the evolution of cats

Good Essays
Topics: Cat, Felidae, Mammal
The Evolution of Cats
The sweet, little feline lying on your bed has a long and predatory ancestry. Its family tree is complicated and only recently has been deciphered. There are 37 species that can be broken down into eight lineages. These felines are grouped into these eight lineages because it was observed that species in one lineage shared morphological, biological and physiological characteristics found only in their groups. For example, we are all familiar with the roaring cats (lion, tiger, leopard, jaguar and snow leopard) all of these lineages contains an incompletely ossified hyoid, a bone in the neck that supports the tongue, and allow them to roar. Moreover, the paragraphs below will encompass the following information: how these felines migrated into different regions of the world with the help of the sea levels, the groups of cats that show evidence of genetic bottlenecks and why, as well as their unique nature of the "last leg" in the cats evolutionary journey.
Approximately nine million years ago descendants of the modern cats began to migrate from its original home in Asia to Africa. During this time the sea level was unusually very low and meant that “bridges” of land stretched across the Bering Strait and the northern and southern ends of the Red Sea, facilitating the cat’s journeys. However, after the sea levels rose again, animals on the continents were confined to the new continent. Studies have shown that once isolation occurs any population of species can no longer breed with contemporary descendants of its former relatives. This explains why the felines that were left on the new continent changed their characteristics in order to adapt to their new environment.
Furthermore, there are various reasons why these cats migrated many years ago. One of the reasons is that cats have hardwired behaviors that demand dispersal of every generation. When cats reach adolescence, young males, and occasionally females, are forced to vacate their

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