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Paramachairodus spp.
Topic Started: Jan 1 2018, 02:40 PM (103 Views)
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Paramachairodus spp.

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Temporal range: Middle Miocene–Late Miocene

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Suborder: Feliformia
Family: Felidae
Subfamily: †Machairodontinae
Tribe: †Smilodontini
Genus: †Paramachairodus

  • Paramachairodus orientalis
  • Paramachairodus maximiliani

Paramachairodus is an extinct genus of saber-tooth cat of the subfamily Machairodontinae, which was endemic to Europe and Asia during the late Miocene from 15 to 9 Ma.

Paramachairodus is one of the oldest known true saber-toothed cats. A large number of fossils were discovered in Cerro de los Batallones, a Late Miocene fossil site near Madrid, Spain. One Leopard-sized species is known, Paramachairodus orientalis from the Turolian. A second species, Paramachairodus maximiliani, has been considered a synonym of Paramachairodus orientalis by some authors, but was considered a valid species in the most recent systematic revision. That revision, based on an extensive morphological analysis, also determined that the species P. ogygia exhibited less derived sabertooth features than the other Paramachairodus species and should be assigned to a separate genus, Promegantereon.

The animals were about 58 centimetres (23 in) high at the shoulder, similar to a Leopard, but with a more supple body. The shape of its limbs suggests that it may have been an agile climber, and could have hunted relatively large prey.

Journal Reference:
Salesa, M. J., Anton, M., Turner, A., Alcala, L., Montoya, P., & Morales, J. (2010). Systematic revision of the Late Miocene sabre‐toothed felid Paramachaerodus in Spain. Palaeontology, 53(6), 1369-1391.

Abstract:A systematic revision of the sabre-toothed cat genus Paramachaerodus Pilgrim, 1913 is presented. Two species are recognized within Paramachaerodus, Pa. orientalis, and Pa. maximiliani, and the genus Promegantereon Kretzoi, 1938 is retrieved to include Promegantereon ogygia. Material from the Turolian Spanish localities of Crevillente-2 (MN 11, Alicante) and Las Casiones (MN 13, Teruel), which was previously assigned to Paramachaerodus, is now included in the tribe Metailurini. The exceptional discoveries at the Spanish Vallesian (MN 10, Madrid) fossil site of Batallones-1 have made it possible to characterize the dentition and cranial anatomy of a previously very poorly known machairodontine cat, formerly included in Paramachaerodus as Pa. ogygia, which now can be distinguished from Pa. orientalis and Pa. maximiliani by the following features: canines without crenulations, P3 with a marked disto-lingual expansion, P4 without ectostyle and with a well-developed protocone, M1 bucco-lingually elongated and double-rooted, m1 with a larger talonid, and primitive mandible morphology. Thus, the population from Batallones-1 constitutes a clearly different form from the genus Paramachaerodus, and we propose its inclusion in the genus Promegantereon Kretzoi, 1938, together with an upper canine from Crevillente-2 (MN 11), very similar to those from Batallones-1. In contrast, Pa. orientalis shows the following apomorphies: crenulated canines, P3 reduced in size and without disto-lingual expansion, P4 with a clear ectostyle as well as a reduced, backwardly displaced protocone and with a rounded and single-rooted M1. The species Pa. maximiliani is characterized by its slightly larger size, crenulated canines, very elongated P3 with a moderate disto-lingual expansion and P4 and M1 similar to those of Pa. orientalis. Paramachaerodus orientalis is recorded at Puente Minero (MN 11, Teruel), Concud (MN 12, Teruel), Crevillente-15, and Crevillente-16 (both MN 12, Alicante), and Paramachaerodus maximiliani in Venta del Moro (MN 13, Valencia). The available data suggest that Pr. ogygia was present in the Iberian Late Vallesian and Early Turolian faunas (MN 10 and MN 11) but disappeared after that age. Paramachaerodus was present in the faunas throughout the Turolian, with the species Pa. orientalis and Pa. maximiliani, this latter being probably part of the same immigration event that occurred in the Late Turolian and involved other mammal taxa such as camelids and ursids.


Journal Reference:
Hodnett, John-Paul A Machairodont felid (Mammalia; Carnivora; Felidae) from the latest Hemphillian (Late Miocene/Early Pliocene) Bidahochi Formation, northeastern Arizona PaleoBios 29(3):76-91, June 1, 2010

A lower jaw from the White Cone local fauna of the latest Hemphillian Bidahochi Formation in northern Arizona is the first description of a felid from this fauna and the first positively identified occurrence of the smilodontine machairodont Paramachairodus in North America. This lower jaw has characters identical to those seen in a similar sized machairodont felid from the Bone Valley Formation of Florida, suggesting that the same taxon is present in Florida. The diversity of the Hemphillian machairodonts and the taxonomic status of Megantereon hesperus is reviewed. The characteristics of the ramus corpus and dentition places Paramachairodus firmly within the Smilodontini and adds further support that the more derived smilodontine machairodonts, Megantereon and Smilodon, had their origins in North America.

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