The Fossil Record Shows That Cats Almost Drove Dogs To Extinction

Written by: Stephanie Valente

October 3, 2015

Cats and dogs have long had a reputation for competition with one another. Pet lovers the world over can attest that most of them actually cohabitate quite nicely together, but according to a recent study, this wasn’t always the case. In fact, the ancestors of the kitties we know and love today tried pretty darn hard to wipe out our dogs’ forefathers!

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The new evidence uncovered is giving us an insight into pre-historical dogs and cats. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences discovered that cats may indeed have been the top dog. Gasp!

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An examination of over 2,000 fossils led to the realization that pre-historical felines (aka felids) led to a fatal impact on canine diversity.


This means cats ranked high in the “survival of the fittest” and led to decrease in pre-histoprical dog species, some to the point of extinction extinction. This evidence also suggests that climate change did not play a significant part in possible canine species extinction.

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Daniele Silvestro, lead scientist, remarked in Science Daily, that competition had the strongest impact. “This was even more important for candids.” Candids, aka our pup’s ancestors, were fiercely affected by cat predators.

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Originally, there were 30 confirmed pre-historical species and extensive research has uncovered that only nine of these exist today.

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Essentially, cats were huge jerks on the predator scale. Over time, dogs also increased in size which minimized pup fatalities at the claws and teeth of feline predators.

Today, dogs are no longer prey to cats and rightfully so. We even find them living in blissed out harmony!

H/t via Science World Report

Featured image via @cizauskas

Written by: Stephanie Valente

October 3, 2015