STL Science Center

STL Science Center

07 April 2018

Second of the Proto-Cats

The first of the felids was known as Proailurus. The next most recent descendant is a group of cats known as Pseudaelurus. The genus Pseudaelurus is the last common ancestor of extant felines (mostly small to medium cats, including domestic breeds), pantherines (medium to large cats including lions, tigers, and leopards), and machairodonts (extinct saber-tooth cats). Pseudaelurus consists of twelve accepted species. Originating in Eurasia, species of Pseudaelurus migrated across land bridges into North America, ending what is casually known as the "Cat-gap" from 25 to 18.5 million years ago when few, if any, cat fossils were found.
Figure 3.1 from Evolutionary Dynamics ©IOP Publishing LTD

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