In the previous article (required reading) we looked at European leopards. But the leopard wasn’t the only big spotted species that lived in Europe during the Pleistocene: it was joined by a second, far less well known animal: (originally Kretzoi, 1938). This cat seems to have been very jaguar-like and in fact the name ‘European jaguar’ is often used for it. In fact, it may actually be a jaguar – that is, a member of the species – and some cat experts classify it as an extinct subspecies (Hemmer . 2001, 2003, 2005)(Owing to Tet Zoo policy I am not allowed to reproduce more than this)
The European jaguar makes its first appearance in the fossil record about 1.5 million years ago, where it’s recorded from Italy, and it then persisted into the Middle Pleistocene, at which time it’s known from Germany, Spain, France and Westbury in England: in fact, some of the best fossils of this subspecies come from the cavern site of Westbury-Sub-Mendip in Somerset (Bishop 1982) [see map below, from here]. European jaguars and leopards lived alongside one another during the Middle Pleistocene: remains of both species have been reported to occur at the same stratigraphic levels in the Czech Republic, France and Germany (Agust� & Ant�n 2002, Garc�a & Virg�s 2007).
So we do have landbridge evidence that put cheetahs and lions (thought to be typically African) in Ice Age North America, and Jaguars and pumas (thought to be typically American) in Europe also in the Ice age (Also tapirs along with the jaguars)