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The Prehistoric Cat Thread- All cats minus sabercats

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  • Oldest member of the Panthera genus found in Tibet. Is most closely related to the snow leopard, but was about clouded leopard sized

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/11/131112-big-cats-origin-tibet-animals-science/

    1-cats-origins-fossil-tibet-panthera-blyteae_73397_990x742.jpg

    Panthera_blytheae.ngsversion.1522330046646.adapt.1900.1.jpg




  • Apparently the Chinese domesticated the leopard cat first, but somehow it didn´t work out. More archaeology than paleontology but interesting nonetheless.

    http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0147295

    FLeop6.jpg

    images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQi9B_s63FEj3hAQR7bQPhErOME8Xd-GejJMswDhbj6apl5Sd6y




  • Adam Khor wrote: »
    Apparently the Chinese domesticated the leopard cat first, but somehow it didn´t work out.

    Really? I wonder why ....:pac:

    Seriously though modern cats are still very wild.




  • Now that I think about it, (rich) people are keeping the Bengal cat which is a hybrid between the domestic cat and the leopard cat (although apparently you need them to be four or five generations apart from the original hybrid, otherwise they're too wild)

    Really beautiful cats tho

    ?url=http%3A%2F%2Fs3.amazonaws.com%2Fassets.prod.vetstreet.com%2F31%2F1ba400a28511e087a80050568d634f%2Ffile%2FBengal-3-645mk062211.jpg




  • John Bradshaw wrote Cat sense, giving a historical evolution of the domestic cat. I found it flawed in some respects, but the book also mentioned various species of cats that were in the running to becoming the forerunner of the current crop of moggies, including AFAIR various African veldt cats and ones from South America as well.


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  • I remember something about cheetahs, even wild ones are tameable and we could have had them instead of moggies or even doggies. Not too confident myself, but what do I know?




  • I doubt that. Cheetahs may be less aggressive/dangerous than other big cats, but that doesn´t mean they are safe to be around. I don´t remember hearing anything about healthy cheetahs attacking humans in the wild, but they certainly have mauled and (even if rarely) killed people when kept in captivity. They may look frail and skinny but they're still really powerful and prey on human-sized animals all the time; if they wanted to kill you they certainly would. And it seems that they see children as perfectly acceptable prey.

    http://www.smh.com.au/news/world/cheetah-kills-woman-in-zoo-cage/2007/02/13/1171128941475.html

    leg_pounce.jpg

    attacks_humans.jpg

    There's also the fact that they need lots of meat, lots of space, are easily stressed around people, and don´t breed well in captivity at all. Not domestic animal material at all, unless your as rich as emperor Akbar and have a backyard the size of a small country...




  • Historically though from what I remember of reading Arabian history there did seem a domesticated relationship between them and humans in those areas. It would not be too much of a stretch to imagine breeding allowing them to be minuturised akin to what happened to dogs.




  • From what I recall, the problem with domestication of the cheetah was as AK noted they don't breed well in captivity(and this gets worse with successive generations). This meant that the majority of captive animals were first or second generation from wild. There were never enough of them to select for domestication traits, unlike in wolves/dogs that breed happily in captivity. The Russian wild fox studies found domestication only took a few decades in experimental conditions, in the "wild" it would probably take a century or two. But you do need a population where you can select for human useful and friendly traits and you need an animal with enough variability in the genetic makeup to allow for it. The various canids seem ready made for domestication and TBH I'm surprised it was only the wolf that was. Though I think jackals may have been in the mix for a time?

    Few enough were innocent in the past, few enough are innocent in the present, we just don’t know why yet.





  • Manach wrote: »
    Historically though from what I remember of reading Arabian history there did seem a domesticated relationship between them and humans in those areas. It would not be too much of a stretch to imagine breeding allowing them to be minuturised akin to what happened to dogs.

    They were tamed, not domesticated; they were usually caught from the wild and were very difficult to breed in captivity. In fact I think the reproduction of cheetahs in zoos was a very recent achievement. The ancient Egyptians apparently attempted the domestication of the cheetah (and the striped hyena) very early on and gave up. Same for all who tried afterwards.
    Wibbs wrote: »
    The various canids seem ready made for domestication and TBH I'm surprised it was only the wolf that was. Though I think jackals may have been in the mix for a time?

    I think DNA testing has ruled out the jackal as a dog ancestor (may be wrong, tho), but they certainly have been cross bred with dogs in recent times. In Russia, for example, they have dog/jackal hybrids as sniffers in airports, as jackals have a better sense of smell than dogs. There's also an Asian dog breed that is said to have either jackal or dhole DNA.

    As for other species of canid being domesticated, it has been suggested that the so called "perro yagán" of the yagan people in southernmost South America was descended from Dusicyon or Lycalopex, which are only distantly related to wolves (and most closely related to South American maned wolves).
    Apparently these dogs were not good for hunting and did not seem to have as strong a bond with their masters as other dogs, mostly just serving as company and as a source of warmth for the yagan children with whom they slept. They are described as looking sort of like foxes, but had shorter legs and different coats than their wild ancestors. So it may have been a truly domesticated animal but not to the extent of dogs descended from wolves elsewhere; maybe more similar to cats in this regard.

    Dunno, maybe the fact that wolves are cooperative big-game hunters meant they had it easier to fit in with the early human lifestyles, not only scavenging but actively taking part in hunts? Jackals and South American canids were more used to hunting small prey and scavenging, so maybe this was a factor somehow...


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  • These may be the first cave lion depictions found in the Cantabrian region of Spain. 
    http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/spectacular-14500-year-old-lion-etchings-discovered-depth-spanish-cave-1586749
    I'm curious as to what the lines on the cat's neck and shoulders are meant to represent, if anything. A mane? Tiger-like stripes? There's been suggestion I believe that some other cave lion depictions show faint stripes but they were supossedly in the hindquarters/legs. And only one of the lions here have them. Maybe it's nothing...
    armintxe_19622_1.jpg
    1476459347_993487_1476460150_noticiarelacionadaprincipal_normal.jpg




  • Maybe it's me, but the top example looks far more like a horse to my eyes. This would explain the mane. A Lion's mane doesn't look like that. Plus the more numerous and finely worked examples of lions from the Chauvet cave show no such manes/lines.

    Few enough were innocent in the past, few enough are innocent in the present, we just don’t know why yet.





  • Yeah I guess you could be right. It does look a bit weird (the second one is much more unambiguous). 
    Still, if cave lions really did have underdeveloped manes as is often said, then I can see how the above could conceivably be an attempt at insinuating it: look at Tsavo's "maneless" lions:
    king-of-the-tsavo-national.jpg
    JCGraphicsLionBody905-10-2011.jpg
    maneater-840.JPG
    Look at the skin folds here

    5098728477_b47bb8f8a8_b.jpg
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  • Maybe. I'm still feeling "horse" more, though the skin folds are an interesting point. The Chauvet caves show them as maneless, but maybe that's because it was twenty thousand years earlier and they evolved manes later?

    Few enough were innocent in the past, few enough are innocent in the present, we just don’t know why yet.





  • Head and ears are reminiscent of a rhino and Indian rhinos have those lines on their neck. Fringe and curve of back is completely wrong though.




  • Checking out some other horse depictions from about the same general region and time, I think Wibbs may be right again. Whatever species this is, it does seem to have the same hairy neck and cheeks as the "lion" above and the same curve to the back. Here's some horses from the Niaux cave:
    9374a42b55367769cc2377e64cf4d12c.jpg
    CavePanting_html_fa5cb90.jpg
    niaux21.jpg
    And a similar etching from Rouffignac:
    horse2sm.jpg
    More from Rouffignac:
    horsepaintingsm.jpg
    rouffceiling5sm.jpg




  • Adam Khor wrote: »
    I think Wibbs may be right again.
    Ah here AK, no need to go mad here. :D I dunno, it just said "horse" to me. The shape of the back and ears mostly.

    Few enough were innocent in the past, few enough are innocent in the present, we just don’t know why yet.





  • Proof that lions grew much larger than their modern equivalents not only in Eurasia (and the New World?) but also in Africa at one point. Not surprisingly the giant lion lived at the same time as giant prey such as the buffalo Syncerus antiquus and the antelope Megalotragus.


    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5544261/Lions-tall-HUMANS-roamed-Kenya-200-000-years-ago.html
    4A90C2CF00000578-0-image-a-12_1522055750935.jpg




  • Our ancestors had to deal with more fearsome critters than we do.




  • A camera trap in Zanzibar has recorded footage of a leopard- possibly the native and supposedly extinct Zanzibar leopard, exterminated mainly because the local people thought it was an evil creature associated with sorcerers.

    https://www.insideedition.com/zanzibar-leopard-captured-camera-despite-being-declared-extinct-43962

    If this is true, it is a huge rediscovery, although there were rumors at one point that leopards may have been introduced from the African mainland AFTER the Zanzibar leopard's extinction, which raises the possibility that this may be a descendant of a mainland leopard, or even a hybrid.

    060618_extinct_leopard_web.jpg


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  • Saw the episode, its part of a series and every episode so far has suggested that the extinct animal is still alive, which i find a tad suspicious.




  • Yeah, I haven´t seen much else about it. Nobody trusts Animal Planet these days I think. :B




  • Adam Khor wrote: »
    Yeah, I haven´t seen much else about it. Nobody trusts Animal Planet these days I think. :B

    In this instance I think they might have found a leopard and at least they have video evidence that is compelling.

    In the other episodes they don't even have that, it's conjecture, for example in the episode where he goes looking for wolves in Newfoundland (I think) he relies on infra red footage, carcasses of dead animals and paw prints to say the wolf is still alive.

    But like you said, how can you trust TV.

    In the introduction he states his grandfather found the coelecanth but he was only part of a team that found them after the initial rediscovery I think, so even that is bending the truth.

    But at least he isn't chasing Bigfoot, Nessie or trying to prove aliens exist, and the animals he is looking for all disappeared relatively recently.




  • 10.000 year old jaguar skull found in Argentina.

    Article is in Spanish:

    http://www.nordeste-conicet.gob.ar/hallaron-en-formosa-un-fosil-de-yaguarete-de-casi-10-mil-anos/

    DSC04789.jpg

    yaguarete__identifican_el_primer_registro_fosil_en_el_nea.jpg




  • On extinct Eurasian leopards.

    https://rd.springer.com/article/10.1186%2Fs12862-018-1268-0

    Here's a cave leopard skeleton from Spain:

    1447268187_730285_1447268428_noticia_normal.jpg




  • I remember reading Homer as a kid and finding lots of references to lions and panthers!

    https://greece.greekreporter.com/2019/02/15/the-lions-den-when-big-cats-roamed-greece-video/

    PantherDionysus.jpg

    brauron.720x0.jpg

    1024px-7704_-_Piraeus_Arch._Museum_Athens_-_Lion_from_the_grave_for_Pelthinikos_-_Photo_by_Giovanni_DallOrto.jpg




  • I realize this is not paleontology, but it does have to do with evolution- and is very interesting.

    https://themindunleashed.com/2019/05/tigers-are-orange-trick-prey-green.html?fbclid=IwAR1ZyikU3SnE-JjnnFYeCjb7Yj9MvdDuzMF6Kv2mkIpG23LmAFxLUanL2Bc
    According to new research, deer—the main prey of tigers—are only capable of seeing blue and green light, rendering them color-blind to red. This means that tigers are effectively green, giving them an ideal cover against the backdrop of forests and canopy jungles.

    The study by the University of Bristol used a computer simulation to perceive the world through the eyes of a “dichromat”—those animals who are unable to tell the difference between red and green.

    “The tiger appears orange to a trichromat observer rather than some shade of green, though the latter should be more appropriate camouflage for an ambush hunter in forests.

    However… when viewed by a dichromat, the tiger’s color is very effective.”

    14088408-7078823-image-a-11_1559114869949.jpg

    The authors argue that actually becoming green to our eyes would “require a significant change to mammalian biochemistry.” But it's just not necessary because we are not the kind of prey they evolved to hunt. And even though leopards are and have been the most important predator of monkeys and apes for a long time, they usually attack at night or dusk, when we can´t really see much anyway.




  • Much the same as deer hunters then. They wear orange coats and hats so that they are visible to other hunters, but not to deer.




  • Indeed- or camo patterns with light and dark shapes to break their body outlines , same as the cat's stripes and spots do.


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  • One would imagine that green would be the perfect colour for camouflage but yet it's rarely to be seen.


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