Researchers have decided that cats evolved from a fierce saber-toothed predator that occupied North America 42 million years ago. They also decided that this “new species” was among one of the first mammals to be an obligate carnivore. At this time, I don’t have the full report of the study. And therefore, I don’t have further details. I will update the page as soon as I can. The San Diego Natural History Museum have provided an image of what they believe this cat looked like. The researchers say that it was twice as big as an average domestic cat and therefore it would have been a pretty formidable predator with quite a range of prey animals to attack and consume.
RELATED: Saber Tooth Tiger
The evolution and ancient history of the domestic cat is one of constant fascination. It is a fluid story because scientists are constantly updating it. Earlier I wrote about domestic cat history going back to its origins and prior to this “discovery” the general thinking was that all carnivores evolved from extinct type of mammal called Creodonts. They existed 50-60 million years ago. Miacids, primitive carnivores, evolved around 60 million years ago. They split into two lines, one of which was the Viverravidae from which involved the Proailurus, considered to be the first true cat. It was half cat and half civet. They existed 25-30 million years ago and were the size of a large domestic cat.
This was the current thinking until this recent development. I’m not sure where this new 40-million-year-old saber-toothed tiger fits in to the grand scheme of things in terms of the evolution of the domestic cat. As soon as I have worked it out, I will update this page as mentioned.
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