Date of this Version
BULLETIN OF THE UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA STATE MUSEUM, VOLUME 9, NUMBER 7 JULY, 1972, Pp. 197-203, Tables 1-2 Frontispiece, Figs. 1-3
A new species (Lynx stouti) of small felid is described from the lower Pliocene of Colorado. This form has several characters in common with the modern Lynx and may be ancestral to that genus. A new subspecies of Lynx issiodorensis Croizet and Jobert is described as L. i. kurteni from the Mullen Assemblage, Cherry County, Nebraska. The relationships of this form to other lynxes are discussed along with the paleo-distribution of the genus.
The classification of the felinae has always been somewhat controversial, especially at the generic level. One fairly homogenous group of cats which has been separated from the genus Fe/is are the lynxes. The ancestors of the modern lynxes can be traced back at least to the Villafranchian although the early forms did not have the characteristic short body and long legs found in the living species (Kurten, 1968, p. 80). New material from the Early Pliocene of Colorado U.N.S.M.4 25490 suggests that the separation of these small felids from other lines of felid evolution may have occurred quite early. By the Early Pleistocene the lynxes had already achieved a holartic distribution and are found in the Villafranchian of Europe and China as well as in the Blancan of North America. The characteristic form of this period is Lynx issiodorensis Croizet and Jobert which is known primarily from the Villafranchian of Europe. This species, or very closely related forms, are also known from Early Pleistocene sediments in North America and add strength to the already considerable arguments (Schultz and Stout, 1945, 1948; Schultz and Martin, 1970) for the correlation of the Villafranchian with the Blancan.