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Freak Felids - A Discussion of History's Largest Felines

Finland Shadow Offline
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( This post was last modified: 05-16-2020, 02:54 AM by Shadow )

(05-15-2020, 11:38 PM)tigerluver Wrote: Wrong thread for modern cat discussion, folks. This is in the extinct felines section. It seems somewhere last year a few posts were misplaced here and since the original intention has been lost. I'll move some post over to more appropriate threads. 

On a side note, 250 kg is small for an ancient lion, machairodont, or tiger, and thus the thread was called "freak felids" for the 400+ kg specimens that once existed. I do realize that the term can easily be misinterpreted so we moved the discussions for ancient lions into a more dedicated thread. Unfortunately the data on the rest of the species isn't as plentiful so dedicated threads never were formed.

That explains a lot, I was looking at this thread and many postings really didn´t look to be in right place. Same goes with other "freak felids" thread, many photos of tigers and lions, but "freaks"... mostly not. I understand with freak something really extra special, not just some quite normal sized animal or obese animal. Those should be posted in "normal threads" for wild and captive animals of different species. When I open posting with headline "freak", I am looking forward to see something extraordinary which also is explained, that in what way "freak". If all there is, is some photo showing "just" some random lion or tiger....it doesn´t make sense for me. Most postings in "freak" threads have been frankly speaking disappointing. 

In threads made for something extraordinary quality should be more valued than quantity. Not just some random photo or average specimen of some species. Then again maybe I´m a bit more cynical than average poster... But still something to think about, imo. Word "freak" loses meaning if it starts to look like it, that all tigers and lions are freaks. We have after all many threads for handsome/beautiful animals. I had to use this opportunity to write this now, I have often thought about this but kept silent. But I think, that some others would also like it more, if content would be really connected to headline of a thread.
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United States Pckts Offline
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Velizar Simeonovski

Panthera gombaszoegensis - becoming a lion.

"Panthera gombaszoegensis.

The skull is based on the cranial remains from Vallparadís and Amblève valle but because of their fragmentary characters it is adjusted to fit the mandible- based on the Mosbach specimen.


The pattern of the head is inferred from the the patterns of the cubs of lions and Panthera pardus orientalis ."

*This image is copyright of its original author

Panthera gombaszoegensis - becoming a lion.



Body pattern - reflects the process of increasing the size .- based on the pattern of lion cubs and Amur leopards. Increasing the size - from mid size (jaguar-sized) pantherine cat to a giant-lion size animal likely occurred in Africa - some time in the late Pliocene. Interestingly the same process somewhat "was attempted" in South America about 2 millions later but it did not get finalized



Pocock, R.I., 1910. - The significance of the pattern of the cubs of lion (Felis leo) and pumas (Felis concolor) Ann. Mag. Nat Hist. London. (7) 20 -1910 pp 436 – 445


Schneider, K-M., 1953. –Von der Fleckung junger Löwen. D.Zool.Gart. NF.Bd. 20. H. 2/3.

*This image is copyright of its original author

Panthera gombaszoegensis - becoming a lion.



The mane - it is not clear when the ancestral lion began to grow mane . It is certainly connected with the size increasing, but the time line is unknown. It also likely happened in Africa.
Here the "ancestral" mane is inferred by the mane that some lionesses grow due to hormonal disbalance or old age. It is similar, but not identical to the manes that lion/tiger and lion/leopard hybrids develop.

*This image is copyright of its original author
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Balam Offline
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(06-24-2020, 10:15 PM)Pckts Wrote: Velizar Simeonovski

Panthera gombaszoegensis - becoming a lion.

"Panthera gombaszoegensis.

The skull is based on the cranial remains from Vallparadís and Amblève valle but because of their fragmentary characters it is adjusted to fit the mandible- based on the Mosbach specimen.


The pattern of the head is inferred from the the patterns of the cubs of lions and Panthera pardus orientalis ."

*This image is copyright of its original author

Panthera gombaszoegensis - becoming a lion.



Body pattern - reflects the process of increasing the size .- based on the pattern of lion cubs and Amur leopards. Increasing the size - from mid size (jaguar-sized) pantherine cat to a giant-lion size animal likely occurred in Africa - some time in the late Pliocene. Interestingly the same process somewhat "was attempted" in South America about 2 millions later but it did not get finalized



Pocock, R.I., 1910. - The significance of the pattern of the cubs of lion (Felis leo) and pumas (Felis concolor) Ann. Mag. Nat Hist. London. (7) 20 -1910 pp 436 – 445


Schneider, K-M., 1953. –Von der Fleckung junger Löwen. D.Zool.Gart. NF.Bd. 20. H. 2/3.

*This image is copyright of its original author

Panthera gombaszoegensis - becoming a lion.



The mane - it is not clear when the ancestral lion began to grow mane . It is certainly connected with the size increasing, but the time line is unknown. It also likely happened in Africa.
Here the "ancestral" mane is inferred by the mane that some lionesses grow due to hormonal disbalance or old age. It is similar, but not identical to the manes that lion/tiger and lion/leopard hybrids develop.

*This image is copyright of its original author

I'm guessing this reconstruction is based on a conceptual idea of P. gombaszoegensis being closer to the lion clade than the jaguar. As far as I'm aware there's no recent data to suggest they were lions.
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" The tiger may be more ancient and distinct than we thought ?

Tigers are less closely related to lions, leopards and jaguars than these other big cats are to each other, according to a new comprehensive study.
The genetic analysis also reveals the tiger began evolving 3.2 million years ago, and its closest living relative is the equally endangered snow leopard.
Despite the popularity and endangered status of tigers, much remains to be discovered about them, including how they evolved.
It has long been known that the five species of big cat - the tiger, lion, leopard, jaguar and snow leopard, which belong to the Panthera genus - and the two species of clouded leopard are more closely related to each other than to other smaller cats.
But it has been difficult to pin down the exact relationships between them.
So to find out more, scientists Mr Brian Davis, Dr Gang Li and Professor William Murphy conducted an analysis of the DNA of all these species.
Their data strongly suggests that lions, leopards and jaguars are most closely related to each other.
Their ancestor split from other cats around 4.3 to 3.8 million years ago.
About 3.6 to 2.5 million years ago, the jaguar began to evolve, while lions and leopards split from one other about 3.1 to 1.95 million years ago.
But the tiger had already emerged by this point.
The ancestor of tigers and snow leopards also branched off around 3.9 million years ago.
The tiger then began to evolve into a unique species toward the end of the Pliocene epoch, about 3.2 mya. "


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(09-13-2020, 02:46 AM)Spalea Wrote: " The tiger may be more ancient and distinct than we thought ?

Tigers are less closely related to lions, leopards and jaguars than these other big cats are to each other, according to a new comprehensive study.
The genetic analysis also reveals the tiger began evolving 3.2 million years ago, and its closest living relative is the equally endangered snow leopard.
Despite the popularity and endangered status of tigers, much remains to be discovered about them, including how they evolved.
It has long been known that the five species of big cat - the tiger, lion, leopard, jaguar and snow leopard, which belong to the Panthera genus - and the two species of clouded leopard are more closely related to each other than to other smaller cats.
But it has been difficult to pin down the exact relationships between them.
So to find out more, scientists Mr Brian Davis, Dr Gang Li and Professor William Murphy conducted an analysis of the DNA of all these species.
Their data strongly suggests that lions, leopards and jaguars are most closely related to each other.
Their ancestor split from other cats around 4.3 to 3.8 million years ago.
About 3.6 to 2.5 million years ago, the jaguar began to evolve, while lions and leopards split from one other about 3.1 to 1.95 million years ago.
But the tiger had already emerged by this point.
The ancestor of tigers and snow leopards also branched off around 3.9 million years ago.
The tiger then began to evolve into a unique species toward the end of the Pliocene epoch, about 3.2 mya. "




Is this really new? I feel like I've read this before right here on wildfact.
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(09-13-2020, 06:29 AM)Sully Wrote:
(09-13-2020, 02:46 AM)Spalea Wrote: " The tiger may be more ancient and distinct than we thought ?

Tigers are less closely related to lions, leopards and jaguars than these other big cats are to each other, according to a new comprehensive study.
The genetic analysis also reveals the tiger began evolving 3.2 million years ago, and its closest living relative is the equally endangered snow leopard.
Despite the popularity and endangered status of tigers, much remains to be discovered about them, including how they evolved.
It has long been known that the five species of big cat - the tiger, lion, leopard, jaguar and snow leopard, which belong to the Panthera genus - and the two species of clouded leopard are more closely related to each other than to other smaller cats.
But it has been difficult to pin down the exact relationships between them.
So to find out more, scientists Mr Brian Davis, Dr Gang Li and Professor William Murphy conducted an analysis of the DNA of all these species.
Their data strongly suggests that lions, leopards and jaguars are most closely related to each other.
Their ancestor split from other cats around 4.3 to 3.8 million years ago.
About 3.6 to 2.5 million years ago, the jaguar began to evolve, while lions and leopards split from one other about 3.1 to 1.95 million years ago.
But the tiger had already emerged by this point.
The ancestor of tigers and snow leopards also branched off around 3.9 million years ago.
The tiger then began to evolve into a unique species toward the end of the Pliocene epoch, about 3.2 mya. "




Is this really new? I feel like I've read this before right here on wildfact.

The paleontologyworld post isn't perhaps a new one, but I don't remind having seen it before. I remember having read (and posted too) an other more detailed account about the recent tiger's history within a shorter interval of time (the last 100.000 years I believe).

See link:

https://wildfact.com/forum/topic-bigcats...2#pid61330

At #1448 and #1451
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I don't know if you guys read the news but I got GREAT NEWS.
A new BEAR SIZED cat was discovered, the Machairodus Lahayishupup !
Average of around 274 kg and a max of around 427 kg. Shoulder Height 140 cms
Truly grizzly sized! It hunted Rhinos.


*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author

Newly Identified Species of Saber-Toothed Cat Was So Big It Hunted Rhinos in America
Machairodus lahayishupup (white background)
http://www.sci-news.com/paleontology/machairodus-lahayishupup-09619.html
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( This post was last modified: 05-09-2021, 09:27 PM by Balam )

(05-09-2021, 02:29 AM)LoveAnimals Wrote: @Pckts @Balam @GrizzlyClaws




I don't know if you guys read the news but I got GREAT NEWS.
A new BEAR SIZED cat was discovered, the Machairodus Lahayishupup !
Average of around 274 kg and a max of around 427 kg. Shoulder Height 140 cms
Truly grizzly sized! It hunted Rhinos.


*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author

Newly Identified Species of Saber-Toothed Cat Was So Big It Hunted Rhinos in America
Machairodus lahayishupup (white background)
http://www.sci-news.com/paleontology/machairodus-lahayishupup-09619.html

This was a really nice find on the part of the paleontologists involved. Machairodus has always always been one of my favorite extinct feliform lineages alongside Quercylurus, hopefully, we will get more research papers in the future as more skeletal remains of this species come to light. 

If this species was just as big as S. populator it would certainly change our beliefs on which were the largest felids of the past, it seems like Xenosmilus hodsonae was pushed to fifth position in the American machairodontine line, and S. fatalis to third place in North America specifically.
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Great year to have a new giant Machairodus. Here are the size takeaways:

Humerus length: 460.5 mm (longest felid humerus on record)
Mediolateral widtth of distal end: 123.3 mm
Anteroposterior diameter of midshaft: 46 mm
Distal articular width: 88.2 mm

The three mass estimates are as follows:

From the Christiansen and Harris (2005) articular width equation: 348 kg
- The scale factor in this equation is extremely negatively allometric (2.186). This probably is an underestimate, especially considering Machairodus had narrow bones.

The same source, but the humerus length equation: 405 kg
- One issue is the humerus length in Christiansen and Harris (2005) is articular. This gets missed often. In some animals this matters more than others. In this specimen, the greater tubercle is quite a bit higher than the head of the humerus, meaning the articular width would be significantly less. Using Peigne et al. (2005), the articular length is 95% of the total length in Machairodus. So the articular length is actually about 438 mm. Applying this to the same equation results in a mass of 351 kg.

The final estimation is actually from an Anyonge (1993) circumference formula: 427 kg

It's a bit confusing so I will first just quote it:
"The body mass estimate for M. lahayishupup based on humerus circumference is very similar to the one calculated based on humerus length. A diameter of 42.4 mm yields an estimate of 427 kg."

So they present a new diameter of 42.4 mm which they then either converted into the circumference of a circle or measured the circumference (not explicitly reported in the paper) and worked their way backwards. The circumference is 133.2 mm.

The Anyongle scale factor is 3. Anyonge equation have been called into question after Christiansen and Harris (2005) for overestimating but this is also species dependent.
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Italy LoveAnimals Offline
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(05-09-2021, 05:59 AM)Balam Wrote: If this species was just as big as S. populator it would certainly change our beliefs on which were the largest felids of the past, it seems like Xenosmilus hodsonae was pushed to fifth position in the American machairodontine line, and S. fatalis to third place in North America specifically.
What truly impresses me about this Cat is its appearance, the size. 

Never seen a 140 cm tall cat, we are today all concentrated on 110 cm tall tigers and 120 cms lions lol. That Machairodus is a damn Horse! Might truly be as big as Smilodon populator despite not having the same bone density and therefore Smilodon populator will remain the heaviest felid to ever exist. Smilodon has basically the built of a jaguar that's why they are really heavy for their size, Barbourofelis is another example.
The report says that it could reach 300 kgs despite being only 75 to 90 cm tall. 
That's why I say that Smilodon Lineage resembles Panthera Onca. Quite heavy despite the height

To compare, cougars are 70-90 cm tall and weigh 53-105 kg and max around 120+kg and leopards (65-86 cm tall) weigh 62-96 kg and max probably up to 100 kgs.
Jaguars on the other hand are 76-81 cm but they can weigh as much as an average lioness (I've seen in Carnivora many quarrels between Pantherinae and other leopard fans and as a Leopard fanboy myself I can't get how they can't accept that a panthanal jaguar of 120-140lg generally dwarfs an average 67-70kg African leopard. The largest 90-100kg leopards might rival the size of an average Jaguar but not the max sized ones. However, I hate leopard fanboys that understimate Jaguars, they are incredible cats and I wish we could find some 160 kg males) 

I never knew if the Machairodus in general had a bone structure similar to smilodon or to modern pantheras. If the bone density is similar to the one of lions and tigers I believe that Smilodon Populator will remain a bit heavier than this new cat despite being shorter, but if it is more similar to smilodon, I believe that on max size this monster could touch 470 and perhaps 500 kg.

If it isn't anyway yea I put the average around 270/318 kgs and max up to 405/420 kgs. As big as Hercules the Liger.

To compare, Hercules is 123 cm tall and weighs 418 kg. If we scale this weight up to 140 cm it seems reasonable that this Machairodus Lahayishupup could reach such bear weight.

If we get any more news about this new predator, I'll post information on here.
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Balam Offline
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(05-09-2021, 01:04 PM)LoveAnimals Wrote:
(05-09-2021, 05:59 AM)Balam Wrote: If this species was just as big as S. populator it would certainly change our beliefs on which were the largest felids of the past, it seems like Xenosmilus hodsonae was pushed to fifth position in the American machairodontine line, and S. fatalis to third place in North America specifically.
What truly impresses me about this Cat is its appearance, the size. 

Never seen a 140 cm tall cat, we are today all concentrated on 110 cm tall tigers and 120 cms lions lol. That Machairodus is a damn Horse! Might truly be as big as Smilodon populator despite not having the same bone density and therefore Smilodon populator will remain the heaviest felid to ever exist. Smilodon has basically the built of a jaguar that's why they are really heavy for their size, Barbourofelis is another example.
The report says that it could reach 300 kgs despite being only 75 to 90 cm tall. 
That's why I say that Smilodon Lineage resembles Panthera Onca. Quite heavy despite the height

To compare, cougars are 70-90 cm tall and weigh 53-105 kg and max around 120+kg and leopards (65-86 cm tall) weigh 62-96 kg and max probably up to 100 kgs.
Jaguars on the other hand are 76-81 cm but they can weigh as much as an average lioness (I've seen in Carnivora many quarrels between Pantherinae and other leopard fans and as a Leopard fanboy myself I can't get how they can't accept that a panthanal jaguar of 120-140lg generally dwarfs an average 67-70kg African leopard. The largest 90-100kg leopards might rival the size of an average Jaguar but not the max sized ones. However, I hate leopard fanboys that understimate Jaguars, they are incredible cats and I wish we could find some 160 kg males) 

I never knew if the Machairodus in general had a bone structure similar to smilodon or to modern pantheras. If the bone density is similar to the one of lions and tigers I believe that Smilodon Populator will remain a bit heavier than this new cat despite being shorter, but if it is more similar to smilodon, I believe that on max size this monster could touch 470 and perhaps 500 kg.

If it isn't anyway yea I put the average around 270/318 kgs and max up to 405/420 kgs. As big as Hercules the Liger.

To compare, Hercules is 123 cm tall and weighs 418 kg. If we scale this weight up to 140 cm it seems reasonable that this Machairodus Lahayishupup could reach such bear weight.

If we get any more news about this new predator, I'll post information on here.

Cougars and leopards aren't taller than jaguars, the height of jaguars quoted comes from a straight line and without counting the paw, whereas for leopards and cougars it usually counts the paw, cougars seem to have particularly long limbs so I wouldn't be surprised if the tallest males reach the 80 cm mark, but I'm highly skeptical of leopards reaching this threshold. Likewise, most claims of lions or tigers in the wild attaining shoulder heights of 110+ cm should be taken with a grain of salt unless the measuring protocol is specified (see the Hobatere lions). What is true is that for the discrepancy in mass between jaguars, cougars, and leopards at similar shoulder heights is very pronounced, with jaguars being significantly heavier, and as you said this trend of heavy-boned cats packing a lot of mass on a modest frame was something that was very commonly seen with machairodontines, particularly Xenosmilus sp.

Leopards other than the Persian population rarely average 60+ kg in weight and they don't attain the sizes of average Pantanal jaguars, Pantanal male runts that weigh 80-90 kg overlap in size with the largest leopards but that's about it. The average of 100 kg for Pantanal jaguars is the lowest average baseline from them, they are heavier than that. The maximum recorded reliable weights for cougars and leopards are 103 kg and 96 kg respectively, claims of 120 kg or more are practically impossible and need solid verification to ascertain their veracity, akin to claims of 180 and 200 kg Holocene jaguars.

Barboruofelis fricki is thought to have been similar in body mass to modern African lions or mainland tigers, the estimate of 300 kg is likely inflated, but you're correct in that the bone robusticity of this feliform was really high as well.
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Giant Saber-Toothed Cat Roamed North America during Miocene
May 4, 2021 by Enrico de Lazaro

Paleontologists from the Ohio State University at Marion and Gonzaga University have identified a new species of large machairodontine saber-toothed cat from the fossilized remains found in North America.

*This image is copyright of its original author

An artist’s depiction of Machairodus lahayishupup eating Hemiauchenia, a camel relative. Image credit: Roger Witter.

The newly-identified cat lived in what is now North America between 5.5 and 9 million years ago (Miocene epoch).
It belongs to Machairodus, a genus of large saber-toothed cat that lived in Africa, Eurasia and North America, and is an ancient relative of the best-known saber-toothed cat Smilodon.
Named Machairodus lahayishupup, the new species had a mass up to 410 kg, making it one of the largest felids in Earth’s history.
“We believe these were animals that were routinely taking down bison-sized animals. This was by far the largest cat alive at that time,” said Dr. Jonathan Calede, a researcher in the Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology at the Ohio State University at Marion.



Dr. Calede and his colleague, Dr. John Orcutt from the Department of Biology at Gonzaga University, examined several humeri (upper arm bones) of Machairodus lahayishupup from museums in Oregon, Idaho, California and Texas.
“One of the big stories of all of this is that we ended up uncovering specimen after specimen of this giant cat in museums in western North America,” Dr. Orcutt said.
“They were clearly big cats. We started with a few assumptions based on their age, in the 5.5 to 9 million-year-old range, and based on their size, because these things were huge.”
“What we didn’t have then, that we have now, is the test of whether the size and anatomy of those bones tells us anything — and it turns out that yes, they do.”
“A discovery that this giant cat in North America existed at the same time similar animals lived around the world also raises another evolutionary question,” Dr. Calede said.
“It’s been known that there were giant cats in Europe, Asia and Africa, and now we have our own giant saber-toothed cat in North America during this period as well.”
“There’s a very interesting pattern of either repeated independent evolution on every continent of this giant body size in what remains a pretty hyperspecialized way of hunting, or we have this ancestral giant saber-toothed cat that dispersed to all of those continents. It’s an interesting paleontological question.”
The discovery is reported in a paper published in the Journal of Mammalian Evolution.
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(05-09-2021, 09:43 PM)Balam Wrote: Cougars and leopards aren't taller than jaguars, the height of jaguars quoted comes from a straight line and without counting the paw, whereas for leopards and cougars it usually counts the paw, cougars seem to have particularly long limbs so I wouldn't be surprised if the tallest males reach the 80 cm mark, but I'm highly skeptical of leopards reaching this threshold.
Wasn't the tallest cougar around 90 cm? That's basically as tall as a cheetah but the cougar is more proportioned about weight relative to its size. The tallest jaguar as you told me was 81 cm at the shoulder whereas on modern weights and measurements for wild leopards I have seen many leopards reaching the 80 cm mark with 2 of them topping at 86 cm. Maybe straight line?


(05-09-2021, 09:43 PM)Balam Wrote: The maximum recorded reliable weights for cougars and leopards are 103 kg and 96 kg respectively
Wasn't the largest cougar 105 and not 103 kg? By the way every weight ranges for animals are based on modern captures, I always like to consider the animal since it evolved till today. I mean leopards exist since pléistocène, several thousand of years ago. We caught the 96 kg Namibian one when their numbers were already decreasing because of hunting and less prey were disponible.
In a thousand years of history, with all the leopards that have walked on this planet, none of them gained those 4 kgs to reach 100 kg? To me it's 100%sure that's why I put 100 kgs as the generic limit of the leopards. We don't know about cougars but in my opinion 113 kg might me their limit. They are still larger than Leopards

However this is my take, on scientific records the largest leopards and cougars are 96 and 105 kg, but in a thousand years of existence larger males have existed FOR SURE.
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Balam Offline
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(Yesterday, 12:57 AM)LoveAnimals Wrote:
(05-09-2021, 09:43 PM)Balam Wrote: Cougars and leopards aren't taller than jaguars, the height of jaguars quoted comes from a straight line and without counting the paw, whereas for leopards and cougars it usually counts the paw, cougars seem to have particularly long limbs so I wouldn't be surprised if the tallest males reach the 80 cm mark, but I'm highly skeptical of leopards reaching this threshold.
Wasn't the tallest cougar around 90 cm? That's basically as tall as a cheetah but the cougar is more proportioned about weight relative to its size. The tallest jaguar as you told me was 81 cm at the shoulder whereas on modern weights and measurements for wild leopards I have seen many leopards reaching the 80 cm mark with 2 of them topping at 86 cm. Maybe straight line?


(05-09-2021, 09:43 PM)Balam Wrote: The maximum recorded reliable weights for cougars and leopards are 103 kg and 96 kg respectively
Wasn't the largest cougar 105 and not 103 kg? By the way every weight ranges for animals are based on modern captures, I always like to consider the animal since it evolved till today. I mean leopards exist since pléistocène, several thousand of years ago. We caught the 96 kg Namibian one when their numbers were already decreasing because of hunting and less prey were disponible.
In a thousand years of history, with all the leopards that have walked on this planet, none of them gained those 4 kgs to reach 100 kg? To me it's 100%sure that's why I put 100 kgs as the generic limit of the leopards. We don't know about cougars but in my opinion 113 kg might me their limit. They are still larger than Leopards

However this is my take, on scientific records the largest leopards and cougars are 96 and 105 kg, but in a thousand years of existence larger males have existed FOR SURE.

You have a lot of preconceived notions and make a lot of claims but show no hard data to back your statements, no offense but this is the kind of superficial, immature, and deceitful talking points we see from the posters/trolls of Carnivora you previously mentioned which is tried to be avoided here.


Quote:Wasn't the tallest cougar around 90 cm? That's basically as tall as a cheetah but the cougar is more proportioned about weight relative to its size. The tallest jaguar as you told me was 81 cm at the shoulder whereas on modern weights and measurements for wild leopards I have seen many leopards reaching the 80 cm mark with 2 of them topping at 86 cm. Maybe straight line?

Data on the measurements of cougar heights are not too extensive but nonetheless, we have some data from one of the largest populations in the Rocky Mountains to go by Management Plan for Cougars in Alberta published in 1992:


*This image is copyright of its original author


Males from this vast area averaged 72 kg in weight and had an average shoulder height of 75 cm (measuring protocol not disclosed), a 90 cm shoulder height would be 20% higher than the average which seems highly unlikely unless the specimen in question is a freakish outlier. For leopards, the best data compilation for a very large population belonging to a protected area comes from Applicability of age-based hunting regulations for African leopards. by Balme et al.:


*This image is copyright of its original author

Males from this protected area averaged 68 kg and if we combine the shoulder heights averages of the mature males from 4 to 7+ years we get a combined average of 69.98 cm. The mature males that averaged the same as the adult RM cougars (72 kg) had a shoulder height of 71.43 cm, and the measuring protocol is not specified here either. The tallest male from this sample measured 75 cm at the shoulder, matching the averages for the RM cougars, as well as the body mass in kg of the heaviest leopard from this study.

Considering both species had a similar body mass in these studies, my previous claim that cougars grew taller is supported by these findings. In both cases, we do not know if the measurements included the length of the paw or the way in which the measuring tape was placed alongside their bodies. This is why you cannot take a value and compare it to another whose measuring standards are specified because you don't know if certain factors pertaining to measurements are inflating the values for one of the species. I can tell you right now that the shoulder heights claimed for leopard of Okonjima of 90+ cm are completely flawed and inflated, for example. Any claim of a leopard measuring 86 cm at the shoulder requires extraordinary evidence in suggesting they were taken on a straight, otherwise, it is prudent to infer that the measurements are not reliable.

Quote:Wasn't the largest cougar 105 and not 103 kg? By the way every weight ranges for animals are based on modern captures,

The heaviest reliable cougar was hunted in Colorado by President Roosevelt and weighed 227 lbs, its skull is to this day one of the largest in the world for cougars which give more reliability to the outlier body mass. You already know where the 96 kg leopard comes from.

Quote:I always like to consider the animal since it evolved till today. I mean leopards exist since pléistocène, several thousand of years ago. We caught the 96 kg Namibian one when their numbers were already decreasing because of hunting and less prey were disponible.

Evolution doesn't work that way, the genes of a cougar or leopard today are the exact same ones as those from last century, changes in body masses are dependant on the prey biomass and genetic diversity, but all of this falls within certain size barriers or ceilings which keep species from growing past certain thresholds, and in order for these genetic markers to change there needs to be a process of natural selection that takes hundreds of thousands of years. Leopards from many well-protected areas of Africa or Iran that have access to cattle-like prey in terms of BM (antelopes) and wide availability - like the KwaZulu-Natal leopards from the weight chart I posted above - showcase weights that are well within the ranges shown for leopards for centuries according to the hundreds of captures we have available. The average of 68 kg is in fact very high considering leopards in many areas of the world usually average between 50-60 kg. Furthermore, your asserstion that leopards from the Pleistocene were greater in size is completely unfounded, from the paper: Late Pleistocene leopards across Europe - northernmost European German population, highest elevated records in the Swiss Alps, complete skeletons in the Bosnia Herzegowina Dinarids and comparison to the Ice Age cave art by Diedrich.:


*This image is copyright of its original author

As stated above the skeletal remains of the European cave leopard P. pardus spelaea show dimensions that are in accordance to those of extant leopards that inhabit similar environments with similar prey, more notably the Persian leopard and likely the extinct Barbary leopard. Because leopards have always fulfilled the niche of secondary carnivores in the environments they have inhabited for hundreds of thousands of years (even subordinates to early jaguars in Europe), they have developed morphological adaptations to become proficient as agile and arboreal felids with gracile bodies who tackle medium-sized prey and avoid open spaces. Leopards would not be able to be leopards if they had to pack a large amount of body mass because it is counterproductive to their survival as subordinate carnivores to larger cats who have taken that specific evolutionary route. So as I mentioned before, leopards (and cougars, their NW counterparts in terms of ecological analog) possess certain genetic markers that keep them from growing past a certain threshold, and in the case of leopards, it seems to be around 95 kg.

Quote:However this is my take, on scientific records the largest leopards and cougars are 96 and 105 kg, but in a thousand years of existence larger males have existed FOR SURE.


100+ kg leopards may or may have not occurred throughout their evolutionary history, that is all nice speculation but it doesn't change or alters my point. The data that we have on them is clear for both extant and extinct forms, and 100+ kg in weight has yet to be achieved by a leopard and measured under reliable standards.
My advice is to stop with this obsession of leopards being "the size of lionesses" which many leopard fanboys seem to obsess over in the other forum you mentioned, learn to appreciate leopards for what they are and the areas in which they excel as big cats. Trying to extrapolate characteristics of other cats into the one you claim to prefer shows that you don't really value that cat for what it is.
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(Yesterday, 03:31 AM)Balam Wrote: You have a lot of preconceived notions and make a lot of claims but show no hard data to back your statements, no offense but this is the kind of superficial, immature, and deceitful talking points we see from the posters/trolls of Carnivora you previously mentioned which is tried to be avoided here.


I said at the end that's only my personal take, I have a personal take and a scientific take about animals and sometimes I like to share it to see other's opinion.
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However, when I have to explain scientifically a leopard or a cougar, I say " The weight range of male leopards is 37-96 kg and of male cougars is 53-103 kgs, larger males might have been recorded but that comes from unreliable hunting records and possible exaggerated assumptions made by hunters. So the limit for leopards and Cougars is 96 and 103 kg, could have been larger males but we need solid verification to confirm it"
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This is what I mean, I was not trying to be immature or superficial because Balam trust me I just joined to this thread but I have been reading on here and Carnivora since ages and I perfectly know to whom you are referring to about fanboying etc. I perfectly know. I was only trying to get your opinion from my personal (not scientific) considerations and after all you have my own opinion. "100 kg leopards may or not have occurred but we need solid evidence for it, unless it's useless to say it"
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I never said big male leopards are about the size of an average lioness. That's what they say on that site there, an average lioness is about 130-143 kg the largest leopards are 90-96 kg. How can they overlap? I say the only lioness a leopard can overlap in size is a juvenile lioness of 90 kg. Never an adult one. The only extant wild spotted cat that can rival the size of a lioness is the panthanal Jaguar. A tank of its own kind.
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Remember when I told you that leopards overlap the average size of the panthanal jaguar? That's because it was after I read this note on Wiki

Jaguars from the Llanos in Venezuela, and the Pantanal region of southern Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay, are the largest of the species.[15] Pantanal jaguars have lengths of about 2.7 m (8.9 ft), and average weights of 94.8 kg (209 lb) for males and 77.7 kg (171 lb) for females.[16] Some individuals weighed more than 135 kg (298 lb).[17]   

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_American_jaguar

As I read 94.8 kg average for male jaguars I say, the largest confirmed leopards are 90-96 kg, that's why I said the Overlap. But that was before I asked you a whole chart of all weights of panthanal Jaguars to get an average, and in that case the average was around 107 kg if I remember correctly, so after that I never said anymore that the largest leopards overlap the average Panthanal males. 

Leopards can only overlap Mexican and maybe Amazonian males in terms of max sized leopard - average Jaguar
(Yesterday, 03:31 AM)Balam Wrote: Furthermore, your asserstion that leopards from the Pleistocene were greater in size is completely unfounded, from the paper:


I never said I was referring to Ice Age leopard, that cat went extinct so we can't have proof that it grew that large and as you said it's similar to the persian one. 
I was referring to African leopards where we have got most of the max sized males (i mean from the persian ones the largest is 91 kg, the 95 kg male who was mistaken to be 115 kg is not even confirmed) 

While for African leopards we have males of 92kg ,95 kg ,96 kg, 97 kg Vin Diesel is unconfirmed. 

I was referring to them. My opinion is that males of 100+kgs may have occurred but the largest male we have facts about is 96 of so, if a larger male will be recorded. We need solid verification. 

I am a leopard fan but I get my facts straight. Cougars are larger than leopards. Jaguars are tanks compared to them, lionesses dwarf them. In my opinion even a 60 kg Mexican jaguar would be able to defeat a 80 - 90 kg leopard. 

I am not like you know who. Never trying to be superficial. 







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