Fossil puma-like cats (Puma pardoides) are recorded from several Late Pliocene to Early Pleistocene Eurasian localities, but the interpretation of the phylogenetic relationships between them and the extant puma (Puma concolor) remains controversial. In the past, extinct puma-like cats have been classified into several genera and species, and a close relationship with both pumas (Puma concolor) and snow leopards (Uncia uncia) has been suggested. Here, we describe the fossil remains of puma-like cats from the Iberian Peninsula. These remains (from the localities of La Puebla de Valverde, Cueva Victoria and Vallparadís) cover the whole known chronological distribution of this species in Eurasia. Although there are dentognathic similarities with U. uncia, the Iberian remains of P. pardoides most closely resemble the extant P. concolor. It is concluded that P. pardoides is closely related to living pumas, which supports a likely Eurasian origin of the puma lineage.
La Puebla de Valverde, Cueva Victoria, Vallparadís, Villafranchian, Puma-like cats, Spain