|Pantherinae subfamily (from left): jaguar, leopard, lion, tiger, snow leopard and clouded leopard|
green - Panthera, teal - Panthera uncia, orange - Neofelis
In pantherine cats, the suspensorium of the hyoid is imperfectly ossified. Its inferior portion consists of an elastic tendon, which confers great mobility upon the larynx. Due to this tendon, pantherine cats can distend the back of the mouth greatly. The structure of the hyoid allows them to roar. The rhinarium is flat and, at most, only barely reaches the dorsal side of the nose. The area between the nostrils is narrow and not extended sidewards as in the Felinae.
Pocock originally defined this subfamily as comprising the genera Panthera and Uncia Latter has been included within the Panthera. Later authorities included also Neofelis within the Pantherinae.
Pantherine species include:
The divergence of Pantherinae from Felinae has been estimated to have occurred between six and ten million years ago. DNA analysis suggests that the snow leopard Uncia uncia is basal to the entire Pantherinae and should be renamed Panthera uncia. There is also evidence of distinct markers for the mitochondrial genome for Felidae.
Results of a DNA-based study inidicate that Panthera tigris branched off first, followed by P. onca, P. leo, then P. pardus and P. uncia.
The American lion (Panthera atrox or Panthera leo atrox) – also known as the North American cave lion – is an extinct pantherine cat related to the lion that lived in North America during the Pleistocene epoch (340,000 to 11,000 years ago). Genetic analysis has revealed that it was the sister lineage to the Eurasian cave lion. It was part of the Pleistocene megafauna, a wide variety of large mammals that lived at the time. The majority of American lion fossils have come from the La Brea Tar Pits.The American lion was about 25% larger than the modern lion, making it one of the largest known felids.Clouded leopard
The clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa) is a wild cat occurring from the Himalayan foothills through mainland Southeast Asia into China. Since 2008, it is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. Its total population is suspected to be fewer than 10,000 mature individuals, with a decreasing population trend, and no single population numbering more than 1,000 adults. It is also known as the mainland clouded leopard, to distinguish it from the Sunda clouded leopard (Neofelis diardi). It is the state animal of the Indian state of Meghalaya.Cougar
The cougar (Puma concolor), also commonly known by other names including catamount, mountain lion, panther, and puma, is a large felid of the subfamily Felinae native to the Americas.
Its range, from the Canadian Yukon to the southern Andes of South America, is the widest of any large wild terrestrial mammal in the Western Hemisphere. An adaptable, generalist species, the cougar is found in most American habitat types. It is the biggest cat in North America, and the second-heaviest cat in the New World after the jaguar. Secretive and largely solitary by nature, the cougar is properly considered both nocturnal and crepuscular, although daytime sightings do occur. The cougar is more closely related to smaller felines, including the domestic cat (subfamily Felinae), than to any species of subfamily Pantherinae, of which only the jaguar is native to the Americas.
The cougar is an ambush predator that pursues a wide variety of prey. Primary food sources are ungulates, particularly deer. It also hunts species as small as insects and rodents. This cat prefers habitats with dense underbrush and rocky areas for stalking, but can also live in open areas. The cougar is territorial and survives at low population densities. Individual territory sizes depend on terrain, vegetation, and abundance of prey. While large, it is not always the apex predator in its range, yielding to the jaguar, gray wolf, American black bear, and grizzly bear. It is reclusive and mostly avoids people. Fatal attacks on humans are rare, but have recently been increasing in North America as more people enter cougar territories.Intensive hunting following European colonization of the Americas and the ongoing human development of cougar habitat has caused populations to drop in most parts of its historical range. In particular, the North American cougar was extirpated in eastern North America in the beginning of the 20th century, except for the isolated Florida panther subpopulation. Transient males have been verified in Minnesota, Missouri, Iowa, Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois (where a cougar was shot in the city limits of Chicago), and in at least one instance, observed as far east as coastal Connecticut. Reports of eastern cougars (P. c. cougar) still surface, although it was declared extirpated in 2011.Felidae
Felidae is a family of mammals in the order Carnivora, colloquially referred to as cats. A member of this family is also called a felid. The term "cat" refers both to felids in general and specifically to the domestic cat (Felis catus).Reginald Innes Pocock divided the extant Felidae into three subfamilies: the Pantherinae, the Felinae and the Acinonychinae, differing from each other by the ossification of the hyoid apparatus and by the cutaneous sheaths which protect their claws.
This concept has been revised following developments in molecular biology and techniques for analysis of morphological data. Today, the living Felidae are divided in two subfamilies, with the Pantherinae including seven Panthera and two Neofelis species. The Felinae include all the non-pantherine cats with 10 genera and 34 species.The first cats emerged during the Oligocene, about 25 million years ago, with the appearance of Proailurus and Pseudaelurus. The latter species complex was ancestral to two main lines of felids: the cats in the extant subfamilies and a third major group of extinct cats of the subfamily Machairodontinae. The machairodonts included the saber-toothed cats such as the Smilodon. The "false sabre toothed cats", the Barbourofelidae and Nimravidae, are not true cats, but are closely related and together with Felidae and other cat-like carnivores (hyaenas, viverrids and mongooses) make up the feliform carnivores.The characteristic features of cats have evolved to support a carnivorous lifestyle, with adaptations for ambush or stalking and short pursuit hunting. They have slender muscular bodies, strong flexible forelimbs and retractable claws for holding prey, dental and cranial adaptations for a strong bite, and often have characteristic striped or spotted coat patterns for camouflage.Felinae
The Felinae is a subfamily of the family Felidae that comprises the small cats that have a bony hyoid, because of which they are able to purr but not roar.Other authors proposed an alternative definition for this subfamily: as comprising only the living conical-toothed cat genera with two tribes, the Felini and Pantherini; thus excluding all fossil cat species.Leopon
A leopon is a hybrid resulting from the crossing of a male leopard with a lioness. The head of the animal is similar to that of a lion while the rest of the body carries similarities to leopards. These hybrids are produced in captivity and are unlikely to occur in the wild.List of felids
Felidae is a family of mammals in the order Carnivora, colloquially referred to as cats. A member of this family is also called a felid or feline. The term "cat" refers both to felids in general and specifically to domestic cats. The characteristic features of cats have evolved to support a carnivorous lifestyle, with adaptations for ambush or stalking and short pursuit hunting. They have slender muscular bodies, strong flexible forelimbs and retractable claws for holding prey, dental and cranial adaptations for a strong bite, and often have characteristic striped or spotted coat patterns for camouflage.Felidae comprises two subfamilies, the Pantherinae and the Felinae. The former includes the five Panthera species tiger, lion, jaguar, leopard, and snow leopard, as well as the two Neofelis species clouded leopard and Sunda clouded leopard. The Felinae subfamily includes 12 genera and 34 species, such as the bobcat, caracal, cheetah, cougar, ocelot, and common domestic cat.Traditionally, five subfamilies have been distinguished within the Felidae based on phenotypical features: the Felinae, the Pantherinae, the Acinonychinae (cheetahs), the extinct Machairodontinae, and the extinct Proailurinae. Molecular phylogenetic analysis suggests that living (extant) felids fall into eight lineages (clades). The placement of the cheetah within the Puma lineage invalidates the traditional subfamily Acinonychinae, and recent sources use only two subfamilies for extant genera. The number of accepted species in Felidae has been around 40 since the 18th century, though research, especially modern molecular phylogenetic analysis, has over time adjusted the generally accepted genera as well as the divisions between recognized subspecies, species, and population groups. In addition to the extant species listed here, over 30 fossil genera have been described; these are divided into the Felinae, Pantherinae, Proailurinae, and Machairodontinae subfamilies. This final subfamily includes the Smilodon genus, known as the "saber-toothed tiger", which went extinct around 10,000 years ago. The earliest known felid genus is the Proailurus, part of Proailurinae, which lived approximately 25 million years ago.List of species in order Carnivora
This list contains the species in order Carnivora.Litigon
A litigon (/ˌlaɪˈtaɪɡən/) is a rare second generation hybrid from a female tigon (a hybrid between a male tiger and a female lion) and a male lion, specifically an Asiatic lion.Metailurini
Metailurini is an extinct taxonomic tribe of large saber-toothed cats that lived in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America from the Miocene to the Pleistocene.The best known Metalurini genera are Dinofelis and Metailurus. Metailurini had canines longer than neofelids, but smaller than true saber toothed cats. The teeth were also are more conical than flat, so called "scimitar-toothed", having broad and mildly elongated upper canines. Like most extinct cats, the majority of species in Metailurini are known primarily from fragments. However, the systematic position and taxonomy of these creatures is now accepted as being true members of Felidae and descended from Proailurus and Pseudaelurus. Within Felidae, they had been traditionally considered to belong in Machairodontinae, albeit some have in the past proposed a relationship to Pantherinae, all phylogenetic analyses support the former classification but the monophyly of the taxon itself might not be supported.Neofelis
Neofelis is a genus comprising two extant cat species from Southeast Asia: the clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa) of mainland Asia, and the Sunda clouded leopard (Neofelis diardi) of Sumatra and Borneo.The scientific name Neofelis is a composite of the Greek word neo- (νεο-) meaning "new", and the Latin word feles meaning "cat", literally meaning "new cat".Panthera
Panthera is a genus within the Felidae family that was named and first described by the German naturalist Lorenz Oken in 1816. The British taxonomist Pocock revised the classification of this genus in 1916 as comprising the species lion, tiger, jaguar, and leopard on the basis of cranial features. Results of genetic analysis indicate that the snow leopard also belongs to the Panthera, a classification that was accepted by IUCN Red List assessors in 2008.The tiger, lion, leopard, and jaguar are the only felines with the anatomical structure that enables them to roar. The primary reason for this was formerly assumed to be the incomplete ossification of the hyoid bone. However, new studies show the ability to roar is due to other morphological features, especially of the larynx. The snow leopard does not roar. Although it has an incomplete ossification of the hyoid bone, it lacks the special morphology of the larynx.Panthera spelaea
Panthera spelaea, also known as the European cave lion, is an extinct Panthera species that evolved in Europe probably after the third Cromerian interglacial stage, less than 600,000 years ago. Phylogenetic analysis of fossil bone samples revealed that it was highly distinct and genetically isolated from the modern lion (Panthera leo) occurring in Africa and Asia. Analysis of morphological differences and mitochondrial data support the taxonomic recognition of Panthera spelaea as a distinct species that diverged from the lion about 1.9 million years ago.
The oldest known bone fragments were excavated in Yakutia and radiocarbon dated at least 62,400 years old. It became extinct about 13,000 years ago.Panthera tigris trinilensis
Panthera tigris trinilensis, known as the "Trinil tiger", is an extinct tiger subspecies dating from about 1.2 million years ago that was found at the locality of Trinil, Java, Indonesia. The fossil remains are now stored in the Dubois Collection of the National Museum of Natural History in Leiden, the Netherlands. Although these fossils have been found on Java, the Trinil tiger is probably not a direct ancestor of the Javan tiger. The Trinil tiger probably became extinct 50,000 years ago. The Bali tiger was also not closely related to the Trinil because of their time differences.The Trinil tiger was the oldest form of a tiger that lived 1.66 million years ago in Indonesia, particularly in Java and Trinil, although according to some zoologists, it could be the ancestor of all known Indonesian subspecies. Perhaps, East Asia was a center of the origin of Pantherinae. The oldest tiger fossils found in the Early Pleistocene Javanese show that about two million years ago, tigers were already quite common in East Asia. However, the glacial and interglacial climatic variations and other geological events may have caused repeated geographic changes in the area.Panthera zdanskyi
The Longdan tiger or Panthera zdanskyi is an extinct species of pantherine known from the Gansu province of northwestern China.Prusten
Prusten is a vocalization made by only three members of the Pantherinae subfamily, the tiger, snow leopard and the clouded leopard. Prusten is also referred to as chuffing or chuffle (verb and noun). Chuffing is a non-threatening vocalization. It is often used between two cats who are greeting each other, during courting, or simply by a mother comforting her cubs. It is also common to see captive tigers and snow leopards exchange chuffs with their human keepers in a way to express a greeting or excitement. In order to vocalize a chuff, the animal's mouth is closed and it blows through the nostrils, producing a breathy snort.Saber-toothed cat
A saber-toothed cat (alternatively spelled sabre-toothed cat) is any member of various extinct groups of predatory mammals that were characterized by long, curved saber-shaped canine teeth. The large maxillary canine teeth extended from the mouth even when it was closed. The saber-toothed cats were found worldwide from the Eocene epoch to the end of the Pleistocene epoch (42 million years ago (mya) – 11,000 years ago), existing for about 42 million years.One of the best-known genera is Smilodon, species of which, especially S. fatalis, are popularly, but incorrectly referred as a "saber-toothed tiger," a genus within the subfamily Machairodontinae of the carnivoran family Felidae. Extant members of Felidae include cats of the subfamilies Felinae and Pantherinae.
However, usage of the word cat is in some cases a misnomer, as many species referred to as saber-toothed "cats" are not closely related to modern cats of Felidae: instead, many are members of other feliform carnivoran families, such as Barbourofelidae and Nimravidae; the oxyaenid "creodont" genera Machaeroides and Apataelurus; and two lineages of metatherian mammals, the thylacosmilids of Sparassodonta, and deltatheroideans, which are more closely related to marsupials than to the placental mammals of the other orders mentioned. In this regard, saber-toothed cats can be viewed as examples of convergent evolution. This convergence is remarkable due not only to the development of elongated canines, but also a suite of other characteristics, such as a wide gape and bulky forelimbs, that is so consistent that it has been termed the "saber-tooth suite."Of the feliform lineages, the family Nimravidae is the oldest, entering the landscape around 42 mya and becoming extinct by 7.2 mya. Barbourofelidae entered around 16.9 mya and were extinct by 9 mya. These two would have shared some habitats.
Extant Carnivora species