Bulletin of the National Speleological Society - ISSN 0146-9517
Volume 34 Number 1: 1-14 - January 1972

A publication of the National Speleological Society

Jaguar (Panthera onca) Remains from Big Bone Cave, Tennessee and East Central North America
John E. Guilday and Helen McGinnis


During a recent survey of Big Bone Cave, Tennessee, jaguar remains were found in an almost virgin passage. The skeletal remains, although fragmentary, were from a single individual that died on the present cave floor. The Big Bone Cave skeleton is compared with other jaguar remains from Tennessee and from eastern North America north of Florida. The results are inconclusive but suggest an age range of 35,000 years BP to 10,000 years BP for the Tennessee jaguars which are believed to belong to an extinct, robust subspecies of the modern jaguar, Panthera onca. Sexual, geographical, and chronological variation in the North American remains is discussed.

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