Puma pardoides

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Puma pardoides
Puma schaubi.JPG
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Suborder: Feliformia
Family: Felidae
Subfamily: Felinae
Genus: Puma
P. pardoides
Binomial name
Puma pardoides
Owen, 1846
  • Felis pardoides Owen, 1846
  • Panthera schaubi Viret, 1954
  • Viretailurus schaubi Hemmer, 1964

Puma pardoides, sometimes called the Eurasian puma or Owen's panther, is an extinct prehistoric cat. It was long regarded as a primitive species of leopard (genus Panthera). Recent work[1] however has shown that Panthera pardoides and Panthera schaubi are actually the same species, and are probably not pantherine at all, but a member of Felinae related to the cougar, making them more properly classified as Puma pardoides.


Panthera schaubi or Viretailurus schaubi was historically often regarded as a basal member of the genus Panthera. [2] However, recent work[3][1] has shown that Viretailurus should actually be included in the genus Puma as a junior synonym of Puma pardoides. Fossils of this leopard-sized animal are around 2 million years old and were found in France.

Taxonomic history[edit]

Puma pardoides was originally described in 1846 as Felis pardoides.[4] A complete skull was described in 1954 as Panthera schaubi,[5] but was assigned in 1965 to a new genus as Viretailurus schaubi due to distinct differences from other pantherin cats.[6] In 2001, however, it was pointed out that the various puma-like fossils in Eurasia could all be attributed to a single species, Puma pardoides.[7][8]


  1. ^ a b Hemmer, H.; Kahlike, R.D.; Vekua, A.K. (2004). "The Old World puma Puma pardoides (Owen, 1846) (Carnivora: Felidae) in the Lower Villafranchian (Upper Pliocene) of Kvabebi (East Georgia, Transcaucasia) and its evolutionary and biogeographical significance". Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie, Abhandlungen. 233: 197–233.
  2. ^ Turner, Alan; Anton, Mauricio (1997). The big cats and their fossil relatives. Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-10229-1.
  3. ^ "Pumas of South Africa, cheetahs of France, jaguars of England", Tetrapod Zoology
  4. ^ Owen, Richard (1846). "A History of British Fossil Mammals, and Birds. John Van Voorst, London, 560p".
  5. ^ Viret, J. (1954). "Le loess à bancs durcis de Saint-Vallier (Drôme) et sa faune de mammifères villafranchiens". Nouv. Arch. Mus. Hist. Nat. Lyon. 4: 1–200.
  6. ^ Hemmer, H. (1964). "Studien an "Panthera schaubi" Viret aus dem Villafranchien von Saint-Vallier (Drôme)". Neues Jahrb. Geol. Palaeontol. Abh. 122: 324–336.
  7. ^ Hemmer, H. (2001). "Die Feliden aus dem Epivillafranchium von Untermassfeld, in: R.D. Kahlke (Ed.), Das Pleistozän von Untermassfeld bei Meiningen (Thüringen), Römisch-Germaisches Zentralmuseum, Bonn,": 699–782.
  8. ^ Cherin, Marco; Iurino, Dawid A.; Sardella, Raffaele (2013). "Earliest occurrence of Puma pardoides (Owen, 1846) (Carnivora, Felidae) at the Plio/Pleistocene transition in western Europe:New evidence from the Middle Villafranchian assemblage of Montopoli, Italy" (PDF). Comptes Rendus Palevol. 12 (3): 165–171. doi:10.1016/j.crpv.2013.01.002.