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Fossil Puma (Mammalia: Felidae) in North America

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image of Netherlands Journal of Zoology
For more content, see Archives Néerlandaises de Zoologie (Vol 1-17) and Animal Biology (Vol 53 and onwards).

Fossil finds of Felis (Puma) from North America are listed and described. They range in time from the late Blancan to the sub-Recent. Blancan and Irvingtonian material is referred to F. inexpectata, Rancholabrean and later to F. concolor. The extinct F. inexpectata differs from F. concolor in its larger size and different dental and limb proportions and probably was adapted to a more cursorial mode of predation. Sparse fossil remains of a still older, smaller form may represent the ancestry of F. inexpectata and a relationship to certain Old World felids, especially "Panthera" schaubi, is possible. Evidence of a transition in Irvingtonian-Rancholabrean times may suggest that F. inexpectata was ancestral to the living pumas. Rancholabrean pumas show north-south clines in size analogous to that in the Recent population.

Affiliations: 1: (Department of Geology and Paleontology University of Helsinki


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