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Title: Pantherinae  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Felidae, Clouded leopard, Panthera, Cougar, Lion
Collection: Pantherinae
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Temporal range: Late Miocene to Holocene
Tiger (Panthera tigris)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Felidae
Subfamily: Pantherinae
Pocock, 1917


Pantherinae ranges:
green - Panthera, teal - Uncia, orange - Neofelis

The Pantherinae are a subfamily of the Felidae named and first described by Reginald Innes Pocock in 1917.[2]


  • Characteristics 1
  • Taxonomy 2
  • Evolution 3
  • References 4


In pantherine cats, the suspensorium of the hyoid is imperfectly ossified. Its inferior portion consists of an elastic tendon, which confers great mobility upon the larynx.[2] Due to this tendon, pantherine cats can distend the back of the mouth greatly. The structure of the hyoid allows them to roar.[3] The rhinarium is flat and, at most, only barely reaches the dorsal side of the nose. The area between the nostrils is narrow and not extended sidewards as in the Felinae.[4]


Pocock defined this subfamily as comprising the genera Panthera and Uncia.[2]

The Pantherinae comprise:[1]


The divergence of Pantherinae from Felinae has been estimated to have occurred between six and ten million years ago.[8] DNA analysis suggests that the snow leopard Uncia uncia is basal to the entire Pantherinae and should be renamed Panthera uncia. There is also evidence of distinct markers for the mitochondrial genome for Felidae.[5][9]

Another DNA-based study has suggested that the branching order was Panthera tigris first, followed by P. onca, P. leo, and the last two sister species: P. pardus and P. uncia.[10]


  1. ^ a b Wozencraft, W.C. (2005). "Order Carnivora". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 545–548.  
  2. ^ a b c Pocock, R. I. (1917). The Classification of existing Felidae. The Annals and Magazine of Natural History. Series 8, Volume XX: 329–350.
  3. ^ Pocock, R. I. (1939). Mammalia. – Volume 1.The fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Taylor and Francis, London.
  4. ^ Hemmer, H. (1966). Untersuchungen zur Stammesgeschichte der Pantherkatzen (Pantherinae). Teil I. [Researching the phylogenetic history of the Pantherinae. Part I.] Veröffentlichungen der Zoologischen Staatssammlung München 11: 1–121.
  5. ^ a b Wei, Lei; Wu, Xiaobing; Jiang, Zhigang (2008). "The complete mitochondrial genome structure of snow leopard Panthera uncia". Molecular Biology Reports 36 (5): 871–878.  
  6. ^ Mazák, J. H., Christiansen, P. and A. C. Kitchener (2011). "Oldest Known Pantherine Skull and Evolution of the Tiger". PLoS ONE 6 (10): e25483.  
  7. ^ Kitchener, A. C., Beaumont, M. A., Richardson, D. (2006). "Geographical Variation in the Clouded Leopard, Neofelis nebulosa, Reveals Two Species". Current Biology 16 (23): 2377–2383.  
  8. ^ Johnson, W.E., Eizirik, E., Pecon-Slattery, J., Murphy, W.J., Antunes, A., Teeling, E., O'Brien, S.J. (2006). "The Late Miocene radiation of modern Felidae: A genetic assessment" (abstract).  
  9. ^ Yu, Li; Qing-wei, Li; Ryder, O.A.; Ya-ping, Zhang (2004). "Phylogenetic relationships within mammalian order Carnivora indicated by sequences of two nuclear DNA genes" (PDF). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 33: 694–705.  
  10. ^ Yu, L., Zhang, Y. P. (2005). Phylogenetic studies of pantherine cats (Felidae) based on multiple genes, with novel application of nuclear beta fibrinogen intron 7 to carnivores. Molecular Phylogenetic Evolution 35(2): 483–495.
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