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Homotherium latidens

Venezuela epaiva Online
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( This post was last modified: 12-12-2017, 07:03 AM by epaiva )

Homotherium latidens is the European Sabertooth cat, it had similar size to Homotherium serum but it was found in Europe, its post cranial anatomy is well known thanks largely to a nearly complete skeleton from the site of Seneze, in France, and to a large composite sample from the Spanish site of Incarcal. These and other finds reveal this species to have been a lion sized sabertooth with forelimbs slightly more elongated than those of a lion and with a relatively longer neck and shorter back and tail. It had strongly muscular forelimbs adapted to handle large prey, armed with a huge dew claw, but it also had clear adaptations for sustained locomotion on open ground, including a reduction in the size and retractability of the claws. It was considerably lighter than the Pleistocene Lions with which it shared the habitats of middle Pleistocene Europe.
Information and pictures taken from the book SABERTOOTH (Mauricio Anton)


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Venezuela epaiva Online
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( This post was last modified: 12-12-2017, 05:48 AM by epaiva )

Picture number 1 taken from the book Big Cats and their Fossil relatives (Alan Turner and Mauricio Anton)
Picture number 2 credit to @ daniroigz
Picture number 3 taken from the book The Other Saber-Tooths (Virginia L. Naples, Larry D. Martin and John P. Babiarz)


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Venezuela epaiva Online
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Courtesy of Velizar Simeonovski 

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United Kingdom Sully Offline
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First sabre-toothed cat genome reveals a lethal long-distance hunter


Mo Farah’s got nothing on this long-distance runner. The first sabre-toothed cat genome has revealed that the animal was a specialist at hunting prey over long distances.

The cat’s DNA was extracted from the fossil of a particular species of sabre-toothed cat called the scimitar-toothed cat (Homotherium latidens). Like other sabre-toothed catsHomotherium went extinct towards the end of the Pleistocene age, around 10-30,000 years ago.

This particular specimen, found in permafrost sediments near Dawson City, Yukon Territory, Canada, was at least 47,000 years old.


The team at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark used genome sequencing techniques to read the entire genetic code that would’ve been packed into each of the animal’s cell nuclei (its ‘nuclear genome’). The cat’s genetic makeup hints that it was a highly skilled long-distance hunter.

“They likely had very good daytime vision and displayed complex social behaviours,” said co-first author Dr Michael Westbury. “They had genetic adaptations for strong bones and cardiovascular and respiratory systems, meaning they were well suited for endurance running. Based on this, we think they hunted in a pack until their prey reached exhaustion.”

Animals are known to use this hunting strategy, called persistence hunting, when they’re slower than their prey over short distances, but have the stamina to win out over the longer chases. It's also thought to be one of the earliest hunting techniques used by humans.


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Homotherium latidens was built for distance © Heraldo Mussolini/Stocktrek Images

The genetic analysis also showed that all modern cats are distantly related to sabre-toothed cats, branching off from them on the evolutionary tree at least 22.5 million years ago.



Also, sabre-toothed cats were more genetically diverse than modern cats, which means that there were likely a lot of them around – indeed, their fossils have been found worldwide.
“This was an extremely successful family of cats,” said co-first author Dr Ross Barnett. “They were present on five continents and roamed the Earth for millions of years before going extinct. The current geological period is the first time in 40 million years that Earth has lacked sabre-tooth predators. We just missed them.”
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Czech Republic Spalea Offline
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Very interesting @Sully !

From now on I will consider the saber-tooth cats as a very large cat hunters family, something like the extant whole of big felids and canids predators. The depiction above at#4 suggests homotherium latidens was a much slender animal than, for example, smilodon populator. And, - perhaps, probably ? - they hunted their preys in pride as the extant wolves do.

Clearly the saber-tooth cats, having ruled a so long time everywhere on Earth, were a complete success in terms of evolution and predation.
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About Post # 4

As mentioned in the article, the genus homotherium was present on all continents, with the exception of Australia and Antarctica, however it is not known about the simultaneous temporal overlap of the species throughout this vast geographical area. A pertinent question is to understand that the species lived in ecologically very diverse environments - from the holárctic, desert, and vegetated environments. An evolutionary success that is also evident in the overlap with several other species of felines, both in the ancient forms of the subfamily machairodontinae and in modern cats.

It certainly had, as it expanded, hunting behaviors and strategies well adaptable, but why did the species also become extinct in the late Pleistocene? A question the absente of adaptation to large prey that are extinct? The species disappeared from Africa more than a million years ago (it has occupied since the southern part of the continent). The phenomenon of extinction is complex and rationalizing the usual combination that supports human killing, disease or climatic phenomena in combinative agreement or disagreement, makes extinction a process that needs to be analyzed in detail to local / regional disappearances. Homotherium have not disappeared, simultaneously or not, from the Americas and Eurasia for the same reasons.

A species that should be given greater value within the evolutionary conception of felines. So far there is no record of interspecific hybridization of this species with that of another feline in the last fourteen million years. A significant evolutionary success the felidae family.
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United Kingdom Sully Offline
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#7

On the original post here from @epaiva, you mention homotherium latidens as distinct from homotherium serum, however Dr Ross Barnett in his book "The Missing Lynx" describes how genetic analysis of a North Sea homotherium with a Yukon homotherium showed that they were practically indentical, as much as siberian tigers are to bengal tigers. He asserts that all homotherium from England to Canada should just be known as Homotherium latidens, abandoning serum as a whole.
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#8

From the same study above:

"Finally, we uncovered relatively high levels of genetic diversity in our Homotherium latidens individual, suggesting that it was not only a successful lineage, but also rather abundant relative to extant cat species."

It has been theorised Homotherium was widespread but had a low population density, however this seems not to be the case
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