By Alan Turner, Mauricio Antón
During this fantastically illustrated average historical past that hyperlinks extinct better pussycat species with these nonetheless in life, collaborators Alan Turner and Mauricio Anton weave jointly the proof of recent tom cat habit with that of the fossil list. Turner's transparent, insightful prose and Anton's masterly illustrations mix to provide experts and newbies alike a correct and available consultant to the evolution of cats.
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Extra info for The big cats and their fossil relatives: an illustrated guide to their evolution and natural history
Recovery of the fossils, however they are discovered, requires careful excavation. Unless this is done, much information may be lost. Specimens will inevitably be damaged if handled carelessly, and bones from different individuals may become hopelessly mixed up. Fragile bones of young animals may be especially at risk, and if they are destroyed then our perception of the nature of the deposit can be totally altered. Above all, the context of the deposition may be obliterated, and with it a valuable guide to interpretation.
Metailurus major (plate 2) was based originally on material found in China. 0 Ma. The animal had what are termed advanced features in the loss of the second upper premolar (a term used, as we have stressed, because we know that the ancestral cats had higher numbers of teeth and that such reductions occur during the evolution of lineages). It also had moderately elongated upper canines. DINOFELIS. 2). These cats are often referred to as "false" sabertooths, because their dental morphology falls to some extent between that of the true saber-tooths and the living species, with flattened although reasonably short canines.
Moreover, placing a time on separations between species in even the most sensible biomolecular classifications requires that the biological "clock" of molecular divergence be somehow calibrated against events of known date and then assumed to operate in a linear fashion. The first requirement can be difficult to achieve; the second is open to question, and it would seem that we still have some way to go in understanding the chronology. This point is considered further in chapter 3. ……………………………………………………………………………………….
The big cats and their fossil relatives: an illustrated guide to their evolution and natural history by Alan Turner, Mauricio Antón