Now scientists think they have uncovered the mechanism behind the transformation. The genomes of tigers, snow leopards and lions reveal that these big cats have several adaptations to their carnivorous, predatory lifestyle. Gang Li revealed that the tiger is closely related to the snow leopard and their existence is older than initially thought since they began to evolve about 3.2 million years ago. Reginald Innes Pocock revised the classification of this genus in 1916 as comprising the species tiger (P. tigris), lion (P. leo), jaguar (P. onca), and leopard (P. pardus) on the basis of common cranial features. As a sister to the snow leopard, it can't be the oldest big-cat fossil out there. Leopard, also called panther, large cat closely related to the lion, tiger, and jaguar. They live in sub-Saharan Africa, northeast Africa, Central Asia, India, and China. hat makes the tiger and snow leopard "sister species". A report on the study appears in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B . A snow leopard is most closely related to a tiger. The tiger then began to evolve into a unique species toward the end of the Pliocene epoch, about 3.2 million years ago. However, both species separated from the rest of the genus and developed. Leopards are graceful and powerful big cats closely related to lions, tigers, and jaguars. For small antelope species, the picture was slightly different. The ground color is typically yellowish above and white below. Lions and leopards killed old, young and adults indiscriminately. Tigers and snow leopards are among the most endangered species of cat. Detailed patterning of the spots or stripes of big cats evolved for camouflage, researchers at the University of Bristol, UK, said today.Analysis of the evolutionary history of the patterns shows they can evolve and disappear relatively quickly, the university explained in a news release. It varies greatly in size and markings. But the expansion of tough grasses in Australia did not happen until the beginning of the Pliocene. So the discovery, and the fossil richness of the area, inspires the scientists to keep digging. However, a genetic study in 2010 led by the scientists Brian Davis, William Murphy and Dr. NGS stock photo of leopard by Chris Johns. Dark spots are generally arranged in rosettes over much of the body and without the central spot characteristics of the jaguar. Panthera is a genus within the family Felidae that was named and described by Lorenz Oken in 1816 who placed all the spotted cats in this group. As a leopard kitten matures into a prowling adult, its baby spots morph into more commanding rosette markings. Humans preferred only older animals, while lions and leopards … "The leopard got its spots from a life in forested habitats, where it made use of the trees and nocturnal hunting." 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