Experts say that when dogs first evolved, they lived in trees and looked something like a civet. (Rose)
It’s true that cats evolved later than dogs, but when they first appeared they looked a lot like modern cats. And long before the first true cat evolved, fully developed cat-like nimravids bounded onto the scene.
Fossils from those early days are rare, so nobody knows how nimravids developed, but ever since then that beautiful feline shape has prowled the forests and plains of Earth.
This story also has a human side.
Continue reading The Evolution of Cats: 1. Why A Cat?
This Sunday, there will be a Sunday Morning Volcano post: the last of the three-part series about the Great Ignimbrite Flareup. It looks at the Eocene/Oligocene climate transition and possible climate effects of Eocene supereruptions.
This series is helping me practice writing for my book, Where Cats Come From. I plan to follow up with at least one Feline Friday post about the evolution of cats.
I have been researching this book for two years, thinking it would be easy . . . sort of an extended blog post. But no. There is too much to cover.
Here are just a few examples of what I mean: Continue reading “Where Cats Come From”: Update August 31, 2016
After posting that Chapter Four draft here, I went back through Mauricio Antón’s Sabertooth. This time, I realized that he had written the sort of book about ancient cats that I want to write (although I am focusing on all cats): a very informative one that makes these beautiful animals come alive and shows how they lived and died during ancient terrestrial epochs that were sometimes quite tumultuous. Continue reading A more effective writing focus
One of the biggest questions about cat evolution is why the earliest true cats were built very much like their most advanced representatives. That beautiful shape appears in the fossil record right from the start.
Cat-loving laypeople are okay with this mystery. We know that shape is part of a cat’s essence, and you can no more pin that down than you can a drop of water. Like mountain streams cutting through granite, cats go where they will, when they will, no matter how the rest of the world does things.
So, instead of wondering about the why of it, let’s instead look at what experts are learning about the first stages in the evolution of cats. Continue reading “The First Cat” – Chapter Four Draft Excerpt