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Author Topic: Cats descended from rodents?
Mr. Furious
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So I'm talking crazy to my wife, like I usually do, and I said "hey, you know what would've been cool? If we were descended from cats instead of monkeys." She then proceded to tell me that cats were originally descended from rodents. That sounds completely insane to me, but this sort of thing isn't exactly my area of expertise.

So what's the deal?

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Doc J.
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Sorry to break it to you, but your wife is wrong.

Although both cats, rodents and primates do share a common ancestry back to the early placental mammals, the lineage splits in the late cretaceous, with the cats (Laurasiatheres) forming a distinct group from the rodents and primates.

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Mr. Furious
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quote:
Originally posted by Doc J [ekyll]:
Sorry to break it to you, but your wife is wrong.

Although both cats, rodents and primates do share a common ancestry back to the early placental mammals, the lineage splits in the late cretaceous, with the cats (Laurasiatheres) forming a distinct group from the rodents and primates.

Actually, that makes me happy. [Smile] Thanks for the info!

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Llewtrah
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I think that cats are descended from the early rulers of this planet. At least that's how mine behave.

Sighs, moves over because cat wants chair, point proved.

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Nofret
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quote:
Originally posted by Llewtrah:
I think that cats are descended from the early rulers of this planet. At least that's how mine behave.

Sighs, moves over because cat wants chair, point proved.

I don't think that merely being descended from early rulers would do it for a cat.

My personal theory is that all cats share a racial memory of being worshipped as gods in Ancient Egypt. Obviously, if you are a descendent of omnipotent and omniscient gods--and would be worshipped as a god yourself, if circumstances were just--you're going to have different expectations of the world than...say...a dog.

Nofret

P.S. http://www.temos.net/CATS/egypt%20and%20bast.htm has some interesting details about cats in Egypt and Greece.

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bblady
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Reminds me of my favorite cat/dog joke.

A dog looks at his owner and thinks: "Gee, she feeds me, shelters me, and cares for my every need. She must be God!"

A cat looks at his owner and thinks: "Gee, she feeds me, shelters me, and cares for my every need. I must be God!"

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Animal or god?
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Don't dismiss this idea too quickly! While they weren't true rodents, all mammals apparently descend from small rat/mouse like creatures which emerged towards the end of the dinosaur era... in fact some people think they may have finished off the dinosaurs by eating their eggs at night, when the dinosaurs tended to be inactive because they were reptiles.
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Noemi
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quote:
Originally posted by Animal or god?:
While they weren't true rodents, all mammals apparently descend from small rat/mouse like creatures which emerged towards the end of the dinosaur era... in fact some people think they may have finished off the dinosaurs by eating their eggs at night, when the dinosaurs tended to be inactive because they were reptiles.

Those are the early placental mammals that Doc J refers to. I haven't heard the theory on them finishing off the dinosaurs by eating the eggs before, do you have a source for that? (I'm a frustrated paleontologist at heart, so I'm always interesting in the different theories.)

Noemi "lives in Big Al's neighborhood"

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Spam & Cookies-mmm
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quote:
Originally posted by Animal or god?:
[QB]Don't dismiss this idea too quickly! While they weren't true rodents, all mammals apparently descend from small rat/mouse like creatures which emerged towards the end of the dinosaur era...QB]

I think "rat-like" refers to size and shape, but not the overall characteristics of the order Rodentia. Cat teeth are nothing like rodent teeth, which are one of the main defining characteristics rodents. Skull shapes are different too. To say "cats evolved from rats" simply because the first fluffy critters were "rat-like" is just bad taxonomy.

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Tabbymago
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quote:
Originally posted by Nofret:
My personal theory is that all cats share a racial memory of being worshipped as gods in Ancient Egypt. Obviously, if you are a descendent of omnipotent and omniscient gods--and would be worshipped as a god yourself, if circumstances were just--you're going to have different expectations of the world than...say...a dog.

As my favorite T-shirt says: "The ancient Egyptians worshipped cats as gods. Cats have never forgotten this."

-Tabby
the ex-goddess with claws

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LizzyJingleBells
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quote:
Originally posted by Dark Tabby, clawed princess of Hell:
As my favorite T-shirt says: "The ancient Egyptians worshipped cats as gods. Cats have never forgotten this."

I was just saying to my hubby this morning that I need that shirt. My siamese certainly believes it. That and that the world revolves around her!

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Dark Jaguar
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At a time, the big cats ruled the world and ate the apes as snacks. I think that they think they own us because maybe, just maybe, they only ALLOWED us to become bipedal and gain intelligence, only so they could use us as tools. Think about it, we could NEVER hope to outrun the cats once we stood upright. They must have just let us be for their own amusement or future use. Now, they order us about as if to say "hey, we let you live and we could take that back whenever we want, don't make me call cousin tiger!". I bet those tigers are just FAKING being endangered...
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The Batwinged Sparverius
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quote:
Originally posted by Animal or god?:
Don't dismiss this idea too quickly! While they weren't true rodents, all mammals apparently descend from small rat/mouse like creatures which emerged towards the end of the dinosaur era... in fact some people think they may have finished off the dinosaurs by eating their eggs at night, when the dinosaurs tended to be inactive because they were reptiles.

Actually, this theory is considered outdated in paleontological circles. There's no evidence that mammals had anything to do with the extinction of the dinosaurs - rather, it's now considered most likely that the dinos kept the mammals confined to the most tiny ecological niches, and mammals had to wait until the dinos were gone to start expanding.
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Alexina, strange and unusual
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quote:
Originally posted by Animal or god?:
... in fact some people think they may have finished off the dinosaurs by eating their eggs at night, when the dinosaurs tended to be inactive because they were reptiles.

But dinosaurs were probably warm blooded! They may be classified as reptiles, but they likely were not "reptilian" at all. According to current thought, they were more like mammals than reptiles.

If they were inactive at night, it was prolly just cause they were sleepy after a long day's work.

- Alex "I share my house with three 'dinosaurs.' They have feathers and they're really cute!" ina [Wink]

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Isaac
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If cats evolved from rats, then why are there still rats?

Just kidding. Seriously though, didn't all mammals evolve from rodents?

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