Evolution of the extinct Sabretooths and the American cheetah-like cat

Barnett, Ross, Barnes, Ian, Phillips, Matthew J., Martin, Larry D., Harington, C. Richard, Leonard, Jennifer A., & Cooper, Alan (2005) Evolution of the extinct Sabretooths and the American cheetah-like cat. Current Biology, 15(15), R589-R590.

View at publisher


The sabretooths (Smilodon and Homotherium) and the American cheetah-like cat (Miracinonyx) were the top predators in Late Pleistocene America, but became extinct about 13 thousand years ago. As the evolutionary history of these taxa remains poorly understood , we analysed their phylogenetic relationship to extant felids. In contrast to previous molecular studies , our results show that the sabretooths diverge early and are not closely related to any living cats. This supports their morphological placement in a separate subfamily (Machairodontinae). Despite its remarkable morphological similarity to the African cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus), Miracinonyx appears to have evolved from a puma-like ancestor, presumably in response to similar ecological pressures.

Impact and interest:

59 citations in Scopus
Search Google Scholar™
48 citations in Web of Science®

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

ID Code: 50526
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: sabretooths, American cheetah-like cat, Smilodon and Homotherium
DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2005.07.052
ISSN: 09609822
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES (060000) > BIOCHEMISTRY AND CELL BIOLOGY (060100)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Deposited On: 24 May 2012 02:00
Last Modified: 24 May 2012 02:02

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page