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Freak Felids - A Discussion of History's Largest Felines

GuateGojira Offline
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(09-10-2018, 09:03 PM)Smilodon-Rex Wrote: To be honest, Ngandong tiger may not as huge as we image, the largest felines in history were prehistoric lions and giant machairodontinaes .

The Ngandong tiger (Panthera tigris soloensis) is know for just a few bones and still this bones are larger than many of the bones of the cave "lions" spelaea/fossilis/atrox. On the other side, the cave "lions" are known for many more fossils, and we have a good idea about its sizes. My point is that in fossil records you need many fossils to get a good idea of the avearage and maximum sizes and to found a "big" specimen is very rare, is something that we can achieve only if you found many fossils. In the case of the cave "lions" spelaea/fossilis/atrox we know this, but in the case of the tiger is different.

We have few bones of the Ngandong tiger and the probability says that those bones are from "average" specimens, not from the largest. This means that the huge tiger with the femur of 480 mm, which is larger than in any recorded felid, was probably an "average" specimen and this suggest that larger tiger may exist, but we need to search it. A similar case is that of the Spinosaurus, which we have very few fossils but until resently Paleontologist found the larger specimens.

So, in theory, the largest Pleistocene tigers were probably of the same size than the largest Pleistocene "lions", but we need more fossils. I don't think that Machairodontids were as big, in fact they fossils are more slender and even the skull is much narrow than modern Pantherines. Those weights estimated of over 400 kg for M. kabir and M. horribilis and made with the formulas of Anyonge (1993) which produce gross overestimations and Van Valkenburg (1990) which also produce overestimations as her formula based in Condylobasal length depends more of the length of the skull and ignore its robusticity.
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GuateGojira Offline
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(09-10-2018, 09:11 PM)Smilodon-Rex Wrote: Panthera atrox in South America has left the fur record, and new studies showed that they may left the hunting record

In fact, there is a study that found skin patches but the genetic studies shows that these are jaguars.

Chimento & Agnolin (2017) did not made any study in the skin patches found in the Cueva of the Milodón; they clasified it as Panthera atrox just because the original papers clasified it as P. onca mesembrina. Now the study of Metcalf et al. (2016) were Dr Ross Barnett participated shows that those samples were in fact from jaguars and in figures two the Mithocondrial DNA phylogeny shows the genetic affinity of the pleistocene jaguars of America.


I am inclined to believe that those large cats from South America are in fact giant jaguars. Also remember that another study from Dr Barnett also showed that the cave "lions" are not lions at all, but a difference species by its own. So genetic studies are very important to understand the evolution of the animals, they phylogenetic relations and the taxonomic results.
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GuateGojira Offline
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(09-10-2018, 06:13 PM)peter Wrote: This skull is from a 4-year old male Amur tiger. The tiger was shot by the director of the Koln zoo (Germany) after he had killed a keeper. The article was discussed in the tiger thread not so long ago. Watch the scale of 125 mm. just below the skull and tell me what you think:


*This image is copyright of its original author

*This image is copyright of its original author

Wow, this is a BIG tiger skull. I guess that is from a captive specimen. Can you tell me the link for the study, or the post with this information?
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GuateGojira Offline
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(09-10-2018, 07:29 PM)GrizzlyClaws Wrote: In fact, that giant mandible was dated around 50 kya, but it is closer to the modern tiger morphologically.

Since the formation of the modern tiger subspecies was occurred after the Toba eruption which was dated 75 kya.

I now start to believe that those antiquated tiger subspecies like Ngandong tiger and Wanhsien tiger were dated before the Toba eruption, while the modern tiger subspecies after.

That is correct, if we follow the genetic evidence in Luo et al. (2004), all the tigers after the Toba eruption are genetically decendents of the surviving population in the north of Indochina, so they belong to the present P. tigris crono-subspecies and that it splited in two subspecies at 12,000 year ago: mainland-P. t. tigris and Sunda-P. t. sondaica.
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Malaysia johnny rex Offline
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(09-10-2018, 10:14 PM)GuateGojira Wrote:
(09-10-2018, 06:13 PM)peter Wrote: This skull is from a 4-year old male Amur tiger. The tiger was shot by the director of the Koln zoo (Germany) after he had killed a keeper. The article was discussed in the tiger thread not so long ago. Watch the scale of 125 mm. just below the skull and tell me what you think:


*This image is copyright of its original author

*This image is copyright of its original author

Wow, this is a BIG tiger skull. I guess that is from a captive specimen. Can you tell me the link for the study, or the post with this information?

Read it more about it here https://wildfact.com/forum/topic-on-the-...s?page=104
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Canada GrizzlyClaws Offline
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(09-10-2018, 10:18 PM)GuateGojira Wrote:
(09-10-2018, 07:29 PM)GrizzlyClaws Wrote: In fact, that giant mandible was dated around 50 kya, but it is closer to the modern tiger morphologically.

Since the formation of the modern tiger subspecies was occurred after the Toba eruption which was dated 75 kya.

I now start to believe that those antiquated tiger subspecies like Ngandong tiger and Wanhsien tiger were dated before the Toba eruption, while the modern tiger subspecies after.

That is correct, if we follow the genetic evidence in Luo et al. (2004), all the tigers after the Toba eruption are genetically decendents of the surviving population in the north of Indochina, so they belong to the present P. tigris crono-subspecies and that it splited in two subspecies at 12,000 year ago: mainland-P. t. tigris and Sunda-P. t. sondaica.


Could you make a size comparison between this big mandible and that of Panthera atrox? Just to intuitively visualize how big it really is.



*This image is copyright of its original author



*This image is copyright of its original author
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GuateGojira Offline
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Do you remember the size of the scale bar with the "lion" mandibles?
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Malaysia johnny rex Offline
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If I am not mistaken the scale in the lion skulls pic is 50mm.
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China Smilodon-Rex Offline
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(09-10-2018, 10:12 PM)GuateGojira Wrote:
(09-10-2018, 09:11 PM)Smilodon-Rex Wrote: Panthera atrox in South America has left the fur record, and new studies showed that they may left the hunting record

In fact, there is a study that found skin patches but the genetic studies shows that these are jaguars.

Chimento & Agnolin (2017) did not made any study in the skin patches found in the Cueva of the Milodón; they clasified it as Panthera atrox just because the original papers clasified it as P. onca mesembrina. Now the study of Metcalf et al. (2016) were Dr Ross Barnett participated shows that those samples were in fact from jaguars and in figures two the Mithocondrial DNA phylogeny shows the genetic affinity of the pleistocene jaguars of America.


I am inclined to believe that those large cats from South America are in fact giant jaguars. Also remember that another study from Dr Barnett also showed that the cave "lions" are not lions at all, but a difference species by its own. So genetic studies are very important to understand the evolution of the animals, they phylogenetic relations and the taxonomic results.

*This image is copyright of its original author

The Panthera atrox's fur record, it looks like a real lion but not jaguar. BTW, according to the new studies, Panthera atroxs in South America also has been discovered that they may living in the cave.
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(09-06-2018, 05:44 AM)GuateGojira Wrote:
(08-01-2018, 08:11 AM)genao87 Wrote:
(07-06-2018, 08:17 AM)Smilodon-Rex Wrote:
*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author

Giants of Ice Age——American Lion&Smilodon designed by myself
 @GrizzlyClaws ,  Smilodon populator's size may just equivalent to modern big tiger's subspecies, however, they still heavier than modern lions and tigers, and can also grow into 400 kg. Moreover, Smilodons have the more powerful body than modern lions and tigers since they born.
 American Lions also have the more powerful body than modern felines too, be different from Smilodons, American Lions are taller and their heads are bigger. 
    Here are the bodysize's range of few prehistoric big cats:
Smilodon populator——from 420 to 430 kg
Amphimachairodus giganteus——it may the biggest machairodontinae in history, according to the estimates of 460 mm skull, the weight limit may achieves  450 kg
American lion——from 450 to 465 kg  
Eurasia Cave lion——from 430 to 450 kg
Mosbach lion——from 450 to 493 kg
Ngandong tiger——from 350 to 370 kg
Natodomeri lion——from 350 to 370kg

wait whut??  where did these figures came from?  since the Ngandong Tiger shrunk???    where are sources and fossils that made these the latest and correct figures??

Those weights are incorrectly quoted. Check this:

* Smilodon populator: Sorkin gives a weight of 470 kg, but latter Christiansen and Harris (2005) provided a maximum weight of c.360 kg for the biggest specimen analyzed in the study, with a posible upper figure of 400 kg for the larger specimens (like the one in Paris Museum). This last figure is quoted by Anton (2013).

* Amphimachairodus giganteus: There are no estimations available, but based in the giant skull of 415 mm of Machairodus horribilis the posible maximum weight is of 405 kg (Tao et al., 2015), however this is using the equation of Van Valkenburg (1990), which provides overestimations, from my point of view, and depends to much of the length of the skull, independently of the robustness of the specimen. This animal was large, but probably a weight between 300-350 kg seems more plausible.

* American lion (Panthera atrox): Anyonge (1993) produced weights of over 500 kg for this species, but his results are unreliable and are proved to be gross overestimations. Sorkin (2009) estimated a weight of 420 kg, but he used only one speciment, ignoring the intraespecific variation of the species, thus is unreliable. Latter Christiansen & Harris (2009) calculated a largest weight of 351 kg, using the same method of Sorkin but with more specimens of lions, tigers and jaguars, producing a better calculation. Wheeler & Jefferson (2009) calculated a maximum of 332 kg, using the average of the results of all the equations used, however the figure of 478 kg obteined by the equation of the femora midshaft, in fact is not using the "weighted" method and also we must take in count the fact that the results of the equations of Christiansen & Harris (2005) must be used together and not separatelly, as will produce biased results. It seems that a maximum weight of 350-360 kg seems more reliable. For details check the link: https://wildfact.com/forum/topic-america...hera-atrox - post No. 13.

* Eurasian Cave lion: With Panthera spelaea, no calculations of such a large weights is reported, Hemmer (2011) report an extreme weight up to 400 kg. I have not the full document at hand, so I don't know the method he used or if he is quoting other studies, but with skulls with greatest length of c.450 mm, such a weight is not completelly out of question. Smaller males from Yakutia and Alaska were of the same size than modern lions and tigers, so probably a figure of 250 - 270 kg is more reliable.

* Mosbach lion: This must be the Panthera (spelaea) fossilis species. The maximum weight that I have saw in litterature is of 367 kg (Guzvika, 1998). However with skulls as large as c.480 mm, this is the perfet candidate for a maximum of 400 kg, appart from Smilodon populator.

* Ngandong tiger: In the case of Panthera tigris soloensis, Hertler & Volmer (2008) calculated a maximum weigh of 470 kg using the largest fossil available (femur of 480 mm in length), but they used the formula of Anyonge (1993) which is unreliable. Latter Volmer et al. (2016) reduced the weight to only 298 kg using the formula of femur length of Christiansen & Harris (2005), however the problem is that they only used the length and not the girth and other measurements and also the figure is not "weighted", so but values are unreliable (one to high and other too low). Using the equation of Sorkin (2009) but with the method of Christiansen & Harris (2009), which is using many specimens, I got a figure of 368 kg. The forum of the Russian guys and Roman Uchitel webpage estimated a figure of 350 kg. 

* Natodomeri lion: For the moment there is no official figure for this giant lion, but definitelly is over 300 kg.

Hope this helps to clarify the case.
Well Guate, I had read about your conclusion that the American Lion's maximum weight is 351kg according to the Christiansen&Harris's speculation in 2009, but the 351kg was based on the 458MM skull specimen, not the biggest one, as a matter of fact, if you base on the 468MM skull specimen, the American Lion's maximum weight can up to 400kg at least.
The prehistoric lions were stronger than modern pantheras, and their size were taller too, thus it could grown larger.
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United States genao87 Offline
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(09-10-2018, 09:56 PM)GuateGojira Wrote:
(09-10-2018, 09:03 PM)Smilodon-Rex Wrote: To be honest, Ngandong tiger may not as huge as we image, the largest felines in history were prehistoric lions and giant machairodontinaes .

The Ngandong tiger (Panthera tigris soloensis) is know for just a few bones and still this bones are larger than many of the bones of the cave "lions" spelaea/fossilis/atrox. On the other side, the cave "lions" are known for many more fossils, and we have a good idea about its sizes. My point is that in fossil records you need many fossils to get a good idea of the avearage and maximum sizes and to found a "big" specimen is very rare, is something that we can achieve only if you found many fossils. In the case of the cave "lions" spelaea/fossilis/atrox we know this, but in the case of the tiger is different.

We have few bones of the Ngandong tiger and the probability says that those bones are from "average" specimens, not from the largest. This means that the huge tiger with the femur of 480 mm, which is larger than in any recorded felid, was probably an "average" specimen and this suggest that larger tiger may exist, but we need to search it. A similar case is that of the Spinosaurus, which we have very few fossils but until resently Paleontologist found the larger specimens.

So, in theory, the largest Pleistocene tigers were probably of the same size than the largest Pleistocene "lions", but we need more fossils. I don't think that Machairodontids were as big, in fact they fossils are more slender and even the skull is much narrow than modern Pantherines. Those weights estimated of over 400 kg for M. kabir and M. horribilis and made with the formulas of Anyonge (1993) which produce gross overestimations and Van Valkenburg (1990) which also produce overestimations as her formula based in Condylobasal length depends more of the length of the skull and ignore its robusticity.


So the femur of 480mm was probably from an average Ngandong Tiger!  Didn't know that was the largest recorded femur of any big cat.   Trying to understand 100% what your saying.  The largest femur of any cat?  So this Tiger as far as we know is the largest recorded cat in history?  If so then you made my day lol.     

  What about the false saber cats...the Nimravidae and Barbourofelidae?  Are they consider cats again or just still separate?    Also about Spinosaurus, there were new fossils recently??   If so did they changed it back to bipedal dinosaur instead of a possible Nimravidae? I cannot see Spino defeating T. Rex on land if it was quadrupedal like dinosaur.
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GuateGojira Offline
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(09-11-2018, 06:21 PM)Smilodon-Rex Wrote: Well Guate, I had read about your conclusion that the American Lion's maximum weight is 351kg according to the Christiansen&Harris's speculation in 2009, but the 351kg was based on the 458MM skull specimen, not the biggest one, as a matter of fact, if you base on the 468MM skull specimen, the American Lion's maximum weight can up to 400kg at least.
The prehistoric lions were stronger than modern pantheras, and their size were taller too, thus it could grown larger.

No, if we use the largest skull from California, the weight is no more than 380 kg, and rememebr that ALL the weights are especulations, especially the ridiculously large of Anyonge (1993) of up to 540 kg. No cat in natural history, apparte from the obese ligers, had ever weighed that. I estimate that the largest Panthera (spelaea) fossilis, based in its skull, was up to 400 kg, but not more, P. atrox was smaller, so it was lighter.

Panthera atrox was not exceptional, in fact, its robustness is just correlated with its size. Is a large cat, it need large bones.
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GuateGojira Offline
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( This post was last modified: 09-11-2018, 11:28 PM by GuateGojira )

(09-11-2018, 05:48 PM)Smilodon-Rex Wrote:
*This image is copyright of its original author

*This image is copyright of its original author
The Panthera atrox's fur record, it looks like a real lion but not jaguar. BTW, according to the new studies, Panthera atroxs in South America also has been discovered that they may living in the cave.

Sadly, there is no evidence that this is skin from P. atrox, the authors only "labeled" as that because the original person that discovered the fragment believed that it was from a "cat". Check the paper and you will see.

Please, check the document of Dr Barnett Ross and you will why HE is not agree with the new results. After all, morphology had created confusion before, while the genetic evidence is better. Remember who is Dr Ross by the way, so his opinion on the case is very valid.
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( This post was last modified: 09-11-2018, 11:29 PM by GrizzlyClaws )

(09-11-2018, 11:28 AM)GuateGojira Wrote: Do you remember the size of the scale bar with the "lion" mandibles?

The Panthera atrox mandible at the bottom is 309 mm long, and it belongs to the 458 mm skull.
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( This post was last modified: 09-11-2018, 11:36 PM by GuateGojira )

(09-11-2018, 09:21 PM)genao87 Wrote: So the femur of 480mm was probably from an average Ngandong Tiger!  Didn't know that was the largest recorded femur of any big cat.   Trying to understand 100% what your saying.  The largest femur of any cat?  So this Tiger as far as we know is the largest recorded cat in history?  If so then you made my day lol.     

  What about the false saber cats...the Nimravidae and Barbourofelidae?  Are they consider cats again or just still separate?    Also about Spinosaurus, there were new fossils recently??   If so did they changed it back to bipedal dinosaur instead of a possible Nimravidae? I cannot see Spino defeating T. Rex on land if it was quadrupedal like dinosaur.

Yes, the femur of the Ngandong tiger (Panthera tigris soloensis) with its 480 mm in greatest length is the largest femur recorded for any cat, living or prehistoric, and is published. However, the specimens of the largest skulls of Panthera (spelaea) fossilis with skulls of over 480 mm may had slightly larger femurs.

Now the thing is that we know many many many fossils of cave "lions", so we know they largest and smallest size, we can create averages and even we can distinguish sex. With the Ngandong tiger is not posible because we know very few elements (only 7-8 specimens and are not related). So with such a small sample we must remember that the posibilities to found a "giant" specimen is ridiculously small, check how much time took to found the Tyrannosaurus rex "Sue"! So in Paleonthology is normally suposed that the fosills that we found are from "average" specimens, because an average sized animal is the most common in the ecosystem. This indicates that those fossils from the Ngandong tiger are probably just average sized specimens, not the largest specimen that the species can produce, you know what I mean?

So, all the bones (skull of c.380 mm, dentitions Pm4 and m1 of the same length that modern tigers, and humerus slightly longer than moder ones too) suggest an animal of the same size than the modern Bengal/Amur tiger, and with those lengths those tigers were probably about 210-220 cm in head body and weights of 260-300 kg. The femur is larger with 480 mm and suggest an animal of 230 cm in head-body "straight" and 360-370 kg. But these were among the must common specimens, so the extremely large animals of this species are still unknown and now with the new large mandible of c.300 mm reported by @tigerluver adn @GrizzlyClaws there are new records of tigers larger than we previously believed. Based on this, it seems that the largest tigers of the Pleistocene and the largest "lion-like" cats of the Pleistocene are in parity.

On the Nimravidae and Barbourofelidae, there are not cats "per se", there are they own family, by the way the largest of them Barbourofelis fricki was no larger than an average sized lion, with shoulder height of c.90 cm and a weight of about 225 kg (Anton, 2013).

When I said "new" fossils of Spinosaurus, I was refering to the last discoveries in the last few years. Check that Spinosaurus was discovered with a very fragementary fossil since the begining of the years 1910's and since the destruction of the fossils in the WWII, there was practically no new discovery until almoust 90 years latter! And what we had with the new bones, a completelly new animal, a short legged and aquatic dinosaur, very large but also very sleak, addapted to eat fish, not to fight other carnivore dinosaurs. So this is my point, when we make an analysis of a species with such a few bones our results are going to be limitted, but with more research and even founding new specimens, we can get better conclusions and now there is some posibilty to check the variations of the Spinosaurus (from 10  to 15 meters depending of the specimen).
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