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La Brea tar pits

India brotherbear Offline
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#1

http://www.nhm.org/site/research-collect...lb-mammals 
 
I find it interesting that in the ancient tar pits of Southern California there have been found the remains of 4,000+ dire wolves ( Canis dirus ), 2,000 saber-toothed cats ( Smilodon fatalis ), and 30+ short-faced bears ( Arctodus simus ). 
 
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Venezuela epaiva Offline
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( This post was last modified: 04-29-2018, 09:00 PM by epaiva )

Smilodon fatalis meets a group of Dire Wolves (canis dirus) in a scene from the Los Angeles Basin of 30.000 years ago.
Book Great Fossils at the American Museum of Natural History. Next of Kin

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United States Siegfried Offline
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#3

Over 80 specimens of Panthera atrox found in La Brea as well.

http://library.sandiegozoo.org/factsheet...erican.htm
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United States Polar Offline
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#4

So the American Lion fell for it too? There were rumors going about that only the Smilodon-related cats fell into the pit, and not the lions (because of the myth that the lions were apparently "smarter") but that didn't seem to make sense since they both appear quite intelligent, in terms of teamwork and coordination.
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Switzerland Spalea Offline
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#5

@Polar :

About #4: I'm not as surprised as you, but 2.000 saber-toothed cat face to 80 American lion, i.e. 25 times more. American lion was a social cat, the saber-toothed cat too if I am not mistaken... The difference is clearly significant.

On the other hand I'm surprised by the "4000+"dire wolves.

And the short faced bear's brain didn't save him from a brutal extinction. The intelligence is anything but an absolute remedy.

About #1: very interesting indeed @brotherbear !
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United States tigerluver Offline
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#6

Another thing to note of the fossils in the Pits is the timing. These animals disappeared soon after. A famine may have made the risk to go into the pit worthwhile for even the most intelligent carnivores.
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United States Polar Offline
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(04-30-2018, 01:01 AM)Spalea Wrote: @Polar :

About #4: I'm not as surprised as you, but 2.000 saber-toothed cat face to 80 American lion, i.e. 25 times more. American lion was a social cat, the saber-toothed cat too if I am not mistaken... The difference is clearly significant.

On the other hand I'm surprised by the "4000+"dire wolves.

And the short faced bear's brain didn't save him from a brutal extinction. The intelligence is anything but an absolute remedy.

About #1: very interesting indeed @brotherbear !

I agree, but I doubt there is an intelligence difference between the two, and as @tigerluver said, it must have been the timing.

Survival is all about the more stronger mixture of factors relevant to the situation that needs to be survived.
"Be the reason someone smiles. Be the reason someone feels loved and believes in the goodness in people."

- Roy T. Bennett
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Switzerland Spalea Offline
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(04-30-2018, 01:55 AM)Polar Wrote:
(04-30-2018, 01:01 AM)Spalea Wrote: @Polar :

About #4: I'm not as surprised as you, but 2.000 saber-toothed cat face to 80 American lion, i.e. 25 times more. American lion was a social cat, the saber-toothed cat too if I am not mistaken... The difference is clearly significant.

On the other hand I'm surprised by the "4000+"dire wolves.

And the short faced bear's brain didn't save him from a brutal extinction. The intelligence is anything but an absolute remedy.

About #1: very interesting indeed @brotherbear !

I agree, but I doubt there is an intelligence difference between the two, and as @tigerluver said, it must have been the timing.

Survival is all about the more stronger mixture of factors relevant to the situation that needs to be survived.

Finally you could be right, these massive slaughters were perhaps absolutely not linked at all to the animals' intelligence...
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India brotherbear Offline
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#9
( This post was last modified: 10-27-2018, 03:59 PM by brotherbear )

La Brea tar pit casualties: nhm.org/site/research-collections/rancho-la-brea/about-rlb-mammals

Mammals at Rancho La Brea
Approximately 90% of the mammals excavated at Rancho La Brea are carnivores. This proportion is due to the nature of the asphalt seeps that form a carnivore trap. When a large herbivore became mired in the asphalt, it attracted predators and scavengers to the site and these in turn became trapped. Large carnivores are represented by the dog family (Canidae), the cat family (Felidae) and the bear family (Ursidae). The most common large carnivore is the dire wolf (Canis dirus). Small carnivores include weasels, badgers, and skunks (Mustelidae), the elusive ringtail and raccoon (Procyonidae). Other groups of animals include shrews, moles, bats, giant ground sloths, rabbits, rodents, mastodons, mammoths, horses, tapirs, peccaries, camels, deer, pronghorns, and bison. The ancient bison (Bison antiquus) is the most common large herbivore and is represented by at least 300 individuals, many of them young.

Canidae
Five species from the dog family are presently known from Rancho La Brea. The extinct dire wolf (Canis dirus), represented by over 200,000 specimens (~ 4,000+ individuals), is by far the most common large animal recovered. Dire wolves were widespread throughout North America during the Pleistocene and their remains have been found at many fossil localities. It appears that the Californian specimens were slightly smaller than the ones in the central and eastern United States. The timber wolf (C. lupus), coyote (C. latrans), domestic dog (C. familiaris), and the gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) are still living today although the timber wolf no longer lives in Southern California.


Felidae
Six species of the cat family are known from Rancho La Brea. They comprise two main groups, the machairodonts (saber-toothed cats) and the true cats. The extinct saber-toothed cat (Smilodon fatalis) is probably the most well known and is California's state fossil. At least 2,000 individuals of Smilodon are represented by over 130,000 specimens. The distantly related scimitar cat (Homotherium serum) is very rare and known only from a few teeth and several metapodials. The American lion (Panthera atrox) is the most common of the true cats with about 80 individuals recovered, two-thirds of which are males. Other cats include the puma (Felis concolor), the lynx (F. rufus), the jaguar (F. onca), and a domestic cat. It is possible that the American cheetah (Miracinonyx inexpectatus) was also in the area at the end of the Pleistocene although no specimen has yet been identified from Rancho La Brea.

Ursidae
Three species of bear are known from Rancho La Brea. The extinct giant short-faced bear (Arctodus simus), represented by 30 plus individuals, is both the largest and most common species recovered. Thus far, at least 700 elements have been identified. The short-faced bear had an extensive North American distribution ranging from the Yukon to Texas. Its closest living relative is the spectacled bear that lives in the Andes. Possibly the largest predator of the Ice Age, the male short-faced bear may have weighed up to 1,800 pounds and stood five feet at the shoulder. Sexual dimorphism is very evident with females being at least 25 percent smaller than the males. The black bear (Ursus americanus) and the grizzly bear (U. arctos) are restricted to the younger deposits and are rare.
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India brotherbear Offline
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#10

From post #9: At least 2,000 Smilodons trapped in the tar pits and only 80 American lions. Considering that Panthera atrox was ( possibly ) the smartest of all cats, then perhaps animal intelligence was a factor.
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Venezuela epaiva Offline
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#11

Larger Carnivores in La Brea Tar Pits, taken from the book The Big Cats and their fossil relatives
*This image is copyright of its original author
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