Thursday, May 5, 2011

American Cheetah

American cheetahs is an extinct genus of the family Felidae, endemic to North America during the Pleistocene epoch 1.8 million years ago 11,000 years ago, existing for approximately 1.8 million years.

There were at least two species of feline morphologically similar to the modern cheetah. Living from three million to ten or twenty thousand years ago in North America, these cats are known only from fragments of skeletons. The two species commonly identified are Miracinonyx inexpectatus and M. trumani. Sometimes a third species, M. studeri, is added to the list, but it is more often listed as a junior synonym of M. trumani. Both species are similar to the modern cheetah, with faces shortened and nasal cavities expanded for increased oxygen capacity, and legs proportioned for swift running. However, these similarities are not inherited from a common ancestor, but result from either parallel or convergent evolution.

Source: Wikipedia


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