It is on my bucket list to see a tiger in the wild. I have friends who have lived in India who want to plan a Ranthambore National Park India safari some day. Is that the park where you saw the tigers? Any further suggestion or advise you could give?
We did go into Ranthambore once, but just for one morning, and didn't see any tiger. The longer time you can give it, the better the chance (to state the obvious).
It was at Khana, in central India (Madhya Pradesh) that we saw several, but that was over a 4/5 day period going into the park every morning and evening. Very early mornings are the best bet.
The nice thing about it was that, in a very large area with about 100 tiger at the top of the food chain, there's a lot of other wild life about, so even without the cats, it's well worth it.
Take a good pair of binoculars. More important than a camera, for me, and there are plenty of exotic birds. The peacocks were displaying while we were there, which was thoughtful of them!
It was nearly 20 years ago, so I hope it's not too crowded now.
The only thing that doesn't add up is your sentence.
We have already established that lions and tigers are almost indistinguishable in terms of bones etc in the modern age. A common ancestor would therefore also be almost indistinguishable from the modern cats. Identifying fossils for a common ancestor would therefore be a fruitless/worthless task. They both share the genus Felidae - Panthera (leo and tigris).
Humans on the other hand have the genus Hominidae - Homo - Sapien while chimpanzees have the genus Hominidae - Hominini - Pan. Therefore we do not share the genus Homo with any living creature. Therefore there is a world of difference between humans and chimpanzees. However, if you were to discover certain bones of a chimpanzee they might be indistinguishable from a small child or an adult human. Finding a common ancestor therefore would be a fruitless task. As evidenced by Nebraska man, Peking man, Piltdown man etc.
You understand that the only part of our binomial classification system that can even maybe be said to physically exist in nature is the "species", right? That genus and up is basically arbitrary bookkeeping?
Try not to fall into species essentialism. Chimpanzees aren't in the genus Pan because they contain some essential Pan quality; they're in Pan because that's where some biologists decided to put them. (There is, in fact, a pretty good argument to be made for reclassifying them as Homo troglodytes.)
Once more IDist/creationist says not to bother with research.
We have already established that lions and tigers are almost indistinguishable in terms of bones etc in the modern age.
Not really, you claimed this was the case but you didn't provide any evidence to support that claim. In contrast here is a blog post showing several differences between lion and tiger skulls.
However, if you were to discover certain bones of a chimpanzee they might be indistinguishable from a small child or an adult human. Finding a common ancestor therefore would be a fruitless task.
This makes no sense. The fact that a partial incomplete specimen can be misclassified doesn't provide the least bit of justification for the claim that looking for remains that resemble a plausible common ancestor would be fruitless. After all, we don't want to find partial inconclusive remains.
As evidenced by Nebraska man, Peking man, Piltdown man etc.
I don't see how those examples evidence any such thing. 1 hoax 1 misidentified tooth and 1 hominid fossil don't seem to suggest that looking for a species resembling a plausible common ancestor is fruitless.
Big Al's reference states this. ABE Quote fixed by edit
quote:The skeleton of the lion and tiger are so alike that without the skin it is almost impossible to tell them apart, presenting even the best experts with a great challenge.
Wk's reference states this.
quote:So here are the criteria of Boule (1906) as translated and presented by Merriam and Stock (1932). I shall only list the cranial characters. Alongside are my identification criteria as shown in a series of diagrams I'd prepared for the Departmental collections, for potential use in undergraduate practicals - I used subadults for this, as the unfused sutures come up more visibly in photos.
LION 1. The frontal process of the superior maxillary reaches the level of the fronto-nasal suture, or extends back of this suture. 2. The summit of this process is more or less acute. 3. The nasal bones are flat or slightly convex, especially toward their frontal extremities. 4. The external opening of the nasal fossae is relatively wider; it widens regularly beginning at the lower part. 5. The interorbital space formed by the frontals is wider, flatter and even commonly excavated; the Lion has a forehead which is wide and flat, transversely as well as longitudinally. 6. The temporal part of the frontals is relatively less developed; the fronto-parietal sutures are placed further forward. 7. The posterior palatine foramen is closer to the orbital border. 8. The inferior border of the mandible has a rather convex form; below the carnassial, this border presents a sort of tuberosity which is more or less pronounced (ramal process of English authors). This shape is such that a mandible of a Lion lying on a table on this inferior border can not touch the table at the symphysis and the angular process at the same time. 9. The coronoid process does not project behind the condyle.
TIGER 1. The frontal process of the superior maxillary does not reach the fronto-nasal suture. 2. The summit of this process is truncated. 3. the nasal bones are very convex throughout their length. 4. The external opening of the nasal fossae is relatively narrower; it widens regularly, only up to a certain height, beginning at the lower part. 5. The interorbital space is narrower and always convex: the Tiger has a forehead which is narrower and more arched. 6. The temporal part of the frontals is relatively more developed; the fronto-parietal sutures are placed further back. 7. The posterior palatine foramen is further removed from the orbital border. 8. The inferior border of the mandible has a rather straight and even concave form; there is no tuberosity below the carnassial. The mandible placed on a table rests on the symphysis and on the angular process at the same time. 9. The coronoid process projects behind the condyle.
(Merriam and Stock 1932, pp. 181-182)
With regards to my diagrams featuring my identification criteria, most of Boule's (1906) criteria are actually featured here, albeit in simpler language. The most immediately notable difference between a Lion and a Tiger skull is shown best in the lateral view photo. The Lion skull (top) is generally flatter and the face is upturned. On the other hand, the Tiger skull (bottom) has a rounded look to it with the face tilted sharply downwards. When the skull + mandible is placed squarely on a flat surface, the Lion skull will rock forwards and backwards, primarily due to the rounded ventral margin of the mandible, the tuberosity below the carnassial (m1) as described by Boule (1906). The Tiger skull on the other hand will just sit there firmly.
The most noticeable difference between the two taxa in dorsal view is the relative positions of the maxillo-frontal and naso-frontal sutures. In the Lion, the apex of the nasals are either in line with the apices of the frontal processes of the maxillae or more anterior to these, while the same nasal projection extends farther posteriorly in the Tiger. The shape of the frontal process of the maxilla also differ in the two species as described by Boule (1906). After the gross differences identifiable from lateral view, which is basically the same as first impressions, the relative positions of these sutures is the most reliable and concrete distinguishing character.
In frontal view (below), the Lion has a relatively wider external opening for the nares, flatter dorsal surface of the nasals, less steeply inclined lateral surfaces of the maxilla, and broader forehead. The Tiger on the other hand has a narrower external nasal opening constricted ventrally, strongly convex dorsal surface of the nasals such that it forms a prominent bridge along the lateral margin of the nasals with a concave valley along the midline, steeply inclined lateral surfacese of the maxillae and relatively narrower forehead. Overall, a Lion is broader and flatter along the bridge of the nose, while the Tiger is narrower and sharper along the bridge of the nose.
In any case, I am quite happy that my identification is corroborated by earlier work.
One is an unevidenced assertion, the other is referenced evidence. I wonder who I am going to believe.
I truly find it amazing(not really) that BigAl uses an unevidenced assertion as evidence for his unevidenced assertion.
Edited by Theodoric, : wrong quote pasted
Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts
So, let me offer another example. Brown bears and Polar bears.
They are obviously different in appearance, but more than that, there are many other differences. Polar bears have webbed feet. Polar bears have colorless fur (not white) that transmits light (and heat) to the (black) skin. Polar bears have a double coat of fur, long hair and a short, dense interior coat that is essentially, water proof, much like a duck. It is laden with oils from the skin that makes it waterproof. Polar bears lack the dished face of brown bears. Polar bears have hind legs that are proportionally longer than those of brown bears. Polar bears are generally larger than brown bears. Polar bears have smaller ears. Only Kodiak bears rival the size of Polar bears, and yet, on average, Kodiak bears are smaller. These species are distinguishable from the skeleton alone.
And yet, Brown bears and Polar bears are interfertile. And, as I understand, so are the hybrids with each other and both parent species.
So the two interfertile species are distinguishable by outward appearance as well as skeletal structure. Moreover, they have been distinguished by genetic analysis, except for the Brown bears of the ABC islands. In appearance, these bears are indistinguishable from any other Brown bear. Genetically, they are indistinguishable from Polar bears.