Oldest Big-Cat Fossil Found

CC Image from Wikimedia

CC Image from Wikimedia

By: Alex R.

Three years ago, PhD student Jack Tseng and his team stumbled across the fossilized skull of a large cat on the border of China and Pakistan. After using magnetostratigraphy (a technique used to discover the age of a fossil based on the Earth’s magnetic field reversal patterns), they have discovered that this animal lived 4.10 to 5.95 million years ago (making it the oldest big-cat fossil ever discovered), and now, after using other data, they have discovered that it is a new species. The creature has been named Panthera blytheae. This find has helped to fill gaps in big-cat evolutionary history, supporting the idea that the big-cat group developed in central Asia and migrated from there. (Read more…)

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