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Panthera leo sinhaleyus [Sri-Lanka(n)/Ceylon Lion] & Ceylon(Bengal) Tiger

India Sanju Offline
Indian
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#1
Information  ( This post was last modified: 12-10-2018, 06:01 PM by Sanju )

Sri Lanka’s Extinct Big Cats:
Although relatively unknown, there is a very great possibility that our land was once home to big cats aside from the present day leopards – specifically, lions and tigers, and not just the ones depicted in ancient art and architecture.
Archaeologists in Sri Lanka have dug up a number of interesting finds over the decades, one of the most popular being the skeletal fragments and cultural remains of the cannibalistic Balangoda Man. Apart from this, among the most interesting discoveries are perhaps the fossils of prehistoric mammals, including big cats.


According to Kelum Manamendra-Arachchi, one of the country’s leading experts in zooarchaeology and palaeontology, many of the mammal fossils were found in the Ratnapura district, and these findings, specially named ‘Ratnapura fauna’, refer to fossils mostly found embedded in gem gravels, locally known as ‘illama’. These fossils can be found anywhere between 4 metres to 12 metres below ground, or sometimes even as deep as 35 metres under.

Quote:The Quaternary includes two geologic epochs: the Pleistocene and the Holocene. Both epochs divided to faunal stages and human cultural phases based on climate and sea level cycles for the past three million years. Quaternary ice age begins roughly 2.58 Ma with both "cool and dry climate" conditions. Australopithecines and many of the extinct genera of mammalian mega fauna appeared in this time.
Thus, the Quaternary period show the "extinctions of numerous predominantly larger, especially mammalian mega faunal species", many of them lived during the transition from the Pleistocene to the Holocene epoch.

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The debate on the demise of the mammalian megafauna is often characterized by two highly polarized points of view: (1) climate-induced extinction; and (2) human-induced extinction. In Pleistocene period, most parts of the Northern Hemisphere were covered with glaciers creating a cold climate. Due to this glacial formation the main sea level was much lower than today. The low sea level facilitated the connection of Sri Lanka with the Indian mainland with a land bridge. Therefore a number of "mega and micro fauna" was able to cross to Sri Lanka from India. In Pleistocene era Sri Lanka experienced "heavy rainfall and covered with rain forest". These heavy showers in the Sabaragamu basin provide habitats for a number of Marsh loving mammals and other animals. However at the end of Pleistocene the climate changes resulted in the extinction of number of a animals. Pleistocene fauna in Sri Lanka is known as "Rathnapura Fauna". These fossils were found in alluvial deposits of Sabaragamu basins.

The Pleistocene is generally recognized as a time of gigantism in terrestrial mammals. The causes for such gigantism are not completely understood, but they most likely "include a
response to colder conditions and an improved ability to resist predators and reach food higher on shrubs or buried beneath snow" (Britanica.com 2014). Ninety percent of the animals
represented by Quaternary fossils were recognized by Charles Lyell (1820) as being similar to modern forms including many genera and even species of shellfish, insects, marine
microfossils, and terrestrial mammalian mega fauna living today are similar or identical to their Pleistocene ancestors (Britania.com 2014). Many Pleistocene fossils demonstrate spectacular differences from of 1833 to up to date by palaenotologists, geologist, sedimentologists, the International Union for Quaternary Research (INQUA), International Geological Correlation Programmes (IGCPs), International Union for Geological Sciences (IUGS) and individuals from different disciplines and geographical locations have been discussed Chalrs Lyells findings (1830), and found extinct and new marine and terrestrial fauna emphasizing the Quaternary period. Such studies are very useful for further
investigation of extinction of the mammalian megafauna from different regions of the world. The Indian subcontinent represents a rich source of diverse paleoanthropological data in the form of pollen assemblages, various isotopic records, vertebrate and invertebrate fossil assemblages, and prehistoric stone tools in a range of palaeoecological contexts (Metzke et al 2010). Most of the Quaternary fossil evidence, including hominin specimens comes from the fluvial sediments of the Narmada and other similar rivers (Chauhan, 2008). During the
Quaternary climate and sea level changes, which were followed the glacial and interglacial stages, allowed to fauna migrating or lodging in continents as well as nearing islands
(Katupotha, 2013). "Therefore a number of mega and micro fauna was able to cross to Sri Lanka from India". The last land bridge was emerged around 7500 yr BP (Katupotha 1995). The diverse paleoanthropological records, vertebrate and invertebrate fossil assemblages, and prehistoric stone tools in a range of palaeoecological contexts found in Sri Lanka from "Gem pits/gravels and coastal deposits proved such" (Deranigala 1958; S.U. Deraniyaga 1992).

Fossil identification was carried out according to the "special characters that found in those fossils and anatomical comparisons also were done" (EASL research center, Kuruwita 2015). Relative Dating was used to place those fossils in correct positions of the geological time scale (i.e., the age of an object in comparison to another). Biostratigraphy was used to place them in a correct order but we do not yield any numerical estimates, which related to C datingor thermo luminescence (TL). As primary sources early research and publications were studied. For fossil characterization and studying of special features digital vernier caliper (150mm: 6”), and Scale bars were used. For locating those fossil bearing places Garmin 30 GPS with Base Camp GIS was also used. Pleistocene fossils from Sabaragamu Basin (Fig. 1) in Ratnapura district of Sri Lanka discovered in association with “Ratnapura (alluvial deposits) gem pits”. Fossils were described as the “Ratnapura Fauna” by Deraniyagala (1958), and were "trying to identification, classification, taxonomy and describe their palaeoecology, palaeoclimatology and palaeoenvironment".

1. Sri-Lanka Lion/Ceylon lion (Panthera leo sinhaleyus):
Panthera leo (the lion) fossilis laid upon the gem field at a depth of 6.5m below the surface from a gem pit about four miles away at "Pahala Vela, Galadande Mandiya, Gonapitiiya,
Kuruwita near the Kuru Ganga". The holotype is a third lower left carnassial in the Deraniyagala collection at the British Museum (Deraniyagala, 1958). This race is restricted to Sri Lanka; originally the lion appears to have inhabited Sri Lanka and India and was possibly replaced by the so called Bengal tiger and the forest habitats that invaded India arid ecosystems from the Northeast. The similarity between the African name is “Simba” = Lion, and the Indian equivalent Simha suggests that one is derived from the other.

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The lack of lion fossils in Africa "suggests that the African is derived from the Indian Panthera leo sinhaleyus" also known as the Sri Lanka(n) Lion, was a prehistoric subspecies of lion, endemic to Sri Lanka. It appears to have become extinct prior to the arrival of culturally modern humans, c.39,000-37,000 years ago. This lion is only known from "two teeth", found in alluvial deposits at Kuruwita. Deraniyagala cited fossils of three lion teeth found in the island; one in 1936, another in 1947 and the third in 1961. Manamendra-Arachchi et al (2005) describe that Deraniyagala did not explain explicitly how he diagnosed the holotype of this subspecies as belonging to a lion, though he justified its allocation to a distinct subspecies of lion by its being "narrower and more elongate" than those of recent lions (Asiatic) in the British Natural History Museum collection. It appears that he based his species-identification essentially on Brongersma (1935), confirming this through the examination also of two recent tiger carnassials in the BMNH collection.
His conclusion that the BMNH M 51883 M1 belongs to a lion and not a tiger was supported by Hemmer (1966b) and also by our own examination.

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^Left molar M1: A, lingual aspect, Panthera leo sinhaleyus, holotype, BMNH Pal. Dept. M 51883; B, buccal aspect, P. l. sinhaleyus, holotype, BMNH Pal. Dept. M 51883
This might be the first Lion wave of Expansion in which Lion populated the African Continent, Europe through the Iberian Peninsula (which has been split by the Suez Canal at the Isthmus of Suez) and Asia narrow land bridge through turkey and Arabian peninsula. The Primitive Panthera leo gone to Europe became cave lion and populated Eurasia, North and South (northern part) Americas and the lion gone to Asia populated upto western china and India including Sri Lanka in which one of the subspecies of this ancient leo species is the Sri Lankan Lion. The climate and environment favoured for Lion with savanna grasslands-scrub arid lands with sympatric predators- Spotted Hyena, Cheetah, Leopard, Homo erectus and after Homo sapiens. After that Forests ecosystem from south east Asia diversified and spread with climate change into west and south Asia from east Asia, the Primitive lion extinct, the second wave lion expansion happened in late Pleistocene or Holocene about 25-10 thousand years ago and it is Asiatic Lion. Cheetah and leopard survived till then as climate experienced frequent changes of dry and cold climates. Spotted Hyena occurred in northwestern and central Asia came through Iberian peninsula was extinct and living in Africa presently. The modern tigris-Indochinese (Wanhesian Tiger gave rise to South China->rest of all modern subspecies) from Panthera aff tigris which inturn evolved from Panthera cf tigris arrived India between before 20000 years ago as forest ecosystems expanded from the east to India gave rise to Bengal Tiger including Sri Lanka. There might have coexistence between Early leo also and then with asiatic Lion not only in India but also in the island which is unclear for now.

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Other Tigers originated from aff tigris which are Pleistocene or prehistoric tigers are: The Trinil tiger (Panthera tigris trinilensis), The Bornean tiger, Wanhsien tiger (Panthera tigris acutidens), The Ngandong tiger (Panthera tigris soloensis), Panthera tigris oxygnatha, Japanese Tiger and where as Panthera tigris sudanensis by Derinayagala is a nothing but a tiger specimen (skin) exported to Africa/Sudan which was killed.

Quote:The lion has been one of the most widespread mammals, having enjoyed a Pleistocene range that included Africa, Eurasia, North America and tropical South America, while the fossil record confirms that the species range in the Indian subcontinent did extend south to the 21st parallel and east to 87º E (Pilgrim 1931; Dutta 1976), approximately a line joining Gujarat to Bengal.
But, there is no evidence of the existence of the lion in Asia, furthur east of Bengal or anywhere in peninsular India and Sri Lanka, except for P. leo sinhaleyus in south and  Panthera leo fossilis in parts of europe, also known as the Early Middle Pleistocene European cave lion, is an extinct feline of the Pleistocene epoch.

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^D, buccal aspect, P. l. persica, female, BHNH 31.4.13.2, Gir Forest, India
Paulus Edward Pieris Deraniyagala is a Sri Lankan Paleontologist, Zoologist and Artist discovered this Ceylon Lion subspecies. Modern true lion (Panthera leo) evolved nearly 0.124mya. The First Lion of Same species (Panthera leo) evolved before that about 1,95,000 - 2,05,000 years ago in early East African Lion in late Pleistocene of East Africa came from Panthera shawi. It is thought that the lion lived alongside the humans living there at the time in a peaceful manner. Based on teeth, P. Deraniyagala proposed this subspecies in 1939.  Fossils of Lions also discovered in West Bengal dating back thousands of years ago. The existence of lions in Sri Lanka in prehistoric times was regarded a possibility when, in the 1930s, two fossils were unearthed that appeared to support this idea. Unfortunately, this is the only existing record of a Pleistocene lion. In 1936, two teeth were discovered in Kuruwita in the Ratnapura district, and later recorded by renowned archaeologist at the time, P.E.P. Deraniyagala, as belonging to a lion subspecies endemic to Sri Lanka.

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^Panthera leo sinhaleyus. Canine tooth in right lower mandible. Location- Galukagama MahaEla, Puwakattaovita, Kuruwita 2008 : by Kamal & Aravinda

According to an academic paper co-authored by Manamendra-Arachchi, the fossils were identified as a left lower molar, and a right lower canine. It was the 'former' that helped identify and establish the distinct subspecies, Panthera leo sinhaleyus, since the latter specimen was considered to be “in too poor condition to facilitate diagnosis”.
Quote:Experts assume that the fossils may be up to 100,000 years old, and that Panthera leo sinhaleyus appears to have gone extinct “prior to the arrival of culturally modern humans”.

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The Notodomeri Lion of East Africa has only ruff like primitive mane and primitive tail tuft as all the cats including primitive leo, cave lions, tigers, leopards, snow leopards etc.., have nothing to ruff like manes but no true mane like the modern lion's most subspecies which have mane which is peculiar and unique in Felidae.
Notodomeri Lion is the Ancestral Lion subspecies of all modern true lions and prehistoric Lions of Pleistocene and Holocene like first cave lion-Panthera fossilis [(Mosbach lion/upper or Early Middle Pleistocene European cave lion evolved above 0.7 mya is the ancestor of the middle Pleistocene or cromerian lion) spread to Europe from Iberian land bridge region nearly 0.8 mya], Its descendant cave lion-Panthera spelaea [(European cave lion/ Eurasian Cave lion/Cromerian lion/Cave lion/Pleistocene lion/middle Pleistocene lion) evolved below 6,00,000 years ago.], its descendant of Beringia-Panthera vereshchagini [(4,00,000-12,000 years ago from cromerian lion) [also known as the East Siberian and Beringian cave lion.]],  its likely descendent but not confirmed cave lion or lion-Panthera youngi  [is known from fossil remains from Zhoukoudian in China, Middle Pleistocene of Asia (Choukoutien, northeastern China and Japan) and lived about 350,000 years ago. It is believed to be related to modern lions(cave lion) but is often treated as a separate species, and its relation is mostly unknown.] and at last the descendant of vereschagini or Beringian Cave Lion- famous Panthera atrox [(American lion or American cave lion) evolved from Beringian cave lion in late Pleistocene of North America (3,40,000 – 10,000 years ago) also known as the North American lion or American cave lion — is an extinct feline of the family Felidae, endemic to North America during the Pleistocene epoch.], Panthera shawi- (extinct prehistoric cat, believed to be a primitive spotted lion ancestral to the later varieties. The first fossil was found at the Laetoli site in Tanzania and is thought to be approximately 3.5 million years old, is believed to be the oldest known species of the lion).

The Lion related to leopards (evolved between 2.73-1 mya and 800,000 years ago in Africa and spread over or radiated to the Holarctic region along with the dark continent. but, this lineage started from 3.5 mya since Panthera shawi closely related to leopards appeared) had at least 7–8 known or more species with their number of sub-species (despite the controversies about they are all of same leo group species and lies in sub-species rank or other classification disputes).
Expansion may have been favored by the start of a warmer and less arid period in Africa 130,000–70,000 years ago. This “out-of-Africa event” would have occurred much later than the initial lion expansion through Eurasia based on fossils (∼500,000 years ago). It is likely that multiple lion expansions occurred in the Pleistocene, as occurred with humans.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2572142/

The first lion-like cat appeared in East Africa 10.8 mya it is the common ancestor for the modern leopard who is the cousin of the lion and ancestral species of Pantherinae.
Feliformia - New World Encyclopedia
Extinct Animals Images - Prehistoric Fauna Reconstructions
Felidae Evolution

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https://www.researchgate.net/publication..._Sri_Lanka
http://www.geosocindia.org/index.php/jgs...view/63924
http://www.academia.edu/1261927/Large_ma..._Sri_Lanka
https://www.archaeology.lk/5907
http://www.aelsindia.com/dec_2016/4.pdf
https://www.nature.com/articles/srep3080..._evolution
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2572142/
http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/c...f-ref-27-1
https://web.archive.org/web/201305021011..._Lions.pdf
http://www.communityresearch.org.nz/wp-c...a-docx.pdf
https://roar.media/english/life/environm...-big-cats/

2. Sri Lanka(n) (Bengal) Tiger (Panthera tigris tigris):
"THE SECOND EXTINCT BIG CAT FROM THE LATE QUATERNARY OF SRI LANKA"

Quote:"A second extinct big cat, tentatively considered to be a tiger (Panthera tigris), is recorded from Sri Lanka for the first time from a fossil left lower carnassial found in alluvium near Ratnapura in 1962 and a sub-fossil right middle phalanx 14C dated to ~ 16,500 ybp, discovered in 1982 in a prehistoric midden at Batadomba Cave, near Kuruwita. The species is diagnosed from the only other big cats known from Sri Lanka, Panthera pardus and the extinct P. leo sinhaleyus Deraniyagala, 1938. This record significantly advances the timing of dispersal of tigers into the Indian peninsula. Tigers appear to have arrived in Sri Lanka during a pluvial period during which sea levels were depressed, evidently prior to the last glacial maximum ca. 20,000 years ago. The lion appears to have become extinct in Sri Lanka prior to the arrival of culturally modern humans, ca.37,000 ybp."

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Tiger is a member of the Felidae family and the largest of the four "big cats" in the genus Panthera. The Panthera tigris tigris (Bengal tiger) is a tiger subspecies native to India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan. The pattern of genetic variation in the Bengal tiger corresponds to the premise that tigers arrived in India approximately 12,000 y ago. Kitchener and Dugmore (2000) consider that the changing biogeographical range of the Panthera tigris through the last glacial-interglacial cycle, based on habitat associations of modern tiger specimen records, and environmental reconstructions from the LGM. These cycles indicate that the numerous glacial cycles that span the evolutionary history of the tigers since its appearance in the fossil record about 2 Ma ago and the oldest tiger fossils (around 2 Ma old) are from northern China and Java. The key issue is to determine the extent to which ancestral populations of the tiger were geographically isolated. However, Pleistocene glacial and interglacial fluctuations and other geological events probably caused repeated geographic restrictions and expansions of tigers. Hemmer (1987), Kitchener and Dugmore (2000) estimated the most recent common ancestor for tiger mtDNA haplotypes was 72,000–108,000 years ago, with a lower and upper bound of 39,000 years and 157,000 years, respectively.

Recent history of tigers in the Indian subcontinent is consistent with the lack of tiger fossils from India prior to the late Pleistocene and the absence of tigers from Sri Lanka, which was separated from the subcontinent by rising sea levels in the early Holocene. However, a recent study of two independent fossil finds from Sri Lanka, one dated to approximately 16,500 years ago, tentatively classifies them as being a tiger (Manamendra-Arachchi 2005). However, "the discovery of the Ratnapura tiger in alluvium, together with hippopotamus and rhinoceros fossils, demonstrates that tigers did indeed occur in the island". Nine fossils and sub fossils were identified that belongs to Tiger. Five of the fossils dated among those and identified aged 14,000 – 20,000 old. One fossil identified that is belongs to "Lion". "Tiger was living BEFORE 17,000 years" (Manamendra-Arachchi 2009). The Holocene range of the tiger extends to the southernmost tip of peninsular India and to all of tropical continental Asia. Before, the apparent absence of evidence of tiger fossils in Sri Lanka and Pleistocene peninsular India has led to the conclusion that tigers arrived in south India “too late to get into Ceylon” (Pocock 1930) as a result of the India -Sri Lanka land bridge having been submerged since the Late Pleistocene.

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On the basis of the few known Indian tiger fossils dating to the Holocene and the recent literature too, dates of the arrival of tigers to the Indian peninsula were occurred in the last glacial maximum, ca. 12,000 yr BP. Panthera tigris probably differentiated in the early Pleistocene (1.806–2.588 Ma ago) in northcentral and northeastern China. The earliest forms averaged smaller than those of later Pleistocene times. It thus seems that the species has reached its maximum size in the living subspecies P. t. altaica. The early Pleistocene species Panthera palaeosinensis, from northern China, appears to represent an early tiger or a form ancestral to the tiger (Mazak 1981) like P. aff(/cf). tigris.

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Quote:Researches on fossil remains have been conducted by many scientists, and Mazak (1981) summarizes them. Accordingly fossil remains, definitely identified as Tiger, are of lower to upper Pleistocene age and originate from the Altai caves in central Asia, eastern and northern China, including Choukoutien localities, Japan, Jana River in northern Siberia, the Ljachov Island situated off the northern coast of Siberia, and from Sumatra and Java. In addition, several sub-Recent tiger remains were found in Caucasus region, India, and Borneo. It is not clear whether the material from Borneo represents a member of the native late Pleistocene fauna or a later introduction by humans (there is no reliable evidence of tigers on Borneo within historic times).
Apart from the leopard, which still persists in all natural habitats across Sri Lanka, the only big cat recognised from the island is an extinct lion, known only from two teeth found in alluvial deposits at Kuruwita (06°47’N, 80°22’E). Based on these, P. [E. P.] Deraniyagala (1939) erected a new subspecies of lion, Panthera leo sinhaleyus, designating a left lower carnassial (M1) as holotype (the other, a fragment of a right lower canine, in too poor condition to facilitate diagnosis, was lodged as a ‘metatype’ in NMSL: P. Deraniyagala, 1947). The lion has been one of the most widespread of all noncommensal mammals, having enjoyed a Pleistocene range that included Africa, Eurasia, North America and tropical South America (Nowak, 1999: 834). While the fossil record confirms that the species’ range in the Indian subcontinent did extend south to the 21st parallel and east to 87º E (Pilgrim, 1931; Dutta, 1976)—approximately a line joining Gujarat to Bengal—there is no evidence of the existence of the lion in Asia east of Bengal or anywhere in peninsular India and Sri Lanka, except for P. leo sinhaleyus. The Holocene range of the tiger, however, extends to the southernmost tip of peninsular India and to all of tropical continental Asia (Hooijer, 1947; Aziz & de Vos, 1999). The apparent absence of evidence of tigers in Sri Lanka and Pleistocene peninsular India has led to the conclusion that tigers arrived in south India “too late to get into Ceylon”.

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Unlike in the case of the lion, more comprehensive studies are available on the possible existence of a prehistoric tiger in Sri Lanka, thanks to the availability of more fossil specimens to go by. The existence of Panthera tigris has been supported by the discovery of nine fossils and subfossils. However, "radiocarbon dates are only available for four of these fossils", which place the tiger’s existence at around "14,000 to 17,000 years ago" ‒ which means the tigers roamed our country for long after the Ceylon lion is believed to have gone extinct in atmost 3000 ya. In fact, according to Kelum Manamendra-Arachchi, the discovery of tiger fossils in the same areas as the ‘kitchen midden’ of the Balangoda man, suggests that not only would these tigers have existed around the same time, but tiger may have even have been hunted for food by that cannibalistic prehistoric man.

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The right middle phalanx of the now extinct tiger found at the Batadomba lena. Image courtesy Kelum Manamendra-Arachchi.
Many of these fossils were discovered in Kuruwita, in the Ratnapura district. Here’s a breakdown of the tiger fossils according to when and where they were discovered:
  1. A lower left first molar tooth (fossil), discovered by P. E. P. Deraniyagala in 1963.
  2. A complete middle phalanx, a fragment of the distal phalanx, a fragment of the proximal phalanx, and a fragment of an upper premolar tooth found in the Batadomba cave (‘Batadomba lena’) in Kuruwita, in 1982
  3. A complete right astragalus and a fragment of the distal phalanx, found in the Fa-Hien Cave in Bulatsinhala (Kalutara District), in 2009
  4. A fragment of the distal phalanx and a premolar tooth found in Potgul Lena in Alavala (Gampaha District), between December 2008 to May 2009
What Else Do These Fossils Tell Us?

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Image courtesy: hitchhikersguidetosrilanka.wordpress.com
Although Sri Lanka has many, many traditional depictions of lions, these don’t have any connection to the prehistoric species believed to have once existed. One of the most pertinent concerns is, of course, what caused the extinction of these big cats. This is a difficult question to answer, said Manamendra-Arachchi, although he added that changes in climate and loss of habitat could be a key factor, as well as possible hunting by other animals and man. He explained that both the lion and the tiger required very specific habitats, especially the lion, which is an open grassland species mainly.

Experts have noted, “The lions therefore appear to have been victims of the advancing rainforests and dense monsoon forests that accompanied the pluvial phase that saw the advent of the tiger in Sri Lanka. While the Kuruwita and Ratnapura fossils show that lions and tigers were sympatric in this area, however, there is no evidence to suggest they were syntopic [sharing the same habitat at the same time].”

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Quote:Since the tiger is often associated with rainforest habitat, the discovery of tiger fossils in the Ratnapura district has led experts to believe that what is today considered the ‘dry zone’ in Sri Lanka, may actually, hundreds and thousands of years ago, have been rainforest area.
The discovery of many other fossil specimens in the same area over the years, has also indicated the existence of other mammals, including "two species of rhinoceros, a hippopotamus, and two species of elephant", in prehistoric times. Given that these animals today live in relatively dry habitats, Manamendra-Arachchi believes these specimens may have roamed Sri Lanka closer to the time of Panthera leo sinhaleyus, which also required a dry habitat.

Finally, is there any connection between the pre-historic Ceylon lion and the many depictions of lions found in ancient Sri Lankan art, architecture, and folklore? Given that the fossils unearthed have placed the animal’s existence at a time long before human civilisation, this is highly unlikely, says Manamendra-Arachchi, adding that the depictions of lions here were very likely by artists and sculptors who, in all likelihood, had never set eyes on the animal themselves.

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Featured image courtesy spyderonlines.com


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3. Ceylon(Asiatic) Cheetah (Acionyx jubatus venaticus):

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Cheetahs made a sudden appearance in the fossil records around the globe at almost the same time, about 3.5 to 4 million years ago in the Pliocene, so it is difficult to determine exactly where they first arose. It appears that the cheetah split from other large cats several million years ago in a lineage that includes the puma and jaguarundi, a small South American cat. Cheetahs, pumas and jaguarundis are closely related with anatomical similarities, corroborated by recent molecular analysis. In prehistoric times, the cheetah's distribution was more extensive; several species of cheetah-like cats were widely distributed throughout Africa, Asia, Europe and North America up to only 10,000 years ago. The opening up of habitat during the Pliocene favoured a cursorial (running) lifestyle, which cheetahs have exploited to the maximum. The oldest known fossil records of the modern cheetah, Acinonyx jubatus are from East Africa about 3.5 million years ago, with slightly later records in southern Africa and Asia. A very large cheetah, Acinonyx pardinesis, lived in Europe during the Pliocene and Pleistocene, from about 3.2 million to 500,000 years ago. Fossils that have been uncovered suggest that cheetahs originated from North America and migrated to the Old World at around 5.5 million years ago. These fossils are largely similar to the modern cheetah’s skeleton, which means that prehistoric cheetahs probably possessed the very same anatomy required to survive in their environments, albeit with some differences.

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A. pardinensis was the size of a small modern-day lion and weighed up to 105 kg, but had the same limb proportions as a modern-day cheetah. Because of its larger mass, A. pardinesis wasn't as fast as today's cheetah, but was still able to swiftly pursue its prey across the grassy steppes of Eurasia. At the same time as the European cheetah, a genus of sprinting cheetah-like cats called Miracinonyx arose in North America. The earliest species Miracinonyx inexpectatus, weighing up to 95 kg, was only slightly smaller than the European A. pardinensis, while the later form Miracinonyx trumani was smaller and resembled the modern cheetah, A. jubatus. M. Trumani survived up to 10,000 to 20,000 years ago. Both American cheetah-like species exhibited the same small, domed skull and slim, elongated bones of the existing species today, but differed in a number of skeletal features, including retention of fully retractile claws. M. expectatus had intermediate body proportions between a puma and a cheetah, but was more versatile, running faster than a puma and better equipped for climbing than a cheetah.
A fossilized skull of a new species of primitive cheetah, Acinonyx kurteni, was recently found in China.
The skull, between 2.16 and 2.55 million years old, is about the same size as living cheetahs but has a very wide braincase, enlarged frontal sinuses and primitive teeth. The discovery of this skull may cast doubt on the theory that cheetahs evolved in North America and spread into Eurasia and Africa. On the other hand, it is possible that the modern cheetah, A. jubatus, first evolved in Africa from an earlier species on the cheetah-puma lineage that had arisen elsewhere and colonised Africa, spreading into Eurasia.
For example: during the early and middle Pleistocene, roaming the wide open plains of Europe and China was a species called the giant cheetah (see above), so named because it had the size of a lion (around 2 meters long). But just like its modern-day counterpart, this feline was built for speed despite its size, capable of outrunning its prey (ibex and elks, these two being larger than today’s gazelles) at around 112 km/h or more, due to its longer legs and back.

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Why did cheetahs migrate from North America towards Africa and Asia, you might ask? Genome studies suggest that the spotted cats’ populations may have experienced a sharp decline around 100,000 years ago, either due to widespread diseases or a heavy depletion of prey species at around the end of the Ice Age, an event that lowered genetic variability. Other cheetah species could have been evolving elsewhere in the world (North America and Eurasia) at the same time, possibly from the same distant ancestor of the African (modern) cheetah. There are still large gaps of knowledge of cheetah evolution because few fossils have been found. The cheetah appears to have suffered a series of severe population reductions or "bottlenecks" in its history, with the most significant probably occurring during the late Pleistocene, about 10,000 to 12,000 years ago. Drastic changes in the earth's climate resulted in a major extinction of vertebrates worldwide (75% of all mammals in North America and Europe died). Over a few thousand years, all the cheetahs in North America and Europe, and most of those in Asia and Africa died. Cheetahs may have migrated to more suitable environments as ice covered a large part of the northern hemisphere and sea levels fell. The cheetah survived the mass extinction of the Pleistocene Epoch, but its numbers were greatly reduced. Brothers were left to reproduce with sisters and parents with siblings, which led to inbreeding. Today's population are direct descendents of the survivors, the only cheetah species that survived. The cheetah was first described scientifically by J.C.D. von Schreber in 1775 as Felis jubata from a specimen collected at the Cape of Good Hope.


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This is proof that the cheetah has perfectly evolved to become the world’s fastest land animal, and to overcome all obstacles with its tremendous speed. Unfortunately, nowadays, its future is uncertain: indeed, even its incredible speed is not enough to escape all the man-made catastrophes (trophy hunting, habitat loss, poaching, conflicts with farmers, global warming…). Therefore, it’s only up to us humans to help cheetah populations replenish again. Eventually, cheetahs left the Americas towards their current ranges in Africa and Asia, where they thrived, roamed by the millions, and evolved many adaptations that enhanced their sprinting abilities (the elongated spine, the non-retractile claws, the long tail used for balance…).

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---------->Modern Cheetah (Acionyx jubatus) historical range map.

The one and only Extant, Endangered and Surviving Last Big Cat of Lanka:
Sri Lankan(Ceylon) Leopard (Panthera pardus kotiya):
According to a BBC article, the Sri Lankan leopard an endangered cat has evolved to become a rather large leopard subspecies with very large males reaching almost 220 lb (100 kg), due to the fact that it is an apex predator without competition by other large wild cat species in the country. The leopard is sympatric with the Sri Lankan Sloth Bear. On the island of Sri Lanka, leopards are the reigning top predator and, with no other big cat to compete with, they have become super-sized – the biggest leopards in the world besides Central African Congo leopards  and Persian leopards.

*This image is copyright of its original author
'Ivan' is reputedly the biggest leopard in the world (credit: BBC / Paul Williams)
Elsewhere they are elusive predators, but here they have little to fear and can be seen proudly sauntering along the roads of Yala, the country’s most famous national park. Boasting the highest density of leopards anywhere in the world, Yala is also home to the biggest of them all. Weighing in at almost 100kg, Ivan the one-eyed leopard enjoys a notoriety in these parts. It wasn’t long before we detected the heat signature of a large male as it appeared from behind a bush. I was startled by how big it was. I’ve filmed leopards elsewhere in the world, but this cat looked more like a jaguar – a more muscular, powerful animal with larger jaws.
http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20141013-...ds-of-yala

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*This image is copyright of its original author
----->Modern Leopard (Panthera pardus) historical range map.
When Need turns to Greed, our Extinction happens, lol.
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United States GrizzlyClaws Offline
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I would say that the Ceylon lion was probably a mysterious prehistoric offshoot of Panthera leo.

Probably the first migrant of the prehistoric African lion population, but more elaborate researches are required.
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( This post was last modified: 11-17-2018, 11:05 PM by GuateGojira )

The case of the Sri Lanka "lion" and the Sri Lanka "tiger" is very problematic. The description of Deraniyagala is incredible poor, based in only few canines and at this moment, no other analysis has been done in those fossils. Is important to remember that he also described a "tiger subspecies" in Sudan as Panthera tigris sudanensis (sic!) based in a single skin that was obviously imported from the Caspian region and was critizised by his lazy investigation regarding the specimen (Mazák, 1983-2013).

Regarding the "tiger" fossils, the anaylisis made with the few metapodials used only a single leopard specimen for comparison, and been this the only native great cat of the island, it should take more specimens for a wider analysis. It seems like if the authors tried to "prove" that tigers lived in the area. However, it is interesting that the first fossils from true tigers in India are from less than 12,000 years ago, which suggest a much latter arrival of the tiger in the Indian subcontinent, which make sense as the Indian region was dry and not a good tiger habitat but perfect for lions, which arrived India earlier.

There is a posibility for the existence of lions in Sri Lanka (together with leopards), but I highly doubt that tigers did lived in the subcontinent before the Holocene. DNA analysis should be made to settle the issue, after all, morphological analysis per se had demostrate that is some cases are not good enough like the case of the cave "lions" from Eurasia and America.
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( This post was last modified: 12-06-2018, 09:54 AM by Sanju )

(11-17-2018, 11:02 PM)GuateGojira Wrote: The case of the Sri Lanka "lion" and the Sri Lanka "tiger" is very problematic. The description of Deraniyagala is incredible poor, based in only few canines and at this moment, no other analysis has been done in those fossils. Is important to remember that  he also described a "tiger subspecies" in Sudan as Panthera tigris sudanensis (sic!) based in a single skin that was obviously imported from the Caspian region and was critizised by his lazy investigation regarding the specimen (Mazák, 1983-2013).

Regarding the "tiger" fossils, the anaylisis made with the few metapodials used only a single leopard specimen for comparison, and been this the only native great cat of the island, it should take more specimens for a wider analysis. It seems like if the authors tried to "prove" that tigers lived in the area. However, it is interesting that the first fossils from true tigers in India are from less than 12,000 years ago, which suggest a much latter arrival of the tiger in the Indian subcontinent, which make sense as the Indian region was dry and not a good tiger habitat but perfect for lions, which arrived India earlier.

There is a posibility for the existence of lions in Sri Lanka (together with leopards), but I highly doubt that tigers did lived in the subcontinent before the Holocene. DNA analysis should be made to settle the issue, after all, morphological analysis per se had demostrate that is some cases are not good enough like the case of the cave "lions" from Eurasia and America.

#1 post I already mentioned that tigris sudenesis is false and in reality, it is imported and natural existence is impossible.
Coming to tiger. Based on fossils tiger is found 12000 yo but according to palaeontologists, the tiger arrived India 20000 to 12000 yo with the climate and habitat favour. Before 25000 yrs ago India which resembled Africa and part of Gondwana is grassland region favoured ecosystem to cheetah, lion and humans besides leopard. From nearly at 25 to 30  kya India which already in Eurasian plate the southeast Asian forest ecosystems for the first time colonised the subcontinent allowing their evolved forest ecosystem apex predator which is geographically restricted then coz of climate and habitat around 20 kya before or after tiger arrived the subcontinent started evolved acc to fauna and environmental factors as Bengal tiger. 
The primitive leo which first evolved in Africa before 
0.2 mya arrived subcontinent 1,00,000 to 60000 years ago as India is the copy of Africa then. Humans arrived then. It might have subspecies level differentiated and coexisted with cheetah and also as usual leopard. Sri Lanka is still connected with large land mass bridge and part of subcontinent after the ice age. Lion reached there before humans and cheetah and leopard too. Due to replacing forests and humans arrival nearly 36000 yo. Both of them go extinct. Tiger came to India nearly 20 kya and it expanded quickly all over subcontinent including its part (then) Lanka. It might have differentiated to subspecies before extinction coz of geographical isolation. 
The primitive leo and it's subspecies Sri Lanka lion disappeared due to replacing ecosystems naturally and by humans and hunting of its game and lion directly, same goes to the cheetah. Tiger came after 20 kya to Lanka got extinct coz of human competition for prey and hunting. The versatile survival cat leopard can't be affected by any factor whether human or nature as it can be fit in most ecosystems and resistible to human influences.
Second lion expansion occurred between 25000 to 10000 yrs ago during the colonisation of forest habitats to India. It covered all the subcontinent except total southern India below the Narmada. Asiatic lion fossils are found in Bengal. Asiatic lion is adapted to forest habitats in the due course of time but not enough time for adaptation to full dense forest ranges like rainforest and ghats of the south. But well stabilised in all corners of north India. They Coexisted before humans separated and killed them. Sadly. Sad
When Need turns to Greed, our Extinction happens, lol.
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This is the first time that somebody talk about this theory of two waves of lions from Middle east to India, as far I remember. Can you show your source please, regarding this particular point? Every new knowledge is apreciate.

Regarding the tiger in Sri Lanka, there is only one paper (Manamendra-Arachchi et al., 2005) about a few phalanx and dentition m1 tentatively labeled as "tigers" from Sri Lanka, but that is all. The document of Cooper et al. (2016) only used the same conclution of Manamendra-Arachchi regarding the Sri Lanka tigers in his Pleistocene scenario. Although in his study it seems that the Sri Lanka island was a "good" tiger habitat, it fails in predict the habitat from the Caspian tiger even it he present day scenario; on the other hand the analysis of Kitchener & Dugmore (1999), even been in an older document, is more complete and take in count much more variables been more reliable, as discard Sri Lanka as a good tiger habitat.

In conclution, I think that there is the posibility that lions do existed in Sri Lanka, but the existence of tigers seems to be not probable. A DNA study is necesary and will settle the debate once for all. After all, there is also the posibility that large leopards or leopard-like big cats from the first "wave" from Africa that you described, do colonized the island. This, of course, is just especulation but is a plausible scenario.
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( This post was last modified: 11-18-2018, 11:46 AM by GrizzlyClaws )

The prehistoric population of Panthera leo was not extensively studied like those lion-like felines from Eurasia and America.

The migration out of Africa into multiple waves from different periods is quite possible, just like the contemporary species Homo sapiens.

Maybe the Ceylon lions were already extinct by the time when the new wave of lion used to re-colonize South Asia and to eventually become the modern Asiatic lions, or maybe they just interbred with each other to create a brand new population which was the Asiatic lions that we recognize today.
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( This post was last modified: 12-04-2018, 04:05 PM by Sanju )

(11-18-2018, 11:33 AM)GuateGojira Wrote: After all, there is also the possibility that large leopards or leopard-like big cats from the first "wave" from Africa that you described do colonize the island. This, of course, is just especulation but is a plausible scenario.
@GuateGojira I believe in researchers. Happy

"We cannot be certain that the Batadomba phalanx (DASL 1982.01) and the Ratnapura M1 (NMSL F559) belong to the same species. While we are confident that the Ratnapura M1
belongs to a tiger, the Batadomba phalanx, while separating distinctly from the lion, is clearly distinct also from the tiger. At 45.3 mm dorsal length, this phalanx is less than 2% shorter than the longest of the 23 BMNH tiger phalanges (46.1 mm, from a female, BMNH 1884.1.22.6, from the “Deccan” [peninsular India]), which suggests that this tiger was comparable in size to the tiger. Pending the availability of further evidence, we choose to assign both the M1 and the phalanx to a single species, tentatively the tiger. While conceding that the large size of the Batadomba phalanx could be the result of taphonomic bias, the size of the Sri Lankan tiger appears to have been remarkable given that insular dwarfism like P. tigris populations (e.g. in the Sunda Islands) have generally been noted to be smaller than their mainland counterparts (Luo etal., 2004)."

However, the discovery of the Ratnapura tiger M1 in alluvium, together with hippopotamus and rhinoceros fossils, demonstrates that tigers did indeed occur in the island. Based on present-day submarine topography, a functional land bridge between Sri Lanka and India requires a sea-level lowering of only ~ 10 m. Sea levels were ~ 120 m below present-day levels at the last glacial maximum ca. 20,000 ybp (Siddall et al., 2003), thus facilitating a more than 80 km-wide terrestrial connection or land bridge. It appears likely that sea levels were sufficiently depressed during the final ~ 200,000 years of the Pleistocene to have supported a land connection between Sri Lanka and India for all or most of that time (Bossuyt et al., 2004), and probably until 5,000–10,000 ybp (S. Deraniyagala,1992; Anderson, 1998; Yokoyama et al., 2000).

Indeed, there is no known barrier to the dispersion of tigers into the Indian peninsula during the Pleistocene, though Kitchener & Dugmore (2000) speculated that the widespread presence of short grasslands may have resulted in the tiger being altogether absent, or present only in very small numbers, during this period, surviving successive glacial maxima in refugia such as the moist forests of the south-western Western Ghats mountains. The wet zone of Sri Lanka may have provided another such refugium.

It appears, however, that despite the existence of a land bridge, an ecological impediment to the dispersion of "moist-forest faunas" between the mainland and Sri Lanka did exist for much of the past 500,000 years (Bossuyt et al., 2004), though the nature of this barrier is not known. Although the climatic history of South Asia is not well documented, there is evidence that the climates of peninsular India and Sri Lanka experienced protracted desiccation during Pleistocene glacial maxima (S. Deraniyagala, 1992; Pant & Rupa Kumar, 1997), possibly resulting in desertification of the land bridge between India and Sri Lanka for much of that time.

Even during the present relatively pluvial period, southern India and northern Sri Lanka are remarkably dry, precipitation being seasonal and rarely exceeding 1,500 mm yr-1, with a vegetation of tropical dry shrub-land, a habitat not associated with tigers. In view of tigers having appeared in Sri Lanka, established a population sufficient to have justified hunting, and then become extinct at the end of the last glacial maximum, we suspect that their entry to Sri Lanka (and therefore peninsular India) may have coincided with a pluvial phase during or prior to the previous interglacial, ca. 70,000–2000,000 ybp, their apparent absence from Pleistocene India during this period being a sampling artefact.

*This image is copyright of its original author

*This image is copyright of its original author

There is fossil evidence, however, of the late Pleistocene presence in the island of the dhole (Cuon javanicus) (P. Deraniyagala, 1958), which has since been extirpated. The gaur (Bos gaurus),
also known from middens at Batadomba Cave (S. Deraniyagala, 1992), appears to have persisted longer, becoming extinct only in historical times (Knox, 1681: 78). In India and Southeast Asia, the range of the tiger completely overlaps that of the gaur (Corbet & Hill, 1992), the latter serving as a prey species for the former (Lekagul & McNeely, 1988).

While tigers occur in a diversity of ‘closed’ habitats ranging from tropical rainforests through mangrove swamps to tall grasslands, lions are associated mainly with ‘open’ habitats such as savannah, grassy plains and scrub (Nowak, 1999: 825, 832). The other fauna recorded from the same midden as the Batadomba phalanx include the land snails Acavus and
Paludomus, the carp Tor khudree, the jungle fowl Gallus lafayettii, gaur, and a variety of smaller mammals such as monkeys and porcupines (S. Deraniyagala, 1992: 314; pers. obs.). While many of these species occur in all Sri Lankan forest types, members of the endemic Sri Lankan mollusc genus Acavus are restricted to closed-canopy monsoon or ‘rain’ forest (Hausdorf & Perera, 2000). The late Pleistocene fauna of the Ratnapura area also included a now-extinct hippopotamus, Hexaprotodon sinhaleyus and rhinoceroses, Rhinoceros sinhaleyus and R. kagavena (see P. Deraniyagala,1963; S. Deraniyagala, 1992). Teeth of R. sinhaleyus (= R. sondaicus: see Laurie et al., 1983), from Adavatta, Lunugalaearliest direct evidence of modern humans in Sri Lanka dates to ca. 37,000 ybp (S. Deraniyagala, 2004).

Whether hunting pressure was sufficient to extirpate tigers from the island, however, is open to question: there is no direct evidence to support or refute the idea that modern humans impacted negatively on the fauna, resulting in ‘prehistoric overkill’ sensu Martin (1984)(Sri Lanka) have been thermoluminescence dated to 80,000 ± 20,000 ybp (S. Deraniyagala, 2004). Indeed, R. sondaicus, the Javan rhinoceros, is a rainforest species (whereas the Indian rhinoceros, R. unicornis, is typical of the floodplains ecosystem of the Terai). "These data suggest that the late Pleistocene habitat of Kuruwita comprised swampland and moist, closed-canopy rain forest that seems to have persisted" until large-scale clearing commenced ca. 150 ybp: elsewhere in the range of these species, such habitats are associated closely with tigers, but not with lions Further, rhinoceros, hippopotamus and lion remains are not represented in Sri Lankan cave middens: they seem to have disappeared before the occupation of these caves by early modern humans. (The records of lion remain in the Batadomba Cave middens—see S. Deraniyagala, 1992—are erroneous: the Batadomba phalanx, here attributed to a tiger, is the only specimen in sufficiently intact condition as to facilitate definitive identification). The lions, therefore, appear to have been victims of the advancing rainforests and dense monsoon forests that accompanied the pluvial phase that saw the advent of the tiger in Sri Lanka.

While the Kuruwita and Ratnapura fossils show that lions and tigers were sympatric in this area, however, there is no evidence to suggest they were syntopic. The Late Pleistocene is also significant because it was during this time that the initial dispersion of modern humans occurred. Although stone tools probably dating back to the Mid-Pleistocene have been found (S. Deraniyagala, 1992), the earliest direct evidence of modern humans in Sri Lanka dates to ca. 37,000 ybp (S. Deraniyagala, 2004). Extinctions on islands have generally been associated more with predation and prolonged attrition (“sitzkrieg”) than with environmental change (Barnosky et al., 2004; Guthrie, 2004). "While hunting may have impacted on the population of tigers in Sri Lanka, habitat loss too might have been an important determinant too".

Premathilake & Risberg (2003) show from a study of pollen that at Horton Plains, a present-day tropical montane rainforest (2,100 m a.s.l., ~ 40 km distant from Kuruwita), that a significantly cooler climate dominated 24,000 ybp, giving way to grasslands 18,000 ybp, semi-deciduous seasonal forest establishing itself about 14,000 ybp, with the final transformation into rainforest taking place only about 9,000 years ago.

"Ungulate prey of 5.3–63.8 animals km-2 are required to support typical tiger densities of 3.2–16.8 100 km-2" (Karanth et al., 2004; Karanth & Stith, 1999).

Both reduced prey density and shrinkage of dense forest (resulting from desiccation during the last glacial maximum) may significantly have reduced the range and population of the tiger in Sri Lanka, with human predation accelerating its demise.
"Opposing phases of climate-driven habitat flux appear to explain the disappearance of both the lion and the tiger from Sri Lanka, leaving this territory to the only truly generalist Asian big cat, the leopard". Even today, leopards are ubiquitous in Sri Lanka, persisting in all natural habitats and many anthropogenic ones, from sea level to montane cloud forest at up to 2,400 m a.s.l.


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*This image is copyright of its original author

Yellow region in India indicates both the Asiatic and Primitive lion range map overlap but the latter is more ancient and with entire Indian peninsula occupation including Lanka before 1st millennium BC.

*This image is copyright of its original author
The probable Asiatic lion range...
https://www.researchgate.net/publication..._Sri_Lanka
Regarding #5, These are some of them which support they are at least two migratory waves colonized Asia by Lion in particular.
1. The Lion fossil evidences from West Bengal- "Occurrence of Fossil Lion and Spotted Hyena from Pleistocene Deposits of Susunia, Bankura District West Bengal"
The note records the occurrence of fossil lion, Panthera cf. leo, and spotted hyena, Crocuta cf. sivalensis, in the Pleistocene alluvial deposits near Susunia in Bankura district West Bengal. This is the first definite record of fossil lion from India, and that of C. cf. sivalensis from any Pleistocene deposit in Peninsular India. The fossils are described and their distribution is briefly discussed,
(http://www.geosocindia.org/index.php/jgs...view/63924) and similar grassland faunal herbivores and carnivores found extant in African soil are found in different parts of Indian peninsula dating back to Pleistocene indicating the habitat and environment similar to Africa in India which is a part of Gondwana separated and joined with Eurasia having similar type of mineral deposits in Indian peninsula favoured African fauna.
2. Fossil evidences from Deraniyagala who served as President of the Ceylon Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society from 1952 to 1955 and dicovered about Lion (Leo leo sinhaleyus 1939), Balangoda Man (Homo sapiens balangodensis 1930), Sri Lankan gaur (Bibos sinhaleyus 1962), Sri Lankan Hippopotamus (Hexaprotodon sinhaleyus 1937), Sri Lankan rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sinhaleyus 1936), Sri Lankan rhinoceros (Rhinoceros kagavena 1956).
3. Genetic studies say that they are multiple Lion expansion within and outside Africa to West Asia and Europe by Arabian and Iberian Peninsula similar to Human expansion-Out of Africa I and Out of Africa II as Man evolved almost similar period, habitat and as an apex predator with lion.
https://www.nature.com/articles/srep3080..._evolution
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2572142/
http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/c...f-ref-27-1
https://web.archive.org/web/201305021011..._Lions.pdf
When Need turns to Greed, our Extinction happens, lol.
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@Sanju, is not good to blindly believe in a researcher, specially when his/her metodology is flawed. Check that they analisys in the phalanx is rater circular, like if they are trying to prove that those were "tigers". We must be critical in the analisys of the investigators, after all they are not 100% perfect and the results may be incorrect.

They base they conclusion because the size of the phalanx are of the same size than those of the "tigress of the Deccan", but how "large" is that particular tigress? There are other tiger phalanx that we can use to compare it? I will like to see a larger sample of leopards to make a comparison too, as the only large cat from the island is the leopard. 

Other thing, they create a huge analysis that is not even related with the tiger in the island, indeed the analisys of Kitchener & Dugmore (1999) which they quote, do show that the presence of tigers could be minimum in Sri Lanka as the habitat was not the best for tiger presence. Also, the presence of the lion could be the most efective barrier of the tiger dispersal, not only for its numbers (pride of lions) but also for the habitat preferences. Remember that the same happen with the claim that tigers lived in Alaska (I do believed that too), but a DNA analisys showed that some of those specimens labeled as "tigers" were in fact Panthera spelaea, not tigers.

I think that base an analysis in just a morphological analysis and with a very small sample of the only large cat that actually live in the island (only one leopard!) is very dangerous. I will prefer a DNA analysis, it will be much more efective and will clarify the situation once for all. 

There is more evidence of the existence of the tiger in Borneo than tigers in Sri Lanka. By the way, what do you understand of this phrase: "While the Kuruwita and Ratnapura fossils show that lions and tigers were sympatric in this area, however, there is no evidence to suggest they were syntopic."

We must be critical of the studies that we read, I have saw many documents that were proved to be incorrect by other scientists, so even when a document is "published and per review", that doesn't mean that are perfect and that is something that, at this moment, must be a great concern. For example, why so much people in this forum reject the conclusions of the IUCN regarding the tiger "subspecies", specially when there is plenty of evidence that the "subspecies" were a man made efect, not by the nature!
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(12-04-2018, 02:14 PM)Sanju Wrote: 3. Genetic studies say that they are multiple Lion expansion within and outside Africa to West Asia and Europe by Arabian and Iberian Peninsula similar to Human expansion-Out of Africa I and Out of Africa II as Man evolved almost similar period, habitat and as an apex predator with lion.
https://www.nature.com/articles/srep3080..._evolution
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2572142/
http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/c...f-ref-27-1
https://web.archive.org/web/201305021011..._Lions.pdf

I can't found any specific part to support the idea that the prehistoric "lions" were from a diferent wave from the modern Asian lions.
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(12-04-2018, 02:14 PM)Sanju Wrote: The late Pleistocene fauna of the Ratnapura area also included a now-extinct hippopotamus, Hexaprotodon sinhaleyus and rhinoceroses, Rhinoceros sinhaleyus and R. kagavena (see P. Deraniyagala,1963; S. Deraniyagala, 1992). Teeth of R. sinhaleyus (= R. sondaicus: see Laurie et al., 1983), from Adavatta, Lunugalaearliest direct evidence of modern humans in Sri Lanka dates to ca. 37,000 ybp (S. Deraniyagala, 2004).

 I am worried that most of the sources are Dereniyagala, some how I don't trusth him to much (I am biased toward Mazák in the perception of this person).

I want to clarify, I am not against the idea that tigers do lived in Sri Lanka, for the contrary, I will like to see a better study in the single phalanx like DNA in order to get a better conclusion. The Alaska "tigers" is the best example (now we know they were not tigers at all), also the many morphological studies made on the cave "lions" and at the end they are not even lions!

With more evidence, it will be easier to accept the idea of tigers in Sri Lanka and will be interesting the study the reasons why it got extinct.
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( This post was last modified: 12-10-2018, 06:01 PM by Sanju )

@GuateGojira  Regarding #10, #9, #8 posts,

Quote:Guate Gojira

it is not good to blindly believe in a researcher, specially when his/her metodology is flawed. Check that they analisys in the phalanx is rater circular, like if they are trying to prove that those were "tigers". We must be critical in the analysis of the investigators, after all they are not 100% perfect and the results may be incorrect.

I'm not believing anything blindly, I just believe that tigers existed on that island for "now" until new complete fossils in good condition are discovered for advanced methods like comparative genetic analysis to reveal the truth. The analysis was just not advanced coz it is only based on specific characters, anatomical comparisons and C14 dating. I strongly believe there is no barrier to stop tigers and lions in presence of Land bridge to spread to that island when they can reach peninsular tip for now. Yes, not only them, everyone is  not 100% correct or perfect.

Quote:They base their conclusion because the size of the phalanx are of the same size than those of the "tigress of the Deccan", but how "large" is that particular tigress? There are other tiger phalanx that we can use to compare it? I will like to see a larger sample of leopards to make a comparison too, as the only large cat from the island is the leopard.
They compared it with the leopard. They said it was one of the biggest specimens of Deccan tigress.

*This image is copyright of its original author


Quote:Also, the presence of the lion could be the most effective barrier of the tiger dispersal, not only for its numbers (pride of lions) but also for the habitat preferences.

By the time, it was said that forest habitats occupied the subcontinent, and thus lion got extinct about 39000 years ago long before the tiger even came to India and colonized Subcontinent and island with its forest environment flourishing. The tiger arrival was favoured by its habitats and changing climate.

Quote:I think that base an analysis in just a morphological analysis and with a very small sample of the only large cat that actually live in the island (only one leopard!) is very dangerous. I will prefer a DNA analysis, it will be much more efective and will clarify the situation once for all.
I 100% agree and look forward for that to see things crystal clear but for "now", I believe this.


Quote:By the way, what do you understand of this phrase: "While the Kuruwita and Ratnapura fossils show that lions and tigers were sympatric in this area, however, there is no evidence to suggest they were syntopic."

Just because, the fossils of tiger found in India were only 12000 years old, doesnt mean that tiger arrived and occupied India by counting time with a wrist watch.
It might have arrived since, the forests from east asia spread. It might have arrived before 25000 years intermediately between Lion extinction and asiatic lion arrival. who knows? we dont have a time machine to draw a distinct line on geological time scale. coz we found fossils only 12k old meand there might be fossils before that unearthed waiting to be discovered. may be or may not be discovered in future. Hence, they thought if Lion was not extinct in Lanka about  36k but may be prolonged that time and exist a bit longer than expected, then they might have coexisted and sympatric. Nothing is clear for as genetic analysis was not made as like they said, those fossils samples found are little in quantity and incomplete and are poor condition to do any research, hence they made suitable comparative analysis to come to a conclusion.

Quote:I want to clarify, I am not against the idea that tigers do lived in Sri Lanka, for the contrary, I will like to see a better study in the single phalanx like DNA in order to get a better conclusion.
With more evidence, it will be easier to accept the idea of tigers in Sri Lanka and will be interesting the study the reasons why it got extinct.
I know that, you are not against tigers lived in lanka but you dont trust the method they did to do research for a conclusion Like. In fact, I too look forward for furthur reseach and discovery of fossils about them to do genetic analysis tests. We are on same idea but for "now", you are not satisfied and me neither but I believe there were tigers and I dont see anything that stop that but needed enough information and evidence which may come in the future. That single phalanx said doesn't support any further tests coz it is in poor condition. We just need more complete fossils in good condition Wink.

Quote: I am worried that most of the sources are Dereniyagala, some how I don't trusth him to much (I am biased toward Mazák in the perception of this person).

About this, Ok but he is not that bad paleontologist, drawbacks like sudan tiger will be there for every researches, but if we put them aside and see the other side. They contribute great things to research field. Even Addition failed many times, but that wont be counted, only discovery is remembered.
Paulus Edward Pieris Deraniyagala (1900–1976) was Sri Lankan paleontologist, zoologist, and artist.
He was born in Colombo, the son of Sir Paul Edward Pieris, civil servant and scholar, and was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he gained a BA in 1922 and an MA in 1923. He entered Harvard University for a year where he was awarded MA in 1924.
He specialised in fauna and human fossils of the Indian subcontinent. From 1939 to 1963 he was the Director of the National Museum of Ceylon, and from 1961 to 1964 he was also the Dean of the Faculty of Arts at the Vidyodaya University.
He described several fossils and proposed scientific names for species and subspecies, including the: During his trips to China, he studied the Chinese alligator and published a new genus name for it. In the scientific field of herpetology he described many new species of lizards and snakes.[2]
He served as President of the Ceylon Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society from 1952 to 1955.[3]
He was married to Prini Molamure; their son Siran Upendra Deraniyagala is also a famous scientist, specialising in archeology.
Deraniyagala is commemorated in the scientific names of three species of Sri Lankan reptiles: Aspidura deraniyagalae, Lankascincus deraniyagalae, and Nessia deraniyagalai.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paulus_Edw...raniyagala


Expansion may have been favored by the start of a warmer and less arid period in Africa 130,000–70,000 years ago. This “out-of-Africa event” would have occurred much later than the initial lion expansion through Eurasia based on fossils (∼500,000 years ago). It is likely that multiple lion expansions occurred in the Pleistocene, as occurred with humans.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2572142/
Thank You...
When Need turns to Greed, our Extinction happens, lol.
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