Thursday, 14 November 2013

Oldest big cat fossil found in Tibet

By James MorganScience reporter, BBC News


The oldest big cat fossils ever found - from a previously unknown species "similar to a snow leopard" - have been unearthed in the Himalayas.

The skull fragments of the newly-named Panthera blytheae have been dated between 4.1 and 5.95 million years old.

Their discovery in Tibet supports the theory that big cats evolved in central Asia - not Africa - and spread outward.

The findings by US and Chinese palaeontologists are published in the Royal Society journal Proceedings B.

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