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A revision of the genus Dinofelis (Mammalia, Felidae)
Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9586-4017
2001 (English)In: Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, ISSN 0024-4082, E-ISSN 1096-3642, Vol. 132, 147-258 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper consists of a taxonomic and systematic revision of the extinct felid genus Dinofelis (Felidae, Machairodontinae) and an analysis of its ecomorphology and evolution. Dinofelis has a broad distribution, with material from all northern continents and Africa, the latter of which was the apparent centre of evolution of the genus. We describe new material of Dinofelis from a number of sites in eastern Africa and reconsider all previously described material. We name two new species and identify several other distinct species-level taxa but refrain from naming these due to a paucity of well-preserved material. At the same time, we synonymize the two named Asian species, D. cristata and D. abeli, of which the former has priority. There are few characters useful in systematic analysis, but we can suggest at least one migration from eastern to southern Africa. Ecomorphological analysis of both craniodental and postcranial characters suggests that Dinofelis in many respects converged on modern pantherine cats in morphology and behaviour, a trend culminating in the South African D. barlowi and the Asian D. cristata, which are the most pantherine-like of all machairodont felids. This trend is reversed in the evolution of the youngest species, D. piveteaui, which is also the most machairodont in its ecomorphology. The timing of the extinction of Dinofelis is difficult to determine. Outside Africa material is scarce at all times, while in Africa the apparent extinction of Dinofelis at about 1.4 Mya coincides with the end of the good, semi-continuous fossil record present in eastern Africa from about 4Mya onwards. Dating of Kanam East (with D. piveteaui) to the Jaramillo Subchron (1.070–0.990 Mya) suggests possible survival considerably later. Thus, the extinction datum for Dinofelis cannot at present be firmly established.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2001. Vol. 132, 147-258 p.
National Category
Zoology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:nrm:diva-116OAI: oai:DiVA.org:nrm-116DiVA: diva2:693007
Funder
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2014-02-03 Created: 2014-02-03 Last updated: 2014-05-01Bibliographically approved

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Werdelin, Lars

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