lion- and tiger-like characters. The European jaguar was probably a solitary animal. It has often been thought to be a forest-dwelling cat, with similar habits to the modern jaguar, although recent work suggests that the association between the European jaguar and forested habitats is not as strong as has often been assumed.
Unlike the Giant Jaguar mentioned before, the European jaguar or Panthera gombaszoegensis did not belong to the same species as modern day jags. Nobody knows what the European Jaguar looked like; some scientists have suggested that it probably looked much like a modern day jaguar (hence the name), or perhaps, a cross between a lion and a jaguar. A fossil feline from Eastern Africa has been said to resemble the European jaguar, and described as having “tiger-like” features as well.
Regardless of its external appearance, it is obvious that it was a huge predator, weighing up to 210 kgs (463) or more, and probably at the top of the food chain in Europe, 1.5 million years ago. Its fossil remains have been found in Germany, France, England, Spain and the Netherlands.


The cougar, otherwise known as the puma concoler, is a very interesting animal that has a very intriguing ancestry. In this essay you will discover information, about how it was created over a long period of evolution. You will also learn about the Cougars past ancestors, and how it has changed from its origin.
Cougars come from a very long period of evolution. Their ancestry dates back 40 to 60 million years ago. This  cycle of species started with Miacids, which where prehistoric carnivores. Between the 20 and 40 M, Y, A period, there was a burst of evolution of very diverse species. At this time, the two main families of carnivores were established. These families were the arctoids and the aeluroids. An animal called Dinictis, which belonged to the aeluroids, evolved into the first cat like animals. These new animals were called Nimravus and Psudaelurus. They are the start of the Felis species, which the cougar belongs too. After many years, an animal was formed called the Deggeti, which shares characteristics with the present day puma. The Degetti then evolved into the Bituminous, which developed into the cougar. 

This organism is one of the larger cats in North-America. The Puma concoler can weigh between 29-120 kg, and be up to 2.75 m in length. This organism can be found all around North-America, and in parts of Argentina and Chile. It can live from 8-13 years in their natural habitat. Mountain lions are found in very diverse places around the world including forests, mountains, scrub lands, grasslands, and deserts. This animal has the biggest population for a native species in the western hemisphere. It"s a carnivore, who eats mainly, elk, white tailed deer, moose, caribou, and mule deer. The cougar has a very powerful and fatal bite making it easy to kill and feast on prey.
The Puma Concoler is one of the many surviving species of native felines in the western hemisphere. About 13 000 years ago there were many other species of large cats that roamed North America and South America. They include panthera astox, Mirancinonyx trumani, and the saber-toothed smilodon. Scientists and research have shown that the Miracinonyx trumani shares the most relation, with physical features, and genetic similarities with the Cougar. This animal is also similar to saber-toothed cats, which date back 40 to 60 million years ago. These two animals include, a similar spinal cord, pelvic bones, shoulder blades, and leg bones. They also share distinct relations with the leopard, cheetah, and the jaguarondi.

Eurasian Puma (Puma pardoides)

Dimensions: length - 1,5 m, height - 95 сm, weight - 70-130 kg
Viretailurus schaubi, Panthera schaubi and Panthera pardoides are the same thing, and are part of the genus Puma, so the correct name is Puma pardoides. What we know of Puma pardoides suggests that it was similar in appearance to modern pumas – certainly its short-faced skull is puma-like, and with an estimated mass of 40-45 kg, it was similar in size to typical modern pumas. Old World puma records are now known from the Transcaucasian region of central Asia and Mongolia, and Hemmer et al. (2001, 2004) suggested that Tanzanian and South African fossils from the Pliocene, identified as leopard, might actually be puma remains: ‘it now emerges from the haze of the highly fragmentary nature of the specimens, that the Pliocene African cats originally identified as leopards are not related to Panthera pardus, but rather to Puma. These African animals seem to foreshadow the later Eurasian pumas.
One of the great mysteries of the American puma has always been the fact that, in the fossil record, it appears suddenly about 40,000 years ago in the Late Pleistocene and yet doesn’t have an obvious American ancestor. The discovery of pumas in eastern Asia, and of older puma records in Europe and Africa, has now led to the suggestion that pumas originated in Africa, were widespread across the Old World during the last couple of million years, and crossed the Bering land-bridge during the Late Pleistocene to invade North America, then giving rise to the American puma Puma concolor.


Cheetah fossils found in the lower beds of the Olduvai Gorge site in northern Tanzania date back to the Pleistocene.The extinct species of Acinonyx are older than the cheetah, with the oldest known from the late Pliocene; these fossils are about three million years old.These species include Acinonyx pardinensis (Pliocene epoch), notably larger than the modern cheetah, and A. intermedius (mid-Pleistocene period).While the range of A. intermedius stretched from Europe to China, A pardinensis spanned over Eurasia as well as eastern and southern Africa.A variety of larger cheetah believed to have existed in Europe fell to extinction around half a million years ago.
Extinct North American cats resembling the cheetah had historically been assigned to Felis, Puma or Acinonyx. However, a phylogenetic analysis in 1990 placed these species under the genus Miracinonyx.Miracinonyx exhibited a high degree of similarity with the cheetah. However, in 1998, a DNA analysis showed that Miracinonyx inexpectatus, M. studeri, and M. trumani (early to late Pleistocene epoch), found in North America,are more closely related to the cougar than modern cheetahs.

Giant Cheetah
The Giant Cheetah (Acinonyx pardinensis), belonged to the same genus as our modern day Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus), and probably looked very similar, but it was much bigger.
At around 120-150 kgs (265-331lbs), it was as large as an African lioness, and was able to take on larger prey than its delicate modern day counterpart.
The Giant Cheetah was also adapted to fast running, but there’s some debate on whether it could run as fast as the modern Cheetah, due to its larger weight, which, according to some, probably made it somewhat slower.
Others, however, have suggested that the Giant Cheetah, having longer legs and bigger heart and lungs, was probably able to run as fast, or even faster, than the cheetah does today – that’s over 115 kph (72mph)! The Giant Cheetah lived in Europe and Asia (from Germany and France to India and China) during the Pliocene and Pleistocene epochs; it went extinct during the last Ice Age. Due to its living in colder environments than modern day Cheetahs, it is possible that the Giant Cheetah had longer fur and perhaps a lighter coloration.






1. valentint - Въпрос от съставителя
07.04.2016 22:54
Не разбирам защо тази статия е значително по-четена от останалите и бих бил благодарен ако някой от прочелите я сподели личното си предпочитание.Ако интереса е заради самите големи котки,не виждам защо да не направя един обширен обзор за произхода и еволюцията им,противопоставянето им едни на други и битките им за доминация на върха на хранителната верига.Валентин

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