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Miracinonyx "The American Cheetah"

United Kingdom Sully Offline
Ecology and Conservation
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#1

Surprised there wasn't already a thread on these cool pleistocene cats. Not quite cheetahs and not quite pumas, these cats had a lean morphology quite (but not exactly) like the cheetahs of africa. It is thought they are the reason pronghorn antelopes are as fast as they are today. Here is some literature on this cat below. Opinions differ as to its evolution, taxonomy, ecology and relation to actual cheetahs as they were named after. Important to note that they were not just plains animals, also inhabiting rocky mountainous areas likely preying upon goats like modern day snow leopards. I also think this thread is useful as to compare and contrast the morphology of modern day cheetahs, snow leopards and pumas, a topic I've briefly seen discussed around the forum (one may question the inclusion of snow leopards, I mention them due to the mention of their similar morphology to cheetahs in "Big Cats and Their Fossil Relatives". Strip down the fur and they're not so different)

Adams, D. 1979. The Cheetah: Native AmericanScience. 205:1155-1158
Barnett, R., Barnes, I., Phillips, M., 

Martin, L., Harington, C., Leonard, J., Cooper, A. 2005. Evolution of the extinct sabretooths and the American cheetah-like catCurrent Biology. 15, 15:  R589-90

Hodnett, J., Mead, J., White, R., Carpenter, M.  2010. Miracinonyx trumani (Carnivora: Felidae) from the Rancholabrean of Grand Canyon, Arizona and its implications for he ecology of the “American cheetah”,  in Program and Abstracts, Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 30:sup2, 1A-198A

Kennedy, N., Bhatt, R. 2012. A geometric and kinematic backbone model of the cheetah, Acinonyx jubatus, and its application to understanding the spinal kinematics of Miracinonyx trumani, in Programs and Abstracts, Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology

Martin, L., Gilbert, B., Adams, D. 1977. A cheetah-like cat in the North American PleistoceneScience. 195: 981-982

Van Valkenburgh, B., Grady, F., Kurten, B. 1990. The Plio-Pleistocene cheetah-like cat Miracinonyx inexpectatus of North AmericaThe Plio-Pleistocene cheetah-like cat Miracinonyx inexpectatus of North AmericaThe Plio-Pleistocene cheetah-like cat Miracinonyx inexpectatus of North AmericaJournal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 10,4 : 434-454

Walker, D. 2000. Pleistocene and Holocene records of Antilocapra americana: A review of the FAUNMAP dataPleistocene and Holocene records of Antilocapra americana: A review of the FAUNMAP dataPleistocene and Holocene records of Antilocapra americana: A review of the FAUNMAP dataPlains Anthropologist. 45, 174, 32: 13-28


I'll be reading these in the coming months and posting parts I find interesting, feel free to do the same and more!
"When the tiger stalks the jungle like the lowering clouds of a thunderstorm, the leopard moves as silently as mist drifting on a dawn wind." -Indian proverb
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