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.
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.
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|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Keywords:||sabretooths, American cheetah-like cat, Smilodon and Homotherium|
|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|
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