Acinonyx kurteni is an extinct, carnivorous species classified in the Felidae family. This cat was native to Asia in the Late Pliocene, around 2.5 million years ago. It was first described in 2008, and is the most primitive species of cheetah known. Its discovery defends the modern cheetah’s Old World origin. There are some differences between the two species, but these are mainly in the mouth area. Since its classification and formal description, some have asserted that the Acinonyx kurteni fossil is actually a fake.
Image Caption: Acinonyx kurteni, a cheetah from the Pliocene of China. Credit: Nobu Tamura/Wikipedia (CC BY 3.0)