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Pleistocene North American Jaguar - Panthera onca augusta
Topic Started: Jun 2 2012, 02:37 PM (4,621 Views)
Taipan
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Pleistocene North American Jaguar - Panthera onca augusta

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Temporal range: Pleistocene

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Felidae
Genus: Panthera
Species: P. onca
Subspecies: Panthera onca augusta

Panthera onca augusta, commonly known as the Pleistocene North American jaguar, is an extinct subspecies of the Jaguar that was endemic to North and South America during the Pleistocene epoch (1.8 mya—11,000 years ago), existing for approximately 10.2 million years.

Morphology
Two specimens were examined by Legendre and Roth for body mass The first specimen was estimated to have a weight of 34.9 kg (77 lb). The second was estimated to have a weight of 97 kg (210 lb).

Fossil distribution
Fossils have been uncovered from Cueva del Mylodon, Chile, Piaui, Brazil, and north to Adams County, Washington.

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Ice-age jaguar among fossil finds

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Long before people began visiting the Oregon Caves, ancient animals roamed the chilly cavern. The long list of fossils found inside includes salamanders, bats, mice, voles, mountain beaver, bears and birds.

In 1995, researchers were amazed to discover a 14-inch skull and other bones of a 500-pound jaguar.

"The bones were dated at being 38,600 years old, making it one of the oldest and most complete jaguar skeletons," said John Roth, natural resources specialist for Oregon Caves National Monument.

The ice-age cat, about the size of a modern African lion, may have died on a remote ledge after becoming lost in the cave while hunting for prey.

Kevin Seymour, a Canadian paleontologist and jaguar-fossil expert at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, is studying the bones. He said Oregon Caves is the farthest north and west that a jaguar fossil has ever been found.

In addition to the jaguar, bear bones -- thought to be that of a grizzly -- have been dated to more than 50,000 years ago, making it one of the oldest grizzly-bear fossils ever found in North America.

-- Richard L. Hill

http://www.oregonlive.com/special/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/science/1165967710120280.xml&coll=7

See also
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Taipan
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Well the following doesn't relate to Oregon or 40,000 years ago, but it does contain info on Jaguars from the last ice-age, that were larger and had a far more extensive range than the modern Jaguar -

Jaguar

Most people associate the jaguar (scientific name Felis onca) with Central and South America. Indeed, its historic range includes much of Central and South America as well as parts of Mexico and portions of the extreme southern United States. During the last Ice Age, however, this large cat was also found in much of the southern half of the United States.

The jaguar is the largest member of the cat family living today in the western hemisphere. Modern jaguars range in weight from 36 to 158 kg (80 to 350 lbs). During the last Ice Age, the jaguars found in the United States were even larger than this. Some may have weighed up to 190 kg (420 lbs).

The jaguar skull to the right (below) is in the collection of the Illinois State Museum.

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During the last Ice Age jaguars were found in several states in the southern portion of the midwestern U.S. This map shows some of the sites at which the jaguar has been found in the midwestern United States. In this area its remains have been found mainly in caves.

The sites on this map are all relatively well-dated and well-studied. These sites contain jaguar remains that are between 40,000 and 11,500 years old.

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One of the most interesting fossil jaguar finds is from Missouri. About 160 km (100 mi.) south of St. Louis, in Perry County, Missouri, one cave contains a jaguar bone and several hundred probable jaguar footprints.

These footprints are preserved on the mud in a passage in the cave. Although it is difficult or impossible to identify the track-maker with certainty, these tracks are thought to have been made by a jaguar. Photograph taken by Mona Colburn

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The cave passage in which the tracks occur is relatively large; it is large enough for people to walk upright for the entire length that tracks occur. Except for the dark, a jaguar would have no problem navigating the passage.

The footprints occur in a trackway that can be traced for over a 1.6 km (1 mile) in the cave.

Unfortunately there is no way to date these tracks. We know that they must be older than 11,500 years ago, because jaguars have not been in Missouri since then. However, the tracks might be 13,000 years old, 25,000 years old, or much older.

In addition to the tracks, the cave also contained a jaw bone from a jaguar. This adds support to the idea that the tracks were made by a jaguar, rather than a mountain lion or saber-tooth cat.

http://www.museum.state.il.us/exhibits/larson/felis_onca.html
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Taipan
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Found this poster from the Natural History Museum:

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