"Oh well, at least it wasn't a frickin' Panthera atrox." Lucky for you, scientists now say that modern cats aren't even very closely related to the last ice age's sabretoothed cats.
"Our results show that the sabertooths diverge early and are not closely related to any living cats," write Ross Barnett of the Henry Wellcome Ancient Biomolecules Centre in Oxford and colleagues in the latest issue of the journal Current Biology.
Sabertoothed cats went extinct about 13,000 years ago, towards the end of the last Ice Age, as did many other large cats that once roamed the North American plains.
These include the Yukon scimitartoothed cat, the American lion-like cat or Panthera atrox and a cheetah-like cat called Miracinonyx trumani.
The only large cats that survived in the Western Hemisphere were the puma and the jaguar.
Link. Maybe this will put to rest rewilding movements. If we've got pumas, isn't that enough?
Indexed by tags science, nature, ice age, megafauna, sabretooth, cat.