Cat evolution, illustration

Cat evolution, illustration

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Credit: MICHAEL LONG/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Cat evolution. Illustration showing the skulls and evolutionary relationships between modern cats and prehistoric members of the cat-like carnivorans (felids and feliforms). The evolution ranges over 56 million years, from the Eocene through the Oligocene, Miocene, Pliocene and Pleistocene, to the Holocene and the present day. At lower right are the false sabre-toothed cats (Hoplophoninae and Nimravinae). At upper right are the sabre-toothed cats (Machairodontinae). At centre left and upper left are the modern cats (Felinae), including the cheetah (Acinonyx), the lynxes (Lynx), the pumas (Puma), the wildcat and domestic cat (Felis), the clouded leopards (Neofelis), and the lion, tiger, jaguar and leopards (Panthera).

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