European jaguar

European jaguar
Temporal range: Early to Middle Pleistocene
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Felidae
Subfamily: Pantherinae
Genus: Panthera
Species: P. gombaszoegensis
Binomial name
Panthera gombaszoegensis
Kretzoi, 1938

The European jaguar (Panthera (onca) gombaszoegensis) lived about 1.5 million years ago, and is the earliest known Panthera species from Europe. Fossil remains were first known from the Olivola site in Italy and under the synonym Panthera toscana from other Italian localities. Later specimens have been found in England, Germany, Spain, France, and the Netherlands. Sometimes it is recognized as a subspecies of Panthera onca, the jaguar.[1]


European jaguars were larger than modern-day jaguars found in South America,[2] such as Pantanal and Peruvian jaguars.[3] With a bodyweight between 70 and 210 kg (154 to 463 lbs), they were therefore probably capable of bringing down larger prey. A form similar to Panthera gombaszoegensis has been found dating from early Pleistocene East Africa and had both lion- and tiger-like characteristics.[2]

Habitat and behavior

The European jaguar has often been thought to be a forest-dwelling cat, similar in habits to the modern jaguar, although recent work suggests that the association between the European jaguar and forested habitats is not as strong as has often been assumed.[4] It was probably a solitary animal.

See also


  1. Hemmer, H & R.-D. Kahlke. 2005. Nachweis des Jaguars (Panthera onca gombaszoegensis) aus dem späten Unter- oder frühen Mittelpleistozän der Niederlande. Deinsea, Annual of the Natural History Museum Rotterdam. P. 47-57.
  2. 1 2 Mol, D.; van Logchem, W.; de Vos, J. (2011). "New record of the European jaguar, Panthera onca gombaszoegensis (Kretzoi, 1938), from the Plio-Pleistocene of Langenboom (The Netherlands)" (html). Cainozoic Research. 8 (1-2): 35–40. Retrieved 2015-09-28.
  3. Seymour, K.L. (1989). "Panthera onca" (PDF). Mammalian Species. 340 (340): 1–9. doi:10.2307/3504096. JSTOR 3504096. Retrieved 2015-09-04.
  4. O'Regan, H.J., A. Turner & D.M. 2002. Wilkinson. European Quaternary refugia: a factor in large carnivore extinction? Journal of Quaternary Science 17(8) 789–795. (Full text pdf)

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