Main Menu

Class Mammalia
Order Carnivora
Family Felidae


Miracinonyx sp.—American Cheetah-like CatsRegional Pleistocene distribution of Miracinonyx sp.


Late Blancan: 111 Ranch (Morgan and White 2005).


Miracinonyx trumani (Orr 1969)—American Cheetah-like CatRegional Pleistocene distribution of Miracinonyx trumani

Synonyms. Acinonyx trumani, Felis trumani, Puma trumani.

Orr (1969) described this species on the basis of a late Wisconsin (19,750 ± 650 ka) skull from Crypt Cave, NV, as Felis trumani. Adams (1979) placed the New World cheetah-like cats in the Old World genus Acinonyx, represented by A. jubatus (Cheetah), but in a new subgenus, Miracinonyx. On the basis of new material, Van Valkenburgh et al. (1990) elevated Miracinonyx to the generic level. Ancient DNA data (Barnett et al. 2005) confirms Puma concolor as the sister species of M. trumani rather than A. jubatus.

"[Miracinonyx] is distinguished from other cats mainly by characters related to a highly cursorial mode of predation, most clearly reflected in the extremely elongated and slim limb bones, light body, and small head ...." (Kurtén and Anderson 1980:193).

There is one late Wisconsin record of the American Cheetah in our region. The material on which this record is based hasn't been published.


Late Wisconsin: Muskox Cave (Logan 1981).


Adams 1979; Barnett et al. 2005; Kurtén and Anderson 1980; Logan 1981; Orr 1969; Van Valkenburgh et al. 1990.


Last Update: 29 Jan 2013