Evolution of Tigers

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  • Topic: Tiger, Tigers, Panthera
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  • Published : January 16, 2011
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Evolution of Tigers

The tiger (Panthera tigris), a member of the Felidae family, is the largest of the four "big cats" in the genus Panthera include: The tiger, lion, jaguar, leopard. Native to much of eastern and southern Asia, the tiger is an apex predator and an obligate carnivore.

1, The origin and evolution of the tiger.
Carnivorous mammals evolved from Miacids small pine marten-like insectivores that lived 60 million - 55 million years ago. The miacids split into two lines: Miacidae and Viverravidae. Miacidae gave rise to Arctoidea/Canoidea group (bears and dogs) while Viverravidae gave rise to Aeluroidea/Feloidea group (cats, hyenas, civets, mongooses) around 48 million years ago. The Viverravidae also gave rise to a group called Nimravidae. The Nimravids were cat-like creatures that evolved in parallel with true cats; they are not part of true cat lineage and have left no living descendents. The first true cat to arise from Viverravidae was Proailurus (first cat) around 30 million years ago. The best-known species was P lemanensis, found in France. Proailurus was a small weasel-like cat with relatively short legs and a long body. It had one more premolar on each side of its bottom jaw than do modern cats. About 20 million years ago, Proailurus gave rise to Pseudaelurus. Pseudaelurus were Miocene ancestors of cats. Pseudaelurus lorteti was about the size of a large lynx while P validus was the size of a large lynx or small puma. Three other species of early cat are described as Pratifelis, Vishnufelis and Sivaelurus (S chinjienis).Pseudaelurus went on to split into two major groups: the Machairodontinae (true sabre-tooths) and Schizailurus (the ancestor of the modern day Felidae group). 18 million years ago, Schizailurus gave rise to the Felidae. The first of the modern Felids were the early cheetahs; now represented by Acinonyx (modern cheetah); true cheetahs are believed to have evolved around 7 million years...
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