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Six million years ago, the Himalayas were still pretty darn cold. The terrain was probably a bit rougher than they are nowadays, having had less time to weather. Yet, just as they do today, animals lived in that inhospitable climate, navigating the rocky terrain and ambushing prey among the bluffs. One such resident was Panthera blytheae, a newly discovered animal that's now the oldest-known big cat by about three million years.

"It is probably pretty reasonable to assume it looked like a clouded leopard," says Jack Tseng, whose team found and characterized the world's first discovered Panthera blytheae fossils while Tseng was a doctoral student in paleontology at the University of Southern California. Judging from its skull, the one fossil on which the species description is based, the cat weighed about 40 or 50 pounds, Tseng says. The team determined its closest living relative today is the snow leopard, which still lives in the same kind of environment.  ...

  Via Hello, Kitty! The Oldest Big Cat Fossil Found | Popular Science
Reposted byzoraxkokolokocatsabsinthicgetstonedmuertoBananaRamascaronyourface

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