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Re: Predator relationships
> But what about _Acinonyx_pardinensis_, as well as
> _Miracinonyx_inexpectatus_ and _M._trumani_? _A._pardinensus_ was
> unquestionable a cheetah, but was half again as large as the modern
> cheetah; estimates are that it could run as fast or faster than the
> modern form. The same holds with the _Miracinonyx_ species. Prey
> species would be abundant in Africa, but competition with lions and
> hyenas might be a much stronger mitigating factor; it's hard for those
> guys to grab tommys, after all, so that may be the only prey animal the
> cheetah can get away with grabbing on a regular basis.
Don't know. I'll try to see if anyone knows. Cheetahs now occupy a
certain niche. They cannot compete for larger prey nor with the
other competitors. I haven't studied the playing field 20-2mya.
They are likely remnants of a large worldwide population that evolved
before modern felids and were basically supplanted by them. Those
left may be pockets of small gene pools.
> > Leopards operate differently. I don't know why male
> > leopards are so much larger unless it is male-male competition and
> > testosterone. I'll have to find out. >
> Sexual dimorphism seems to be the norm among cats; male lions are easily
> twice as large as females, and then we have leopards and so on.
> Cheetahs are the aberration, as usual.
Yes, but I don't know why for sure except to apply lion strategies.
There the males protect the females territory against other males and
provide protection at kills primarily against hyena. This may not
apply as much to other felids, but may have to earlier forms. Again,
I'll have to look into it further.