Post by Thylacoleo_Gal on Jan 27, 2006 15:45:07 GMT -2
Been doing some serious digging in academic databases - Yup, QfT has access, at last! It's a prob cuz all the scientific publishers have gone totally commercial on the internet and if u don't have privileges, u have to , aaarrrgh! Pay. And it soon adds up, let me tell u. The only other option is to do manual searches in library basements - and that has its drawbacks too.
Anyway, re these "big cats" we keep hearing about in Britain, it seems like, just maybe, there might be something in it. Check out the abstract below. The last fossil is not the last survivor, obviously, so maybe it's possible a small population held on since medieval times? I reckon a camera survey over there, in a suitable remote area(?), could pay a major scientific dividend.
Journal of Quaternary Science Volume 21, Issue 1 , Pages 3 - 8 Published Online: 10 Oct 2005
2005. New evidence for the occurrence of Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) in medieval Britain. J. Quaternary Sci., Vol. 21 pp. 3-8. ISSN 0267-8179.
Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Tillydrone Avenue, Aberdeen, AB24 2TZ, UK. Hetherington, D. A., Lord, T. C. and Jacobi, R. M.
Post by Thylacoleo_Gal on Jan 28, 2006 16:18:20 GMT -2
Could d/l the whole article but it'sa pretty big file and couldn't post it under copyright rules anyway. I do have a scanned article (somewhere!) from a tiddly magazine called the Scots Journal - it's all about "the Kellas Cats"(?) and how they might be lynxes. Lots of pics + anecdotes - it's from the 1960s - 70s if i remember it right?
Balbirnie cast (top), captive puma (right), dog (bottom), leopard (left)
Police believe they have the first conclusive proof a big cat, dubbed the "Beast of Balbirnie", could be on the loose in Fife. There have been numerous reports of big cats in the Kingdom in recent years.
Now officers have had a plaster cast of a paw print verified by experts who believe it is of an 18-month-old exotic large cat.
Fife Police's wildlife crime officer, Mark Maylin, said it was most likely to be a print of a black leopard.
Mr Maylin said: "There had been several sightings at one time on the Balbirnie Estate near Glenrothes of a big cat so we went down and discovered this print.
"At the time there was a local man who said he had been walking his St Bernard dog in the area but I was convinced it had come from a big cat so I took a plaster cast of it to two experts who said immediately it was from an exotic cat.
"They couldn't be species-specific because there wasn't specific clarity in the heel pad but said judging by the size the animal was 18 months old and was the offspring of an animal released illegally in the 90s.
"I am resigned to the fact we are going to have to live with this big cat in the area. It hasn't hurt anyone in the past. I would urge people to refrain from shooting it because an injured animal is a very dangerous one."
Rob Martin, The Cat Survival Trust manager who verified the cast was that of a big cat, said it was "exciting news".
"It is definitely a big cat because there were no claw marks and the pad shapes are consistent with a cats.
"It's exciting to think big cats are living wild in Scotland but they will eventually die off. It's most likely to be a leopard."
Police sent the paw print off for analysis by experts
George Redpath, Fife's big cat researcher, said he was "delighted" it had finally been confirmed.
"I have always believed there are big cats in Fife after seeing black leopards on four different occasions.
"But it is great that finally we have the proof and that an expert has come forward to confirm it is the footprint of a big cat.
"Nobody should be unduly concerned because these cats have been here for years. they won't bother you if you don't bother them."
Last Edit: Feb 2, 2006 20:11:49 GMT -2 by rubylang
Post by Plesiosaurus on Feb 2, 2006 8:58:35 GMT -2
Hats off to the poms - they beat us in the cricket now theyre beating us to the punch with evidence for big cats. Crikey; next they'll be sending more convicts....
I like the pic of the comparative footprints - it's one of the better examples of the difference between puma and leopard prints that I've seen. Anyone know where one could get hold of a higher res version?
I wonder how many people have perfectly good tracks criss crossing their properties and have no idea too look for them? I must admit I've never noticed myself, except for the possum footprints all over hubbies motorbike! LOL!
I regularly find tracks and these days I never bother to make plaster casts but sometimes I photograph the them. I find that most animals are terribly inconsiderate and rarely leave truly difinitive tracks, I have seen casts made by other people that have been far clearer than any track I have ever seen. Obviously they must live in an area where tracking is easier, animals are more considerate or they are good at enhancement. ;D