Panthera palaeosinensis was an early Pleistocene species from northern China. It is often incorrectly referenced as the ancestral tiger, Panthera tigris, although it shares features with all living large cats. Recent studies place it close to the base of the genus Panthera.
Panthera palaeosinensis was first described in 1924 as Felis paneosinensis by Otto Zdansky in his work "Jungtertiäre Carnivoren Chinas". The dating is not certain, but estimates place it around the Plio-Pleistocene boundary at two to three million years old. Panthera paleosinensis's skull has an A-P length of 262 mm (10.3 in) and a mandibular length of 169 mm (6.7 in) and the living creature would have appeared like a jaguar, stout and strong. The conical upper canines were not present in the fossil, but the lower canines bear the vertical grooves typical of Panthera.
- Mazák, Ji H.; Christiansen, Per; Kitchener, Andrew C. (2011). "Oldest Known Pantherine Skull and Evolution of the Tiger". PLoS ONE. 6 (10): e25483. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0025483. ISSN 1932-6203.
- Tseng, Z. J.; Wang, X.; Slater, G. J.; Takeuchi, G. T.; Li, Q.; Liu, J.; Xie, G. (2013). "Himalayan fossils of the oldest known pantherine establish ancient origin of big cats". Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 281 (1774): 20132686–20132686. doi:10.1098/rspb.2013.2686. ISSN 0962-8452.
- Hemmer, H. 1967. Wohin gehört “Felis” palaeosinensis Zdansky, 1924 in systematischer Hinsicht? N. Jb. Geol. Paleont. Abh., 129:83–96.
- Mazák, V. 1981. Panthera tigris. Mammalian Species, 152: 1–8. American Society of Mammalogists. (Available online)
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