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Felinae
The Felinae are a subfamily of the family Felidae. This subfamily comprises the small cats having a bony hyoid, because of which they are able to purr but not roar. Other authors have proposed an alternative definition for this subfamily: as comprising only the living conical-toothed cat genera with two tribes, the Felini and Pantherini; thus excluding all fossil cat species. Characteristics The members of the Felinae have retractile claws that are protected by at least one cutaneous lobe. Their larynx is kept close to the base of the skull by an ossified hyoid. They can purr owing to the vocal folds being shorter than . The cheetah ''Acinonyx'' does not have cutaneous sheaths for guarding claws. Taxonomy The term 'Felini' was first used in 1817 by Gotthelf Fischer von Waldheim, at the time for all the cat species that had been proposed as belonging to the genus ''Felis''. In 1917, Reginald Innes Pocock also subordinated the following genera to the Felinae that had b ...
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Felidae
Felidae () is the family of mammals in the order Carnivora colloquially referred to as cats, and constitutes a clade. A member of this family is also called a felid (). The term "cat" refers both to felids in general and specifically to the domestic cat ('' Felis catus''). Felidae species exhibit the most diverse fur pattern of all terrestrial carnivores. Cats have retractile claws, slender muscular bodies and strong flexible forelimbs. Their teeth and facial muscles allow for a powerful bite. They are all obligate carnivores, and most are solitary predators ambushing or stalking their prey. Wild cats occur in Africa, Europe, Asia and the Americas. Some wild cat species are adapted to forest habitats, some to arid environments, and a few also to wetlands and mountainous terrain. Their activity patterns range from nocturnal and crepuscular to diurnal, depending on their preferred prey species. Reginald Innes Pocock divided the extant Felidae into three subfamilies: the Pant ...
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Felis
''Felis'' is a genus of small and medium-sized cat species native to most of Africa and south of 60° latitude in Europe and Asia to Indochina. The genus includes the domestic cat. The smallest ''Felis'' species is the black-footed cat with a head and body length from . The largest is the jungle cat with a head and body length from . Genetic studies indicate that the Felinae genera ''Felis'', ''Otocolobus'' and '' Prionailurus'' diverged from a Eurasian progenitor of the Felidae about 6.2 million years ago, and that ''Felis'' species split off 3.04 to 0.99 million years ago. Etymology The generic name ''Felis'' is derived from Classical Latin ''fēlis'' meaning "cat, ferret". Taxonomy Carl Linnaeus considered ''Felis'' to comprise all cat species known until 1758. Later taxonomists split the cat family into different genera. In 1917, the British zoologist Reginald Innes Pocock revised the genus ''Felis'' as comprising only the ones listed in the following table. Estimated gen ...
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Acinonyx
''Acinonyx'' is a genus within the cat family. The only living species of the genus, the cheetah (''A. jubatus''), lives in open grasslands of Africa and Asia. Several fossil remains of cheetah-like cats were excavated that date to the late Pliocene and Middle Pleistocene. These cats occurred in Africa, parts of Europe and Asia about 10,000 years ago. Several similar species, classified in the genus ''Miracinonyx'', lived in North America at the same time; these may have been more closely related to the genus '' Puma''. Taxonomy ''Acinonyx'' was proposed by Joshua Brookes in 1828. Between the late 18th century and the early 20th century, the following ''Acinonyx'' species and subspecies were described: * ''Felis jubatus'' by Johann Christian Daniel von Schreber in 1777 was based on earlier descriptions by Comte de Buffon and Thomas Pennant. ** ''Felis venatica'' by Griffith in 1821 was based on a sketch of a cheetah from India. ** ''Cynailurus soemmeringi'' by Fitzinge ...
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Cougar
The cougar (''Puma concolor'') is a large cat native to the Americas. Its range spans from the Canadian Yukon to the southern Andes in South America and is the most widespread of any large wild terrestrial mammal in the Western Hemisphere. It is an adaptable, generalist species, occurring in most American habitat types. This wide range has brought it many common names, including puma, mountain lion, catamount and panther (for the Florida sub-population). It is the second-largest cat in the New World, after the jaguar (''Panthera onca''). Secretive and largely solitary by nature, the cougar is properly considered both nocturnal and crepuscular, although daytime sightings do occur. Despite its size, the cougar is more closely related to smaller felines, including the domestic cat (''Felis catus'') than to any species of the subfamily Pantherinae. The cougar is an ambush predator that pursues a wide variety of prey. Primary food sources are ungulates, particularly deer, ...
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Cheetah
The cheetah (''Acinonyx jubatus'') is a large cat native to Africa and central Iran. It is the fastest land animal, estimated to be capable of running at with the fastest reliably recorded speeds being , and as such has evolved specialized adaptations for speed, including a light build, long thin legs and a long tail. It typically reaches at the shoulder, and the head-and-body length is between . Adults weigh between . Its head is small and rounded, with a short snout and black tear-like facial streaks. The coat is typically tawny to creamy white or pale buff and is mostly covered with evenly spaced, solid black spots. Four subspecies are recognised. The cheetah lives in three main social groups: females and their cubs, male "coalitions", and solitary males. While females lead a nomadic life searching for prey in large home ranges, males are more sedentary and instead establish much smaller territories in areas with plentiful prey and access to females. The cheetah is acti ...
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Pantherinae
Pantherinae is a subfamily within the family Felidae Felidae () is the family of mammals in the order Carnivora colloquially referred to as cats, and constitutes a clade. A member of this family is also called a felid (). The term "cat" refers both to felids in general and specifically to the dom ...; it was named and first described by Reginald Innes Pocock in 1917 as only including the ''Panthera'' species. The Pantherinae Genetic divergence, genetically diverged from a common ancestor between and . Characteristics Pantherinae species are characterised by an imperfectly ossified hyoid bone with elastic tendons that enable their larynx to be mobile. They have a flat rhinarium that only barely reaches the Dorsum (anatomy), dorsal side of the nose. The area between the nostrils is narrow, and not extended sidewards as in the Felinae. The ''Panthera'' species have a single, rounded, vocal fold with a thick mucosal lining, a large vocalis muscle, and a large cricothyroid musc ...
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Purr
A purr is a tonal fluttering sound made by some species of felids and two species of genets. It varies in loudness and tone among species and in the same animal. Felids are a family of mammals that belong to the order Carnivora and are informally known as cats. This designation includes larger, outdoor cats and the domestic cat (''Felis catus''). Genets are members of the genus ''Genetta'' and are slim animals with features similar to cats. Their features include retractile claws, leopard-like spotted fur and the raccoon-like mask and ringed tail. Although true purring is exclusive to felids and viverrids, other animals such as raccoons produce vocalizations that sound similar to true purring. Animals that produce purr-like sounds include mongooses, bears, kangaroos, wallabies, wallaroos, badgers, foxes, hyenas, rabbits, squirrels, guinea pigs, tapirs, ring-tailed lemurs and gorillas while eating. Animals purr for a variety of reasons, including to express hap ...
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Miocene
The Miocene ( ) is the first geological epoch of the Neogene Period and extends from about (Ma). The Miocene was named by Scottish geologist Charles Lyell; the name comes from the Greek words (', "less") and (', "new") and means "less recent" because it has 18% fewer modern marine invertebrates than the Pliocene has. The Miocene is preceded by the Oligocene and is followed by the Pliocene. As Earth went from the Oligocene through the Miocene and into the Pliocene, the climate slowly cooled towards a series of ice ages. The Miocene boundaries are not marked by a single distinct global event but consist rather of regionally defined boundaries between the warmer Oligocene and the cooler Pliocene Epoch. During the Early Miocene, the Arabian Peninsula collided with Eurasia, severing the connection between the Mediterranean and Indian Ocean, and allowing a faunal interchange to occur between Eurasia and Africa, including the dispersal of proboscideans into Eurasia. During ...
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Skull
The skull is a bone protective cavity for the brain. The skull is composed of four types of bone i.e., cranial bones, facial bones, ear ossicles and hyoid bone. However two parts are more prominent: the cranium and the mandible. In humans, these two parts are the neurocranium and the viscerocranium ( facial skeleton) that includes the mandible as its largest bone. The skull forms the anterior-most portion of the skeleton and is a product of cephalisation—housing the brain, and several sensory structures such as the eyes, ears, nose, and mouth. In humans these sensory structures are part of the facial skeleton. Functions of the skull include protection of the brain, fixing the distance between the eyes to allow stereoscopic vision, and fixing the position of the ears to enable sound localisation of the direction and distance of sounds. In some animals, such as horned ungulates (mammals with hooves), the skull also has a defensive function by providing the mount (on the ...
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Ossification
Ossification (also called osteogenesis or bone mineralization) in bone remodeling is the process of laying down new bone material by cells named osteoblasts. It is synonymous with bone tissue formation. There are two processes resulting in the formation of normal, healthy bone tissue: Intramembranous ossification is the direct laying down of bone into the primitive connective tissue ( mesenchyme), while endochondral ossification involves cartilage as a precursor. In fracture healing, endochondral osteogenesis is the most commonly occurring process, for example in fractures of long bones treated by plaster of Paris, whereas fractures treated by open reduction and internal fixation with metal plates, screws, pins, rods and nails may heal by intramembranous osteogenesis. Heterotopic ossification is a process resulting in the formation of bone tissue that is often atypical, at an extraskeletal location. Calcification is often confused with ossification. Calcificat ...
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Vocal Folds
In humans, vocal cords, also known as vocal folds or voice reeds, are folds of throat tissues that are key in creating sounds through vocalization. The size of vocal cords affects the pitch of voice. Open when breathing and vibrating for speech or singing, the folds are controlled via the recurrent laryngeal branch of the vagus nerve. They are composed of twin infoldings of mucous membrane stretched horizontally, from back to front, across the larynx. They vibrate, modulating the flow of air being expelled from the lungs during phonation. The 'true vocal cords' are distinguished from the 'false vocal folds', known as vestibular folds or ''ventricular folds'', which sit slightly superior to the more delicate true folds. These have a minimal role in normal phonation, but can produce deep sonorous tones, screams and growls. The length of the vocal fold at birth is approximately six to eight millimeters and grows to its adult length of eight to sixteen millimeters by adole ...
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Genus (biology)
Genus ( plural genera ) is a taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms as well as viruses. In the hierarchy of biological classification, genus comes above species and below family. In binomial nomenclature, the genus name forms the first part of the binomial species name for each species within the genus. :E.g. ''Panthera leo'' (lion) and ''Panthera onca'' (jaguar) are two species within the genus '' Panthera''. ''Panthera'' is a genus within the family Felidae. The composition of a genus is determined by taxonomists. The standards for genus classification are not strictly codified, so different authorities often produce different classifications for genera. There are some general practices used, however, including the idea that a newly defined genus should fulfill these three criteria to be descriptively useful: # monophyly – all descendants of an ancestral taxon are grouped together (i.e. phylogenetic analysis should clearly demon ...
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