Project 898: Z. J. Tseng, X. Wang, G. J. Slater, G. T. Takeuchi, Q. Li, J. Liu, G. P. Xie. 2013. Himalayan Fossils of Oldest Known Pantherine Establish Ancient Origin of Big Cats. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 281:20132686.
Specimen: Panthera blytheae (IVPP/V:18788)

Abstract

Pantherine felids (“big cats”) include the largest living cats, apex predators in their respective ecosystems. They are also the earliest-diverging living cat lineage, and thus are important for understanding the evolution of all subsequent felid groups. Although the oldest pantherine fossils occur in Africa, molecular phylogenies point to Asia as their region of origin. This paradox cannot be reconciled using current knowledge, mainly because early big cat fossils are exceedingly rare and fragmentary. Here we report the discovery of a fossil pantherine from the Tibetan Himalaya, with an age of late Miocene-early Pliocene, replacing African records as the oldest pantherine. A “total evidence” phylogenetic analysis of pantherines indicates that the new cat is closely related to the snow leopard, and exhibits intermediate characteristics on the evolutionary line to the largest cats. Historical biogeographical models provide robust support for the Asian origin of pantherines. The combined analyses indicate that 75% of the divergence events in the pantherine lineage extended back to the Miocene, up to seven million years earlier than previously estimated. The deeper evolutionary origin of big cats revealed by the new fossils and analyses indicate a close association between Tibetan Plateau uplift and diversification of the earliest living cats.


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Project DOI: 10.7934/P898, http://dx.doi.org/10.7934/P898
This project containsMatrices
  • 59 Media
  • 1 Matrix
  • 8 Documents
  • 12 Taxa
  • 20 Specimens
  • 81 Characters
Total size of project's media files: 10.42M

Download Project SDD File
Total scored cells: 881
Total media associated with cells: 0
Total labels associated with cell media: 0
Characters
Total characters: 81
Total characters with associated media: 12
Total characters with media with labels: 0
Total character states: 172
Total character states with associated media: 43
Total character states with media with labels:23
Total unordered/ordered characters:81/0
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MorphoBank Project 898

    Authors' Institutions

    • Page Museum - La Brea Tar Pits, Los Angeles

    • National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution

    • University of Alberta

    • University of Southern California

    • American Museum of Natural History

    • Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, CAS

    • Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

    • Smithsonian Institution

    • Gansu Provincial Museum



    Members

    member name taxa specimens media media
    notes
    chars character
    comms
       
    notes  media
    labels
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    (scored, NPA, "-")
    cell
    comms
        
    notes  medialabels
    rules
    Z. Jack Tseng
    Project Administrator
    1220598811816019881
    (854, 0, 27)
    00000
    Qiang Li
    Full membership
    0000000000
    (0, 0, 0)
    00000
    Juan Liu
    Full membership
    0000000000
    (0, 0, 0)
    00000
    Graham Slater
    Full membership
    0000000000
    (0, 0, 0)
    00000
    Gary Takeuchi
    Full membership
    0000000000
    (0, 0, 0)
    00000
    Xiaoming Wang
    Full membership
    0000000000
    (0, 0, 0)
    00000


    Taxonomic Overview for Matrix 'M1994' (12 Taxa)

    taxon unscored
    cells
    scored
    cells
    no cell
    support
    NPA
    cells
    "-" cellscell images labels on
    cell images
    member
    access
    [1] Leopardus pardalis
    Last Modified in 12/05/13
    2807900006
    [2] Puma concolor
    Last Modified in 12/05/13
    2807900006
    [3] Neofelis nebulosa
    Last Modified in 12/05/13
    1827901006
    [4] Panthera leo
    Last Modified in 12/05/13
    0828100006
    [5] Panthera onca
    Last Modified in 12/05/13
    0818100006
    [6] Panthera pardus
    Last Modified in 12/05/13
    1808000006
    [7] Panthera tigris
    Last Modified in 12/05/13
    0828100006
    [8] Panthera uncia
    Last Modified in 12/05/13
    1787802006
    [9] Panthera blytheae
    Last Modified in 12/05/13
    124545024006
    [10] Panthera atrox
    Last Modified in 12/05/13
    24575700006
    [11] Panthera palaeosinensis
    Last Modified in 12/05/13
    31505000006
    [12] Panthera spelaea
    Last Modified in 12/05/13
    24575700006


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    Specimen list11700
    Taxon list5099
    Bibliography3749
    Documents list1980




    Project downloads

    type number of downloads Individual items downloaded (where applicable)
    Total downloads from project491
    Matrix downloads109Morphology (109 downloads);
    Project downloads323
    Document downloads50Bayesian analysis command files for partitions (12 downloads); Supermatrix NEXUS file (9 downloads); MrBayes command files for total evidence dating analyses (6 downloads); TNT scripts for running Bootstrap and Jackknife resampling on different data partitions (9 downloads); MrBayes command files for node dating analyses (8 downloads); Files for phylogenetic analyses (1 download); Mesquite NEXUS files of data partitions (5 downloads);
    Media downloads9M193986 (1 download); M193987 (1 download); M193762 (1 download); M193525 (1 download); M193761 (1 download); M193965 (1 download); M193759 (1 download); M193693 (1 download); M193691 (1 download);