Friday, June 23, 2006

Prehistoric Kitties

I was reading recently that cats, or the family Felidae if you want to give them their Sunday name, have been around since the Late Eocene Epoch some 43.6 to 36.6 million years ago. Prehistoric cats we would recognise today appeared about 10 million years ago; apart from size and markings that tell you a kitty is a tiger or a lynx or a plain city kitty, the 36 different species of wild cat and more than 50 types of pedigree domestic cat living today have remained almost unchanged in all that time.
Smilodon
If like me you want to know more about those mysterious ancient cat ancestors like the Sabre-toothed cat family, the Metailurus, Machairodus, Megantereon, Dinofelis, Homotherium, Smilodon, and Miracinonyx, check out these sites: Prehistoric Cats And Prehistoric Cat-Like Creatures that's quite scholarly and Extinct Species that's filled with great pics. If you want to look at the sabretoothed cat family, check out the Wikipedia article.

Fingers crossed the Tiger and its modern cousins don't join these lists!

PS Katz Tales is out in the printed version of Malaysia’s national daily The Star Weekend section again tomorrow.
PPS The Smilodon comes from Wikicommons

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