How to stop cats peeing outside the litter box
After the emergence of the Panamanian land bridge, placental dogs and cats of the families Canidae and Felidae dispersed into South America from North America. Because all the large marsupial carnivores of South America were by then long extinct, the only competition the dogs and cats had was from the pho-
Characters Identifying the features themselves is a prerequisite to establishing the hierarchy of life's history, so we need to look more closely at what we mean by features. Features of organisms are termed characters. Characters acquire their meaning not as a single feature on a particular organism, but when their distribution among a selected group of organisms is considered. For example, the group Felidae - cats - is generally linked on basis of distinctive features of the skull. Thus not only is the cartoon character Garfield a felid, but so are cats of all stripes, including bobcats, lions, jaguars, and saber-toothed tigers. And by the same token, if someone told us that some mammal is a felid, we could be confident in the prediction that it has those same unique skull features.
(Argentina) size 4 ft 1.2 m long Thylacosmilus, like the sabertooth cats of North America and Europe (see pp. 222-225), sported a pair of upper canine teeth that had evolved into long, stabbing sabers projecting down well below the mouth-line. In both these unrelated creatures, the musculature of the neck and jaws allowed the saber-teeth to be driven downward with a tremendous killing force. And the jaws were capable of a gape that would leave the teeth clear to do their work. Unlike the sabertooth cats, Thylacosmilus had no incisor teeth or scabbardlike tooth-guards on its lower jaw. Also the saber-teeth grew continuously throughout life, rather like the incisors of rodents.
(California) and South America (Argentina) size 4 ft 1.2 m long Smilodon was the classic sabertooth cat. Unlike most other cats, it had a short tail, like that of a modern bobcat. Its whole body was powerfully built, with the muscles of its shoulders and neck so arranged as to produce a powerful downward lunge of its massive head. The jaw opened to an angle of over 120 , to allow the huge pair of saber teeth in its upper jaws to be driven into the victim. Besides sabertooth and dirktooth cats, there were also scimitartooth cats, so called because their death-dealing canines were shorter and flatter than those of the sabertooths. They also curved backward, like a scimitar's blade. The back teeth consisted of powerful, meat-shearing (carnassial) blades for slicing up flesh. In profile, Homotherium must have had the sloping look of a hyena, since its forelegs were longer than its hindlegs. When it walked, the whole foot was placed firmly on the ground, as in a bear or a human. This is...
Pleistocene locality Africa (South Africa), Asia (India), Europe (France) and North America (Texas) size 4 ft 1.2 m long Megantereon was an early true sabertooth cat, and it was probably ancestral to other forms. Its teeth were not quite long enough to be really saberlike they were more like daggers in size and shape, so Megantereon and its immediate relatives are often known as the dirktooth cats (from the Scottish word for dagger, dirk ). The development of long canines enabled these powerful predators to kill the large, thick-skinned grazing mammals that shared their habitat.
Mammals were no bigger than house cats all through dinosaur times. But when the dinosaurs vanished at the end of the Cretaceous period 65 million years ago, mammals started getting larger until there were giant mammals, bigger than elephants, in some groups in the Eocene (56 million to 34 million years ago). If dinosaurs had lasted longer, a killer even bigger than T. rex might have come along.
It is difficult for human beings to appreciate how long ago the animals preserved as fossils at Auca Mahuevo lived. The average life span of a person living in the United States is about seventy-five years. The United States itself is slightly more than two hundred years old. The earliest human civilizations based on agriculture from which we have discovered artifacts existed about ten thousand years ago. The Ice Ages ended about twelve thousand years ago, when such animals as saber-toothed cats, mammoths, mastodons, glyptodonts, and giant ground sloths went extinct. The earliest members of our human species lived around one hundred thousand years ago, and our earliest human relatives first walked the earth about 4.5 million years ago. All the dinosaurs, excluding birds, died out 65 million years ago. But the animals living at Auca Mahuevo lived millions of years before that. Based on previous studies of fossil animals that had been collected from the same layers of rock that were...
The nimravids were the earliest cats to evolve, in the Early Oligocene, about 35 million years ago. They survived until Late Miocene times, about 8 million years ago. They are sometimes called false sabertooths to distinguish them from the true sabertooths, grouped in the family Felidae (below). Nimravids had long, low bodies and long tails. Their prominent upper canine teeth (the sabers ) were longer than those of modern cats, but shorter than those of the true sabertooths, whereas their lower canines were proportionally longer.
And anteaters 210 Insectivores and creodonts 214 Mustelids and bears 218 Dogs and hyenas 222 Cats and mongooses 226 Seals, sealions and walruses 230 Whales, dolphins and porpoises 234 Early rooters and browsers 238 Early elephants and mastodonts 242 Mastodonts, mammoths and
The word mummy was first used to describe the preserved bodies of human beings, but the ancient Egyptians applied elaborate embalming practices to animals as well. Many of the Egyptian gods were revered through the symbols of tutelary animals, such as the crocodiles held sacred to the god Sobek or the cats sacred to the goddess Bast. Sacred animals kept by temple priests were commonly subjected to virtually pharaonic levels of elaborate mummification, such as the huge Apis bulls buried in enormous stone sarcophagi in the Serapeum (temple) at Saqqara. Lay worshipers could buy mummified tutelary animals from local vendors in order to present the mini-mummies for dedication to the god at the appropriate temple. Gullible buyers of rarer animals like crocodiles (but also cat and ibis), however, might get a nice-looking package containing only carefully wrapped rubbish. Caveat emptor More than a thousand crocodile mummies were discovered in Tebtunis by a single investigation team. Even...
My distractions with school matters and summer fieldwork had cut into my earning power as a musician, and I needed some extra cash to contribute to the rent of a small house filled with musicians and streams of visitors, including groupies and their dogs. At the age of twenty, I was clearly at a low financial point I was hard up, and to make matters worse, I needed flexible hours and employers with a tolerance for long hair. In desperation I answered an ad for a sort of zookeeper, only one for domestic cats. I rationalized that it was, after all, the care of animals, and I wasn't dainty about nature's products, like cat shit. Besides, it only meant three or four two-hour stints a week at a surprisingly good salary. It did not take long to find out why the pay was so generous. I shall not go into the details of that miserable job (the cages for Siamese cats were particularly disgusting). Suffice it to say I carried out this work in strange company. The supervisor was a chain-smoking...
Elephants, cats, antelope, zebras, monkeys and many other modern African mammals apparently never reached Madagascar. The four kinds of terrestrial mammals that inhabit the island today rodents, lemurs, carnivores and the hedgehoglike tenrecs all appear to be descendants of more ancient African beasts. The route these immigrants took from the mainland remains unclear, however. Small clinging animals could have floated from Africa across the Mozambique Channel on rafts of vegetation that broke free during severe storms. Alternatively, when sea level was lower these pioneers might have traveled by land and sea along a chain of currently submerged highlands northwest of the island.
All these exploitations of different environments required the evolving mammals to develop adaptations in their limbs. Shrews have basically primitive 5-toed, or pentadactyl, feet. Those of fast-running predators, such as domestic cats, are essentially large-scale versions of this plan, with the loss of the inner toe. Mammals that climb and brachiate (swing from branch to branch) evolved elongated arms and legs with long fingers.
The modern cat family contains such familiar creatures as the lion, tiger, leopard, cheetah and domestic cat. Felids are the most highly specialized of all mammalian hunters. When the grasslands developed during the Mid Tertiary, some 15 millions years ago, the cats and dogs evolved to hunt on the great plains. In these open landscapes, any prey animal could see danger coming from a long way off, and a predator had to be either a skilled stalker or a very fast runner. Cats have adopted the first approach, while dogs employ the second. Some cats, such as tigers, evolved as solitary hunters that killed by stalking Cats developed 2 chief methods of killing prey. The biting cats, including all the modern types, killed their victims by breaking their necks with one swift, powerful bite from the sharp canine teeth. The sabertooth cats, all now extinct, inflicted deep wounds and then waited for their prey to bleed to death. In addition to the true sabertooths, another group of felids also...
The order Carnivora includes not only the dominant carnivores of the land, the cats, dogs and bears, but also a successful group of marine carnivores, grouped together as the pinnipeds. They include the familiar modern sea-lions and fur seals (Otariidae), walruses (Odobenidae) and the true seals (Phoci-dae). All have their feet modified into flippers, or pinnae, hence their name.
Seals may not look much like dogs or cats, but they are nonetheless members of the order Carnivora. Grouped as phocids, they probably evolved from an otterlike mustelid, such as Potamo-therium (see p. 214, 216), in the Late Oligocene, some 30 million years ago. They first appeared in European waters, and then spread north and south to the Arctic and Antarctic Oceans, and west to the Pacific, adapting rapidly to a marine, fish-eating lifestyle. However, they must still leave the sea to breed on land.
Cats, civets and mongooses, dogs, bears and pandas, stoats, weasels and otters, seals, sealions and walruses all these mammals belong to the order Carnivora (see pp. 194-195). They are all carnivores, meaning meat-eaters, and they all share a common feature relating to their teeth. Living carnivores have (or their ancestors had) a pair of meat-shearing teeth, called carnassial teeth, which are specialized for slicing flesh. Some members of the Carnivora, such as seals, have lost these teeth, since they feed mainly on fish, and therefore no longer need them. The order Carnivora is divided into 2 major suborders. The first is the Fis-sipeda, meaning split feet, which includes the extinct miacids, and the living mustelids (weasels and relatives) and bears (below), as well as dogs and hyenas (see pp. 218-221) and the cats and mongooses (see pp. 222-225). The second suborder is the Pinnipedia, meaning fin feet, and consists of the seals, sealions and walruses (see pp. 226 229).
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