Panthera balamoides

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Panthera balamoides
Temporal range: Pleistocene
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Suborder: Feliformia
Family: Felidae
Subfamily: Pantherinae
Genus: Panthera
P. balamoides
Binomial name
Panthera balamoides
Stinnesbeck et al., 2019

Panthera balamoides was described as an extinct species of big cat in the genus Panthera that lived in the Yucatan Peninsula during the Pleistocene. The initial description suggested it to be a type of a climbing cat. The fossil was found associated to 13,400 year old human remains and it was found by underwater cave researcher Jerónimo Aviles, a local scientist in 2011.


Panthera balamoides was described based on the distal third of a right humerus from the submerged El Pit cenote near Tulum in Quintana Roo, Mexico.[1]

However, a 2019 study on Yucatan carnivorans suggested that the Panthera balamoides holotype may actually be misidentified remains of Arctotherium (a tremarctine bear), whose remains have also been found in Yucatan. If so, this would explain the unusual robustness of the bone and render Panthera balamoides an invalid species.[2] Another study on jaguar fossils also considered P. balamoides to be an ursid.[3]


  1. ^ Stinnesbeck, Sarah R.; Stinnesbeck, Wolfgang; Frey, Eberhard; Avilés Olguín, Jerónimo; Rojas Sandoval, Carmen; Velázquez Morlet, Adriana; González, Arturo H. (2019). "Panthera balamoides and other Pleistocene felids from the submerged caves of Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico". Historical Biology: An International Journal of Paleobiology. 32 (7): 930–939. doi:10.1080/08912963.2018.1556649. S2CID 92328512.
  2. ^ Blaine W. Schubert; James C. Chatters; Joaquin Arroyo-Cabrales; Joshua X. Samuels; Leopoldo H. Soibelzon; Francisco J. Prevosti; Christopher Widga; Alberto Nava; Dominique Rissolo; Pilar Luna Erreguerena (2019). "Yucatán carnivorans shed light on the Great American Biotic Interchange". Biology Letters. 15 (5): Article ID 20190148. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2019.0148. PMC 6548739. PMID 31039726.
  3. ^ Damien Ruiz-Ramoni; Marisol Montellano-Ballesteros; Joaquín Arroyo-Cabrales; Arturo Caso; Sasha Carvajal-Villarreal (2019). "The large jaguar that lived in the past of Mexico: a forgotten fossil". Therya. 11 (1). doi:10.12933/therya-20-821. ISSN 2007-3364.