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Animal Database
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Animal Database
Proailurus lemanensis
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Carnivora
Family Felidae
Genus Proailurus
Species Proailurus lemanensis
Conservation Status
EXSpecies
Extinct

Proailurus (meaning "first cat") was a prehistoric carnivore that lived in Europe and Asia approximately 25 million years ago in the Late Oligocene and Miocene. Fossils have been found in Mongolia, Germany, and Spain.

Proailurus was a compact and small animal, just a little larger than the domestic cat, weighing about 20 lb (9 kg). It had a long tail, large eyes and sharp claws and teeth, with similar proportions to the modern viverrids. Its claws would have been retractable to some extent. Like the viverrids, Proailurus was at least partially arboreal.

Proailurus, a likely ancestor of Pseudaelurus which lived 20-10 million years ago, probably gave rise to the major felid lines, including the extinct machairodontines and the extant felines and pantherines, although the phylogeny of the cats is still not precisely known.

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