ESAA Project 18210766

Evolutionary lessons from the extinct giant American cats: phylogeography, palaeoecology, and extinction of sabertooths, cheetahs and lions

Ancient DNA will be used to reconstruct the evolutionary and paleoecological relationships of the top predators of the late Pleistocene: the giant felids (sabertooths, lion, cheetah, jaguar, puma). Advanced phylogenetic and dietary analyses will be used to examine morphological convergence, gigantism, paleoecology and dispersals between the Old/New Worlds, and North/South America. Lion populations stretching from Europe to the lower 48 States will be used to examine the distribution of phylogeographic barriers and related to the paleoenvironment. The age of these divisions will be examined with a lion-specific molecular evolutionary rate generated from AMS-dated specimens, and related to known paleoecological events and dietary data. Genetic diversity will be contrasted with the Last Glacial Maximum (18kyr), and human movement across the Holarctic (30-l2kyr).

Author(s) :
Shapiro, Dr B

Keywords :
Climate change, Evolution, Palaeoenvironment, Population, Quaternary

Principal Investigator :
Shapiro, Dr B
Dept of Biology
Pennsylvania State University

Datasets :
Sorry, no datasets have yet been created for this project, but project data may be available.

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