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Fossilised skull suggests cheetahs evolved in asia not americas


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Wien Ee

    Wien Ee


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Geplaatst op 31 december 2008 - 16:56

The most primitive cheetah ever found throws into doubt the theory that the fleet-footed feline shared a common ancestor with pumas.

The fossilised skull of a big cat unearthed in north-west China has been identified as the most primitive cheetah ever found. The skull, which is between 2.16m and 2.55m years old, is superbly preserved and its location has cast doubt on ideas that cheetahs evolved in the Americas.

One theory is that modern cheetahs shared a common ancestor with pumas in the Americas, but the fossil record of the puma goes back only around 400,000 years in the US. Because the current find is so much older, it is strong evidence for an evolutionary origin for cheetahs in Asia


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