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Jan 10 14 1:31 AM

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In order to conserve all the available data about the Pleistocene tigers, here is the copy of the post of AVA about the tigers in Alaska. Here is the link for the old forum: http://animalsversesanimals.yuku.com/topic/4013#.Us8elSfWsYc

If you have not copy the document, do it now.

Enjoy the reading.


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#1 [url]

Jan 10 14 1:32 AM

Here is the document about the tigers in Beringia:

 

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Source: Tilson & Seal. 1987. Tigers of the World.

Link: http://books.google.com.gt/books?id=YdC-wfyZwZEC&dq=Tigers+of+the+world&hl=es-419&sa=X&ei=NSl4UbDTMIv89gSkvIG4DQ&ved=0CDUQ6AEwAQ

 

About the subspecies, definitively these were not modern Amur tigers (they resently evolved from Holocene Caspian tigers) but Pleistocene Chinese tigers (Panthera tigris acutidens). Sadly, no other studies have been carrying out on these specimens.


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#2 [url]

Jan 10 14 1:33 AM

About the size of Beringia tigers:

Herrington state this: “Unlike fossil lions, the fossil tigers of Beringia were not larger than their modern counterparts. Fossil tigers of southern China from the collections at the American Museum of Natural History (Hooijer, 1947) appear to be larger than modern P. tigris but only slightly so.

 

We most interpret this in a correctly. Beringia tigers were of the same size than modern tigers, but we must understand that when someone mentions the size of a “tiger” it is normally quoting the size of the largest tigers of India and Amur. So, this tigers were very large indeed.

 

Latter, she doesn’t know, apparently, about the Pleistocene Javan tigers, at least not directly, but she accepted the fact that the Pleistocene Chinese tigers were indeed slightly larger than the large modern specimens.

 

Finally, when she mentions (indirectly) that fossil lions were larger than modern ones, she is referring to Panthera atrox, not the Beringia lions (Panthera (leo) verescahgini). In fact, all the Beringia lions are of the same size than modern lions. The Paleontologist Kurten made a great job documenting the size of this Alaska lions, and none of them even surpass the size of modern lions and tigers.

 

About the decrease of the size:

I think that tigers followed a gradient is size that at this time, can’t be fully explained:

 

1. Bergman rule: Northern tigers are indeed larger than southern tigers, but Bengal tigers at the same latitude than Sumatran tigers are of the same size than Amur tigers and weights more. Besides, Sundarbans tigers at higher latitude than Sumatran and Malayan tigers are much smaller and about the same size than the extinct Bali tigers.

 

2. Prey size: The larger Indian tigers have the largest prey available, BUT the small Javan tigers had about the same prey size than Bengal ones, while the larger Amur tigers have a very small average-size prey.

 

3. Subspecies: The old taxonomy separates tigers in 8-9 subspecies, but even this separation (now invalid and accepted ONLY for legal and political issues) can’t explain why this gradient of increase in size is not followed by the South China tiger, which apparently, most be larger or at least, of the same size than Indochinese tigers.

 

It seems that only the mix of several factors can explain (or not) the change in size of tigers. What it is sure, is that the large sizes of the Wanhsien-Ngandong tigers are a thing of the past, but the largest modern tigers represent the largest living cats, with the largest possible size, with the modern available prey and the modern climate.

 

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#3 [url]

Jan 10 14 2:03 AM

I would assume the reason for the small size in the island tigers like that of Java was because of Insular dwarfism.

Even if the prey size was the same more or less. There are other factors such as overall availability, density, and maximum prey sizes.

In addition, limitations due to thick jungle forest have a negative effect on body size. Big animals have a much harder time moving around in the jungle then small creatures. If I am not mistaken, the jungles of south-east Asia are thicker then they are in India.

As for the Beringia tigers. We need to remember the Ice age was a random and periodically experienced changes in the movement of the glaciers which would effect herbivores and as a result, could cause the carnivores to suffer in size. Perhaps the Alaskan tiger was in a time of food shortage but the "American Lion" (Panther atrox) found itself in a time of plenty.

Last Edited By: Kingtheropod Jan 10 14 2:08 AM. Edited 1 time.

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#4 [url]

Jan 10 14 2:57 AM

About the Java tigers:

Exactly, although the small size of the Bali and the Japan tiger is directly connected with island dwarfism, the size of the Javanese tiger is still in discussion. Take in count that the weight range (100-141 kg) came from the estimations of Mazák, but in reality there is only ONE weight recorded from Java, which is of 140 kg (Sody, 1949) and is from a tiger that was not described as large.

 

Other point about the possible large size of the Javanese tiger is its skull. Check that the largest skulls from Java are significatively larger than those from Sumatra. Sody (1949) list 12 skulls from Java and the largest was of 349 mm, comparable with the largest skull of Sumatra which measured 345 mm (n=9). However, in the basal length, the Javanese skull measured 285 mm while that of Sumatra was of only 260 mm, which means that the Javanese skull was larger overall.

 

Mazák (1981) also present a list of skulls measured by him and the largest skull from Java was of 349 mm in comparison with the largest of Sumatra of only 335 mm.

 

Finally, Mazák & Groves (2006) present a large sample of skulls and on average, the Sumatran seems larger, but take in count that they don’t included the larger skulls from Sody or Mazák, perhaps because those specimens don’t have the full set of measurements that they needed for they analysis.

 

Overall, the Javanese tigers seem to reach larger sizes than those from Sumatra and if we take in count the picture of the large tiger hunted in Java (posted by Phantera in AVA), it seems that in fact, Javanese tigers could reach up to 160 kg and measured up to 9 ft (274 cm) in total length between pegs (like the largest jaguars of El Pantanal in Brazil and Los Llanos in Venezuela), after all, how could a small tiger of only 100 kg kill a large banteng bull of 500-800 kg??? Check that there are several reliable accounts of large banteng bulls killed by tigers in Java (Hoogerwerf, 1970).

 

By the way, did you know that the Javanese tigers leaved the largest paw marks of all tigers (except for the Amur ones)? Check this book:

http://www.petermaas.nl/extinct/community/ebooks/Hoogerwerf1970_Part4-TheJavanTiger.pdf

 

This is the classic document of Hoogerwerf (1970) about the fauna of Java. It is the full chapters of the Javanese tigers and have a lot of information about them. Enjoy the reading.

 

In conclusion, Sonda tigers and Japanese tigers suffered of Island dwarfism, but they retained they large prey range (at exception of those from Japan), that was similar to the Indian tiger. However, the Javanese tigers were still larger than the Sumatran tigers and some Malayan tigers, wtih skulls lengths that match the average from Indochina and the largest ones were larger than the largest Indian-Russian tigresses.

 

About the Beringia tigers:

We know that tigers are very tied to the forest (with the exception of the Caspian tigers) and depend of its cover to hunt its prey. Beringia was a place that resembled more a savanna type habitat, which is suitable for lions but not for tigers. It is possible that the few tigers that live in that area survived during the time when Beringia had forested areas, but when those woods disappeared, the tigers follow them. The Eurasian lions that lived in that area thrived because its habitat was perfect for them (savanna) and it seems that Beringia have more periods of “Savanna” like habitat than “wood” habitat. So, the Eurasian lions prospered while tigers don’t filled they needs in that habitat and disappeared.

 

Just a side note, the “lions” that lived in all Eurasia (Europe to Yakutia) and Beringia up to Alaska was not Panthera atrox but the Eurasian steppe lion (Panthera spelaea spelaea). Panthera atrox only lived in North America under the great ice sheet that covered Canada.

 

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#5 [url]

Jan 10 14 3:02 AM

Just in case, here is the picture of the large Javanese tiger:

 

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This tiger match the large tigresses from India and Russia, which we know that weight up to 160 kg and still have smaller skulls than the large males from Java.

 

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#6 [url]

Jan 10 14 3:19 AM

GuateGojira wrote:


About the Beringia tigers:

We know that tigers are very tied to the forest (with the exception of the Caspian tigers) and depend of its cover to hunt its prey. Beringia was a place that resembled more a savanna type habitat, which is suitable for lions but not for tigers. It is possible that the few tigers that live in that area survived during the time when Beringia had forested areas, but when those woods disappeared, the tigers follow them. The Eurasian lions that lived in that area thrived because its habitat was perfect for them (savanna) and it seems that Beringia have more periods of “Savanna” like habitat than “wood” habitat. So, the Eurasian lions prospered while tigers don’t filled they needs in that habitat and disappeared.

 


Yes, and that very same reason was likely the reason the Beringia tigers were no bigger then today. All the large herbivores during the ice age were in the grasslands such as mammoth, bison, rhino, you name it. The tiger that lived there may not have been big because all the really big animals lived in the savannah.

For example. Creatures like the Short faced bear which based on its morphology was a grass land bear was much larger then ancient brown bears which lived with them at the same time. The smaller grizzly bear was hiding from Arctodus simus in the plains of California by living in forest. Perhaps the reason for  Beringia tigers small size is the same reason ancient brown bears today and also grey wolfs were no bigger back in time then they are today. Not saying the tiger had anything to hide from but you see my point :/


  

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#7 [url]

Jan 10 14 3:41 AM

In fact, the cave lions that lived from Yakutia to Alaska (with Beringia in the heart of the territory), where no larger than modern lions. The largest skull discovered in the area measured 43 cm (discovered in 2008), which is the same than the largest African lion skull recorded and only 1.7 cm larger than the largest Bengal tiger skull.

 

The same goes to Beringia tigers, which probably were like the modern Amur tigers in size and don’t needed to be larger, after all, larger size needs a larger food resources.

 

On the wolf side, even the Dire wolfs were no larger than modern grey wolfs, although they do were more massively build and were heavier.

 

Don’t remember where, but I read that it seems that the fierceness of the brown bears was caused by the competition with the Arctodus bears, because they can’t climb trees and they needed to fight for survive.

 

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GrizzlyClaws

Posts: 120 Member Since:relative

#8 [url]

Jan 10 14 5:46 AM

Pleistocene tiger's population was mainly concentrated in China.

I think there were still plenty of tiger population in Manchuria, and Yakut was probably the boundary between tiger and cave "lion".

And i still believe that those Wanhsien tigers from China/Manchuria were larger than those from Siberia/Alaska/Yukon.

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#10 [url]

Jan 10 14 6:09 AM

The concave mandible, the long snout and large upper orbital bone, together with large lower dentition, suggest that this is a lion or a “lion-related” cat.


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#11 [url]

Jan 10 14 11:02 PM

GuateGojira wrote:


About the Beringia tigers:

We know that tigers are very tied to the forest (with the exception of the Caspian tigers) and depend of its cover to hunt its prey. Beringia was a place that resembled more a savanna type habitat, which is suitable for lions but not for tigers. It is possible that the few tigers that live in that area survived during the time when Beringia had forested areas, but when those woods disappeared, the tigers follow them. The Eurasian lions that lived in that area thrived because its habitat was perfect for them (savanna) and it seems that Beringia have more periods of “Savanna” like habitat than “wood” habitat. So, the Eurasian lions prospered while tigers don’t filled they needs in that habitat and disappeared.

 

Just a side note, the “lions” that lived in all Eurasia (Europe to Yakutia) and Beringia up to Alaska was not Panthera atrox but the Eurasian steppe lion (Panthera spelaea spelaea). Panthera atrox only lived in North America under the great ice sheet that covered Canada.

 


Very interesting thread Guate, thanks for posting! Regarding the landscape tigers prefer, it is interesting to note that the Ngandong tiger lived in a tropical savanna landscape rather than the forest-type habitat tigers prefer today. Maybe the gigantism in species could be linked to the lack of tree cover, as size seems to decrease in heavily forested areas.

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GrizzlyClaws

Posts: 120 Member Since:relative

#12 [url]

Jan 11 14 1:15 AM

tigerluver wrote:
GuateGojira wrote:


About the Beringia tigers:

We know that tigers are very tied to the forest (with the exception of the Caspian tigers) and depend of its cover to hunt its prey. Beringia was a place that resembled more a savanna type habitat, which is suitable for lions but not for tigers. It is possible that the few tigers that live in that area survived during the time when Beringia had forested areas, but when those woods disappeared, the tigers follow them. The Eurasian lions that lived in that area thrived because its habitat was perfect for them (savanna) and it seems that Beringia have more periods of “Savanna” like habitat than “wood” habitat. So, the Eurasian lions prospered while tigers don’t filled they needs in that habitat and disappeared.

 

Just a side note, the “lions” that lived in all Eurasia (Europe to Yakutia) and Beringia up to Alaska was not Panthera atrox but the Eurasian steppe lion (Panthera spelaea spelaea). Panthera atrox only lived in North America under the great ice sheet that covered Canada.

 


Very interesting thread Guate, thanks for posting! Regarding the landscape tigers prefer, it is interesting to note that the Ngandong tiger lived in a tropical savanna landscape rather than the forest-type habitat tigers prefer today. Maybe the gigantism in species could be linked to the lack of tree cover, as size seems to decrease in heavily forested areas.


What do you think about the Pleistocene China, it is made up by the dense forest or open woodland?
  

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#13 [url]

Jan 11 14 2:25 AM

tigerluver wrote:
GuateGojira wrote:


About the Beringia tigers:

We know that tigers are very tied to the forest (with the exception of the Caspian tigers) and depend of its cover to hunt its prey. Beringia was a place that resembled more a savanna type habitat, which is suitable for lions but not for tigers. It is possible that the few tigers that live in that area survived during the time when Beringia had forested areas, but when those woods disappeared, the tigers follow them. The Eurasian lions that lived in that area thrived because its habitat was perfect for them (savanna) and it seems that Beringia have more periods of “Savanna” like habitat than “wood” habitat. So, the Eurasian lions prospered while tigers don’t filled they needs in that habitat and disappeared.

 

Just a side note, the “lions” that lived in all Eurasia (Europe to Yakutia) and Beringia up to Alaska was not Panthera atrox but the Eurasian steppe lion (Panthera spelaea spelaea). Panthera atrox only lived in North America under the great ice sheet that covered Canada.

 


Very interesting thread Guate, thanks for posting! Regarding the landscape tigers prefer, it is interesting to note that the Ngandong tiger lived in a tropical savanna landscape rather than the forest-type habitat tigers prefer today. Maybe the gigantism in species could be linked to the lack of tree cover, as size seems to decrease in heavily forested areas.

In fact, if we see most of the areas were large tigers live in India, those parts are not heavily forested, for example, check the type of habitat of Ranthambore, is very dry with little trees (in comparison with "typical" tiger habitat, IF there is such a thing) and large tigers live there. Other example, Chitwan’s study shows that tigers preferred areas with less trees and more plant cover. Interesting, Kaziranga seems to be the same case.

 

Besides, Panna and Bandhavgarh, two places famous for its large tigers, are also not as close as other habitats, like for example Nagarahole-Bandipur, were tigers live in a very dense cover.

 

Interestingly, tigers in Southwest of India always looks muscular but very lean, just like Raja, and don’t even near as heavy as the other mentioned regions. I think that your hypothesis that heavy cover don’t help to large sizes could be correct, at some point.

 

Note: I know that some tiger-fans (my friends, by the way) will not agree with me about the relative “smaller” weight of the Nagarahole-Bandipur tigers, but let’s face it, no tiger in that area have been weighed over 227 kg (empty belly), while in Chitwan, Panna and possible Bandhavgarh it seems that tigers regularly surpass the 250 kg and beyond.

 

By the way, maybe Ngandong was a tropical savanna, but surely, it had large plant cover that tiger used. Remember that tigers have always needed three things: cover, water and prey. If some of this things is missing (like in Beringia), they simply can’t survive for long.

 


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#14 [url]

Jan 11 14 2:30 AM

GrizzlyClaws wrote:
tigerluver wrote:
GuateGojira wrote:


About the Beringia tigers:

We know that tigers are very tied to the forest (with the exception of the Caspian tigers) and depend of its cover to hunt its prey. Beringia was a place that resembled more a savanna type habitat, which is suitable for lions but not for tigers. It is possible that the few tigers that live in that area survived during the time when Beringia had forested areas, but when those woods disappeared, the tigers follow them. The Eurasian lions that lived in that area thrived because its habitat was perfect for them (savanna) and it seems that Beringia have more periods of “Savanna” like habitat than “wood” habitat. So, the Eurasian lions prospered while tigers don’t filled they needs in that habitat and disappeared.

 

Just a side note, the “lions” that lived in all Eurasia (Europe to Yakutia) and Beringia up to Alaska was not Panthera atrox but the Eurasian steppe lion (Panthera spelaea spelaea). Panthera atrox only lived in North America under the great ice sheet that covered Canada.

 


Very interesting thread Guate, thanks for posting! Regarding the landscape tigers prefer, it is interesting to note that the Ngandong tiger lived in a tropical savanna landscape rather than the forest-type habitat tigers prefer today. Maybe the gigantism in species could be linked to the lack of tree cover, as size seems to decrease in heavily forested areas.


What do you think about the Pleistocene China, it is made up by the dense forest or open woodland?
  

To be honest, I have not studied the habitat type from Pleistocene China, but taking in count the climate in that time, I think that all that area was like the modern Russian Far East, although with more prey, obviously. For that reasons (and others that we have not studied yet), Wanhsien tigers were large, slightly more than modern Bengal-Amur tigers, according with the weights and measurements that I have obtained, with available fossils.



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GrizzlyClaws

Posts: 120 Member Since:relative

#15 [url]

Jan 11 14 2:32 AM

Maybe the Pleistocene landscape of North China was open woodlands, whereas South China was more dense rainforests.

Could this be the reason why the Wanhsien tigers from North China are usually more massive?

Last Edited By: GrizzlyClaws Jan 11 14 2:35 AM. Edited 3 times.

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#16 [url]

Jan 11 14 2:46 AM

GrizzlyClaws wrote:
Maybe the Pleistocene landscape of North China was open woodlands, whereas South China was more dense rainforests.

Could this be the reason why the Wanhsien tigers from North China are usually more massive?

From what I have read, Pleistocene China was cold and snowy. There was a post on the old AVA in which I explained the robust metapodials in the light of adaptation to environment. The Wahsien tiger had large metapodials, indicating large paws, as an adaptation to the snow, parallel to the modern Amur tiger. We have no strong basis for comparison of massiveness, the long bones from all areas are within the range of robusticity of modern species. We also do not have a skull to compare of similar size to the one you posted from China, so we can't judge skull massiveness between the two species either.

Guate:
I agree that surely there was tree cover. Probably something like this is what the Ngandong tiger lived in:
image

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#17 [url]

Jan 11 14 3:01 AM

Beautiful image, it reminds me El Pantanal of Brazil and the forested areas of Los Llanos in Venezuela.

 

If you allow me, I will like to use this image for the background of my digital image of the Ngandong tiger. That of Roman Uchitel looks like an Amur tiger in India. smiley: sick

 

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#19 [url]

Jan 11 14 3:58 AM

Jajajaja smiley: laugh, Excellent, the more the better. smiley: wink

 

I all ready have the tiger (scaled at 230 cm (HB) x 120 cm (SH) straight line), the human figure (175 cm tall) and the grid, but I am still searching the perfect background.

 

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