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Freak Felids - A Discussion of History's Largest Felines

Canada GrizzlyClaws Offline
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The problem is that the tiger clade has been far less studied than the lion clade, also with far less fossil materials being presented on the table.

Also, the fossil smugglers are still rampant on the fossil sites in China, so a lot of valuable fossils have been gone missing.

This is pretty discouraging to keep this study.
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United States tigerluver Offline
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( This post was last modified: 06-09-2015, 10:15 AM by tigerluver )

Here's a visual of the largest Pleistocene cats.

For search scope purposes... A text version of the picture (from left to right):

American lion (Panthera atrox)
Mass: 370 kg
Shoulder Height: 120 cm
Body Length: 220 cm

Mosbach Cave Lion (Panthera fossilis)
Mass: 420 kg
Shoulder Height: 130 cm
Body Length: 230 cm

Late European Cave Lion (Panthera spelaea)
Mass: 270 kg
Shoulder Height: 100 cm
Body Length: 200 cm

Smilodon populator
Mass: 400 kg
Shoulder Height: 120 cm
Body Length: 220 cm

Smilodon fatalis
Mass: 280 kg
Shoulder Height: 100 cm
Body Length: 190 cm

Ngandong tiger (Panthera tigris soloensis)
Mass: 470 kg
Shoulder Height: 120 cm
Body Length: 240 cm


*This image is copyright of its original author


I went with the spotted P. atrox version as representation of P. fossilis, as P. fossilis is more primitive, and more likely to have such spots.
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United States Pckts Offline
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Thats very cool to see.
TFS @tigerluver
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Canada GrizzlyClaws Offline
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( This post was last modified: 06-09-2015, 11:28 PM by GrizzlyClaws )

Is the skull of the Ngandong tiger very robust?

Since they have proportionally shorter mandible which indicates a higher bite force that designed to hunt down the big preys such as elephant and rhino.
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United States tigerluver Offline
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( This post was last modified: 06-10-2015, 03:12 AM by tigerluver )

The mandible is actually longer by the coronoid process.

Here's a comparison of the skulls (ignore the mandible):

*This image is copyright of its original author


CBL is scaled to the same length. Look at the difference in the height/thickness of the arches. The Ngandong skull's snout, although proportionately longer, is taller/thicker as well. The posterior end of the skull is also a bit thicker than the modern Javan skull.

 
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Canada GrizzlyClaws Offline
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( This post was last modified: 06-10-2015, 02:57 AM by GrizzlyClaws )

How it is going to compare other giant pantherines from the Pleistocene era?

In the GSL wise, it seems that the Ngandong tiger got pretty large skull with 17-18 inches ones based on some very limited sample, and pretty sure there are even larger one if the sample is larger.

To me, the Pleistocene tigers or other tiger clade members seemed to get proportionally thicker mandible than other panthera species, the Ngandong tigers and the Manchurian mandible have been proved to be so.
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United States tigerluver Offline
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I've edited in the P. atrox skull. This skull is about the size of the Ngandong skull in reality. The Ngandong skull is still slightly thicker/taller.
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Canada GrizzlyClaws Offline
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I think this P. atrox skull is about 447 mm if i remember correctly, so does this mean that Ngandong tiger skull is also over 440 mm?
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United States tigerluver Offline
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The skull aren't scaled for their real sizes, just scaled to see the relative thicknesses. The P. atrox skull is 402 mm GSL, 376 mm CBL. The tiger skull shown complete is likely around 390 mm GSL.
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Canada GrizzlyClaws Offline
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( This post was last modified: 06-10-2015, 07:16 AM by GrizzlyClaws )

I remember based on the previous sample of the Panthera fossilis, the largest skull came out between 17-18 inches, and now with a newer & larger sample, we got some 19 inches skull.

We can also find the larger specimen for the Ngandong tiger if the sample becomes larger, and also for other giant members from the tiger clade, the Manchurian mandible should be more than 320 mm complete, and the skull could exceed 470 mm.

But you are right, the mandible and the skull for the Ngandong tiger above shouldn't belong to the same specimen.
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Canada GrizzlyClaws Offline
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( This post was last modified: 06-10-2015, 07:21 AM by GrizzlyClaws )

BTW, which member from the lion clade is the most robust one? Panthera fossilis or Panthera spelaea or Panthera atrox?
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United States tigerluver Offline
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All three look to be about the same, within the range of modern lions.
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Canada GrizzlyClaws Offline
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But when it comes to the skull proportion, the late Panthera spelea and Panthera atrox should have an edge, right?

Since the early Panthera spelaea and Panthera fossilis have proportionally thinner skull which are more primitive in features.
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United States tigerluver Offline
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( This post was last modified: 06-10-2015, 09:02 AM by tigerluver )

Both P. atrox and P. fossilis have narrow skulls. P. spelaea has skulls as wide as the modern tiger. P. atrox and P. fossilis are very, very similar, to the point where having the European form being renamed to P. fossilis fossilis and the American form to P. fossilis atrox would make a lot of sense.
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Canada GrizzlyClaws Offline
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But the early Panthera spelaea also shares a lot of primtive features with Panthera fossilis.

Maybe the late Panthera spelaea had gradually lost these archaic characteristics from its Panthera fossilis ancestor.
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