Ancient “Big Cat” Fossil Found

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 8,770
    Scientists uncovered the skull of a new species of “big cat” which belongs to the Panthera family in Tibet and dates back between 4 and 6 million years ago.

    Scientists announced they found the oldest big cat fossil ever found.  The fossil is a skull from a new species named Panthera blythae and dates back between 4 and 6 million yearsago.  Found in Tibet, it fills a gap in the “Pantherinae” subfamily, which includes lions, jaguars, tigers, and leopards.  The find also points to the geographical context of evolution for these cats, suggesting the group evolved in central Asia and spread outward.  The team discovered the skull in 2010 in the region between Pakistan and China and said the skull was “just lodged in the middle of a mess.”