Pratifelis

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Pratifelis
Temporal range: late Miocene
Scientific classification e
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Suborder: Feliformia
Family: Felidae
Subfamily: Felinae
Tribe: Felini
Genus: Pratifelis
Hibbard, 1934
Type species
Pratifelis martini
Hibbard, 1934
Synonyms

Pseudaelurus martini (Macdonald, 1954)

Pratifelis is an extinct genus of feline that lived in North America during the middle Miocene period. It contains a single species, Pratifelis martini.[1]

Etymology[edit]

The generic name Pratifelis comes from the Latin words pratum meaning field or plain, and felis, meaning cat. The specific name martini was given in honor of a Mr. Martin who originally collected the fossils.[1]

Taxonomy[edit]

In the summer of 1911, the first and only specimen was collected by H. T. Martin in Wallace County, Kansas. It was transported to the University of Kansas Meseum of Vertebrate Paleontology, where it was named and described by paleontologist Claude W. Hibbard as a new genus and species of feline in 1934.[1]

In a 1954 paper J. R. Macdonald reassigned the species to the genus Pseudaelurus,[2] but later papers maintained its status as a distinct and valid genus.[3][4]

A 2003 paper by Tom Rothwell, who had seen casts of the specimen, mentioned in passing that it had some similarity to specimens of Nimravides, and that an examination of the original specimen might result in a reassignment to that genus.[5]

Description[edit]

The single specimen upon which both the genus and species were based, UKMNH 3156, is a partial lower left ramus with only the third and fourth premolars and the first molar present. It has been noted for having fairly heavy dentition considering how light its jaw was.[6]

P. martini was a short-faced cat, likely bigger than the modern cougar.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Hibbard, C. W. (1934), "Two New Genera of Felidæ from the Middle Pliocene of Kansas" (PDF), Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science (1903–), Kansas Academy of Science (published April 26–28, 1934), 37, pp. 239–255, doi:10.2307/3625308, JSTOR 3625308
  2. ^ Macdonald, J.R. (1954). "A new Pseudaelurus from the lower Snake Creek fauna of Nebraska" (PDF). Journal of Paleontology. SEPM Society for Sedimentary Geology. 28 (1): 67–69.
  3. ^ Bennet, D. K. (1979). "The fossil fauna from Lost and Found Quarries (Hemphillian: latest Miocene), Wallace County, Kansas". Occasional Papers of the Museum of Natural History, University of Kansas. 79: 1–24.
  4. ^ McKenna, M.C.; Bell, S. (1997). "Classification of mammals above the species level". New York: Columbia University Press.
  5. ^ Rothwell, T. (2003). "Phylogenetic Systematics of North American Pseudaelurus (Carnivora: Felidae)" (PDF). American Museum Novitates. 3403: 10. doi:10.1206/0003-0082(2003)403<0001:PSONAP>2.0.CO;2. ISSN 0003-0082.
  6. ^ a b Lane, H.H. (1947). "Survey of the Fossil Vertebrates of Kansas: Part V: The Mammals (Continued)" (PDF). Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science (1903–). Kansas Academy of Science (published December 1947). 50 (3/4): 273–314. doi:10.2307/3625600. JSTOR 3625600.