You certainly heard about the American Cheetah, this long-lost fossil of a cheetah which was living in North America up to about three million years ago. While the term calls images of a slender speeding cat, it seems that this was more a Giant Cheetah than a Cheetah.
The Miracinonix genus was made of two species (as far as we know today) which appear to have been at least twice as big as current African cheetahs and as large as an American cougar or mountain lion. And they were probably not as slender and not as fast as those current cats.
But a Sorbonne University paleontologist, Denis Geraads, also analyzed the structure of the fossil craniums and compared it to the common cheetah cranium (see his paper). He concludes that the giant cheetah had jaws so much more powerful that they had probably a different kill strategy. The African cheetah is not very powerful so it relies on a kiss-of-death solution (holding/strangling its victim neck until it dies from asphyxation), while the Miracinonix was probably strong enough to crush through a skull (or break its victim’s neck).
Once upon a time, there was in Zimbabwe a lion known of nearly all the country: Black mane, Cecil.
This lion was killed by a “poacher”. It was lurd out of the safety of the reserve where it was protected (Hwange National Park), then seriously wounded by a poisoned arrow, and finally shot by the rifle of a tourist.
Is there anything dirtier?
The tourist has been tracked and found. He paid $55,000 to leave with the skin and head of the superb animal who was loved and admired by all (bar one). It was an American dentist, Walter James Palmer (first suspicions were wrongly looking toward a Spanish touist).
It is most common to describe Panther and Leppard (or Leopard) as two distinct species. However, this is more a misconception in the wider public than a recognized biological classification. Both words should be used interchangeably even if old habits never die (For all the kids, Bagheera will always be the black panther of Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book and cannot become a black leppard).
More importantly, if the common leopard/panther really is an identifiable species (Panthera pardus), many other species holding a leopard name belong to à completely different order:
The Snow leopard should probably be called Uncia (Panthera uncia).
The Clouded panther is actually a Neofelis nebulosa and belongs to a distinct genre (Neofelis) which is only remotely linked to lions, tigers and true leopards.
As a matter of fact, the most attentive (or trained) eye could distinguish morphologies between those animals even without looking at their pelt colored patterns (which is still very distinctive for most of them).
Only the China Panther is of the same family as the common leopard and keeps most of its characteristics.
If you thought that a house cat was really different from a big cat, think again. If you thought that a lion or a leopard was from a different stock than the neighbours’ little feline, see that they’re all the same:
It is quite usual to see a leopard in a tree. After all, these big cats climb up there quite commonly and often bring their dead prey into the high branches to protect them from the competition (like a wandering hyena). But it is quite rare to see a leopard hunt in a treee. When, it is confronting an eagle, we reach great heights of weirdness.
Anyway, Paul Steyn observed such a behaviour (a leopard female trying to enter the nest of an eagle). But, in the end, even if the eagle flew avoding any risk, the leopard did not catch anything.
A few changes for YLovePhoto in 2015. Starting with the decision of adding a special complement to the web site for those who know and love FlipBoard, a powerful way to flip pages on Internet-based magazines. It’s even easier if you chose to use your smart phone: your magazine pages are flipped from the tip of your finger, to move from one post to the next, one image to the next.
I’ll store there sets of links that I find on the web. I’ll try to make them appear in groups linked by an obvious common subject in the coming months (If I’m good enough at it and if you are interested enough).
I’ll start with a series (videos and posts) about depth of field, a topic central for any photographer.
Tell me what you think of it. I can’t wait to know.