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Temporal range: Late Miocene to Holocene
Lydekker - Pantherinae collage.jpg
Pantherinae subfamily (from left): jaguar, leopard, lion, tiger, snow leopard and clouded leopard
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Suborder: Feliformia
Family: Felidae
Subfamily: Pantherinae
Pocock, 1917


Pantherinae range.png
Pantherinae ranges:
green - Panthera, teal - Panthera uncia, orange - Neofelis

Pantherinae is a subfamily within the family Felidae, which was named and first described by Reginald Innes Pocock in 1917.[2]


In pantherine cats, the suspensorium of the hyoid is imperfectly ossified. Its inferior portion consists of an elastic tendon, which confers great mobility upon the larynx.[2] Due to this tendon, pantherine cats can distend the back of the mouth greatly. The structure of the hyoid allows them to roar.[3] The rhinarium is flat and, at most, only barely reaches the dorsal side of the nose. The area between the nostrils is narrow and not extended sidewards as in the Felinae.[4]


Pocock originally defined this subfamily as comprising the genera Panthera and Uncia (now included within Panthera).[2] Later authorities have included Neofelis within the Pantherinae.[1]

Pantherine species include:[1]


The divergence of Pantherinae from Felinae has been estimated to have occurred between six and ten million years ago.[8] DNA analysis suggests that the snow leopard Uncia uncia is basal to the entire Pantherinae and should be renamed Panthera uncia. There is also evidence of distinct markers for the mitochondrial genome for Felidae.[5][9]

Results of a DNA-based study inidicate that Panthera tigris branched off first, followed by P. onca, P. leo, then P. pardus and P. uncia.[10]

Felis pamiri, formerly referred to as Metailurus, is now considered a probable relative of extant Pantherinae.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Wozencraft, W.C. (2005). "Order Carnivora". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 545–548. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
  2. ^ a b c Pocock, R. I. (1917). The Classification of existing Felidae. The Annals and Magazine of Natural History. Series 8, Volume XX: 329–350.
  3. ^ Pocock, R. I. (1939). The fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Mammalia. – Volume 1. Taylor and Francis, London.
  4. ^ Hemmer, H. (1966). Untersuchungen zur Stammesgeschichte der Pantherkatzen (Pantherinae). Teil I. [Researching the phylogenetic history of the Pantherinae. Part I.] Veröffentlichungen der Zoologischen Staatssammlung München 11: 1–121.
  5. ^ a b Wei, Lei; Wu, Xiaobing; Jiang, Zhigang (2008). "The complete mitochondrial genome structure of snow leopard Panthera uncia". Molecular Biology Reports. 36 (5): 871–878. doi:10.1007/s11033-008-9257-9.
  6. ^ Mazák, J. H., Christiansen, P. and A. C. Kitchener (2011). "Oldest Known Pantherine Skull and Evolution of the Tiger". PLoS ONE. 6 (10): e25483. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0025483. PMC 3189913. PMID 22016768.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  7. ^ Kitchener, A. C., Beaumont, M. A., Richardson, D. (2006). "Geographical Variation in the Clouded Leopard, Neofelis nebulosa, Reveals Two Species". Current Biology. 16 (23): 2377–2383. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2006.10.066. PMID 17141621.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  8. ^ Johnson, W.E., Eizirik, E., Pecon-Slattery, J., Murphy, W.J., Antunes, A., Teeling, E., O'Brien, S.J. (2006). "The Late Miocene radiation of modern Felidae: A genetic assessment" (abstract). Science. 311 (5757): 73–77. doi:10.1126/science.1122277. PMID 16400146.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  9. ^ Yu, Li; Qing-wei, Li; Ryder, O.A.; Ya-ping, Zhang (2004). "Phylogenetic relationships within mammalian order Carnivora indicated by sequences of two nuclear DNA genes" (PDF). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 33: 694–705. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2004.08.001. PMID 15522797. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-07.
  10. ^ Yu, L., Zhang, Y. P. (2005). "Phylogenetic studies of pantherine cats (Felidae) based on multiple genes, with novel application of nuclear beta fibrinogen intron 7 to carnivores". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 35 (2): 483–495.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  11. ^ Geraads, D.; Peigné, S. (2016). "Re-Appraisal of Felis pamiri Ozansoy, 1959 (Carnivora, Felidae) from the Upper Miocene of Turkey: the Earliest Pantherine Cat?". Journal of Mammalian Evolution. in press. doi:10.1007/s10914-016-9349-6.