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|European Jaguar - Panthera (onca) gombaszoegensis|
|Topic Started: Apr 3 2012, 05:37 PM (1,358 Views)|
|Taipan||Apr 3 2012, 05:37 PM Post #1|
European Jaguar - Panthera (onca) gombaszoegensis
Temporal range: Early to Middle Pleistocene
Species: Panthera (onca) gombaszoegensis
The European Jaguar (Panthera (Onca) Gombaszoegensis) distributed from the end of the Late Pliocene about 1.5 million years ago and early Pleistocene in Eurasia and is the earliest known Panthera species in Europe. The uniqueness of this cat is that it can be considered as a link between large Pantherine cats of the Old and New Worlds. Fossil remains were first known from the Olivola site in Italy and under the synonym Panthera toscana from other Italian localities. Later specimens have been found in England, Germany, Spain, France and the Netherlands. Sometimes it is recognized as a subspecies of Panthera onca, the jaguar.
The European jaguar seems to have been a large and robust animal (90 - 210 kg), much bigger than jaguars found in Pantanal regions and roughly the same size as the giant Panthera onca augusta of the ice age North America (Turner, 1997). A form similar to Panthera gombaszoegensis has been found dating from early Pleistocene East Africa and had both lion and tiger like characters but with difference from both in various details in dentition(Kurten, 1968).
The European jaguar was probably a solitary animal. It has often been thought to be a forest dwelling cat with similar habits to the modern jaguar, although recent study suggests that the association between paleo jaguars and forested habitats was not as strong as has been often assumed (O' Regan & Turner & Willkinson, 2002).
Recent cladistic analysis using morphological characteristics in which the skull, jaw and teeth of Panthera atrox were compared with other pantherines’ conclude that P. atrox is distinct from all extant species (Christiansen & Harris, 2009). The authors assert that P. atrox is best interpreted as species which evolved in the late Pleistocene from the lineage of Panthera gombaszoegensis which entered the Americas in the early-mid Pleistocene and also gave rise to modern day jaguars.
|TheSOB88||May 17 2012, 10:37 PM Post #2|
I've often wondered why species like this one and P. atrox are depicted as half-jaguar, half-lion; fading spots and a half-mane. Apparently this is because they are basal forms, or related to the basal forms? I don't think this makes much sense biologically - an animal that is half-adapted to one environment and half-adapted to another isn't really adapted to anything. Nature wouldn't have selected for a half-this, half-that coat. It would have gone one way or the other.
Coat-wise, I don't really get where these artists are coming from - just because it was basal to jaguars and lions doesn't mean it had the genetics of both of its descendants - that's silly talk. Populations adapt when there is pressure, not in advance of predicted oncoming pressure. I mean, did the common ancestor of modern chimps and modern humans have a half-upright gait, a halfway-decent brain, and a half-flat foot (as opposed to an ape's opposable big toe)? No, our ancestors evolved those qualities on their own. Basal forms don't have to "predict" what ALL of their descendants need to adapt to - they have enough evolutionary pressures of their own.
Structurally, I'm all for combining qualities of P. leo and P. onca, but when it comes to the fur it just doesn't add up. Incidentally, IMO the basal form would look much more jaguarlike - of all the Panthera, two are very similar in coat - the leopard and jaguar. And the lion has spots as a juvenile - suggesting that the spots are the ancestral feature and the lion evolved its pure yellow on its own. Anyways, I'm not a critically acclaimed biologist, so I could be very wrong - but does this make sense to anyone here?
|firefly||May 18 2012, 01:05 AM Post #3|
||Yes, it makes a lot of sense, actually.|
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