`Finicky` cats` diet led to their mass extinction 12,000 years ago
Washington: A new study on prehistoric big cats suggests that finicky eaters usually do not survive mass extinction events.
Cougars, which will eat meat, guts, bones - the proverbial whole enchilada, survived the mass extinction event 12,000 years ago, while their finicky cousins the saber tooth cat and American lion bit the dust, Discovery News reported.
The study determined that eating habits probably saved cougars, and possibly jaguars too.
Co-author Larisa R.G. DeSantis, assistant professor of earth and environmental sciences at Vanderbilt University, said that before the Late Pleistocene extinction, six species of large cats roamed the plains and forests of North America.
Only two-the cougar and jaguar-survived. The goal of their study was to examine the possibility that dietary factors can explain the cougar`s survival.
She and co-author Ryan Haupt of the University of Wyoming analyzed the teeth of ancient cougars, saber-tooth cats and American lions excavated from the famous La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles.
The researchers did this with a new technique called "dental microwear texture analysis." It uses a high-powered microscope to produce three-dimensional images of tooth surfaces. These images reveal tooth wear patterns that suggest how, and what, the animals often ate.
The study is published in the journal Biology Letters.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Olympic bronze medallist Sakshi Malik returns home from Rio to grand welcome!
- Rahul Gandhi takes U-turn, says never blamed RSS for Gandhi's assassination
- Secret documents on Indian Navy's Scorpene-class submarine leaked
- PM Modi's photos, Indian flags raised during massive protests in Balochistan
- Did India become victim of Scorpene submarine conspiracy?
- Is Sonakshi Sinha a part of Salman Khan’s ‘Dabangg 3’? Here’s the answer
- Kareena Kapoor Khan not in ‘Veerey Di Wedding’? Sonam Kapoor will tell you the truth
- Magnitude 6.4 quake hits Italy near Perugia – USGS
- Turning the tide on hair loss
- Rajnath Singh in Kashmir, says those who believe in 'Kashmiriyat' are welcome for talks