Advertisement
We've partnered up with Nixers.com to offer a space where you can talk directly to Peter from Nixers.com and get an exclusive Boards.ie discount code for a free job listing. If you are recruiting or know anyone else who is please check out the forum here.
If you have a new account but can't post, please email Niamh on [email protected] for help to verify your email address. Thanks :)

South American Panthera atrox really a giant jaguar

  • 30-08-2011 6:44pm
    #1
    Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Adam Khor


    I bet you have all heard about how Panthera atrox, the huge cat usually known as the "American lion", may not be a lion at all. A recent study found that the cat was more similar to jaguars (even though genetic studies, I believe, found it to be very close to lions... but then again jaguars and lions have been called each other's closest relatives by some authors, so...).

    Anyways, this is NOT what this thread is about. Turns out, it may be that supossed fossils of "Panthera atrox" found in Peru and other South American countries may not be P. atrox at all. Instead, according to at least one researcher, they belong to a gigantic jaguar subspecies called Panthera onca andina.
    I'm afraid I can´t give links because I found about thanks to a friend who spoke to said researcher, but according to him, it is possible that Panthera atrox never lived in South America at all and that the fossils refered to it from Peru, Chile etc, actually belong to these colossal jags.

    I'll keep you guys informed if I hear more about it :>

    Panthera%20atrox.jpg


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 30,747 ✭✭✭✭ Galvasean


    Which animal does the skeleton in the picture belong to?


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Adam Khor


    Galvasean wrote: »
    Which animal does the skeleton in the picture belong to?

    It's a Panthera atrox.


  • Registered Users Posts: 30,747 ✭✭✭✭ Galvasean


    As in the north american one right?


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Adam Khor


    Galvasean wrote: »
    As in the north american one right?

    Yep. From La Brea, I think.


  • Registered Users Posts: 30,747 ✭✭✭✭ Galvasean


    So, that's the one that's actually a proper lion yeah?


  • Advertisement
  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Adam Khor


    Galvasean wrote: »
    So, that's the one that's actually a proper lion yeah?

    Well that's the thing, no one knows for sure if it's a lion or not, but the latest studies suggest it's a species of its own, related to both lions and jaguars. So in short, we have no idea what it looked like. It seems, however, that it led a lifestyle very different to that of modern day lions, so it is possible that it looked quite a bit different. More so if it was closer to jags.

    Right now, seems that North American atrox should be called Panthera atrox (not Panthera leo atrox), and that the South American ones should be Panthera onca andina. But like I said, its all open to debate.


Advertisement