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Trinil Tiger

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Trinil Tiger
Temporal range: Pleistocene
Panthera-trinilensis-738x591.jpg
A life restoration of Panthera tigris trinilensis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Felidae
Genus: Panthera
Species: P. tigris
Subspecies: P. t. trinilensis
Trinomial name
Panthera tigris trinilensis
Dubois, 1908

The Trinil Tiger (Panthera tigris trinilensis) is an extinct subspecies of tiger dating from about 1.2 million years ago. This tiger was found at the locality of Trinil, Java and Indonesia. These fossils are now stored in the Dubois Collection of the National Museum of Natural History in Leiden, the Netherlands. Although these fossils have been found on Java, the Trinil Tiger is probably not a direct ancestor of the Javan Tiger. The Trinil Tiger probably became extinct fifty thousand years ago. The Bali tiger was also not closely related to the Trinil because of their time differences.

The Trinil Tiger was the oldest form of a tiger that lived 1.66 million years ago in Indonesia, particularly in Java and Trinil, although according to some zoologists, it could be the ancestor of all known Indonesian subspecies. Perhaps, East Asia was a center of the origin of Pantherinae. The oldest tiger fossils found in the Early Pleistocene Javanese show that about two million years ago, tigers were already quite common in East Asia. However, the glacial and interglacial climatic variations and other geological events may have caused repeated geographic changes in the area. Trinil Tigers had to compete with the leopards and dholes who still live in this region. Also, three types of saber-toothed cats lived there too. Food competition among large carnivores is a major incentive to increase body weight, so that this Pleistocene subspecies's weight was slightly less than today's Bengal tigers and weighed about 150 kg.

The habitat was a relatively dry open forest-grassland with shallow rivers, and with rain or areas of mangrove forests. According to the assumptions of the last of genetic research, the tigers have almost entirely disappeared at the end of the Pleistocene era, perhaps, about 10 000-12 000 years ago. The small remaining portion of the population survived, probably in the territory of modern China. Tigers in the area again began to spread by migrating along the river after its prey, mainly deer and wild boars. Although the Tigers are all continental closely related and can be considered as regional populations, rather than separate subspecies, they have developed certain physical and morphological properties to adapt to environmental conditions.

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