The history of the cat family Felidae has its origins that can be traced back to the late Eocene Epoch about thirty-seven millions years ago. The cats began to evolve long before most of the other mammals were even recognizable as species. Big cats belong to two main subfamilies Pantherinae and Felinae. The Felinae’s are among some of the younger of the big cat groups appearing in Eurasia about ten million years ago. The slightly smaller big cats of the Felinae include cougars, cheetahs, lynxes, and ocelots. The Pantherinae which first appeared in Central Asia around sixteen millions years ago are among the oldest and largest of the big cats which include tigers, lions, jaguars, and leopards. (Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc.)
On August 7, 2010, paleobiologist Jack Tseng and colleagues were exploring on the Tibetan Plateau when they came across what is perhaps the most significant finds to date, part of the skull of a large cat sticking up out of the dirt. As the scientist began to dig they quickly realized they were digging in a bone bed when they began to find well preserved pieces of fox, pica, and...
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"Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc." n.d. feline. web. 16 Feb 2014.
"Himalayan Fossil of the oldest known pantherine establish anceint orgin of big cats." 7 Jan 2014. Poceedings of The Royal Society of Biological Sciences. web. 17 Feb 2014.
Holland, Jennifer S. "Fossil Find Vlears Up Big Cat Origins." 12 Nov 2013. National Geogrphic. web. 10 Feb 2014.
Mestel, R. "What Is a Sabertooth?" 1993. Unversity of California Museum of Paleontology. web. 1 Mar 2014.
Rincon, Ascanio, Francisco Prevosit and Gilberto Parra. "New saber-toothed cat records (Felidae: Machairodontinae) for the Pleistocene of Venezuela, and the Great American Biotic Interchange. ." n.d. Academic Search Complete. web. 13 feb 2014.
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