The Cheetah: Native American

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Science  14 Sep 1979:
Vol. 205, Issue 4411, pp. 1155-1158
DOI: 10.1126/science.205.4411.1155


Two North American fossil species of large felids, hitherto regarded as Late Cenozoic pumas (mountain lion), are in fact closely related to the living cheetah, Acinonyx, of Africa and Eurasia. A new subgenus (Miracinonyx) is proposed for the American species. Cheetahs and pumas may have had a common ancestor in the Miocene of North America.