So, I've been reading some articles about these "scandals" where everybody thought that there was a new species of feline discovered, from some weird skull or carcass or whatever. And always, by the end of the article, they would have concluded that it was just a jaguar or an ocelot or not even a feline. But, it got me thinking, and I was wondering - Is it possible (As in, are there more than minuscule chances) that we will discover a new species of big cat, or Panthera species?
closed as primarily opinion-based by fileunderwater, David, WYSIWYG Apr 20 '18 at 12:15
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Extant (alive) extremely small. There just is no place left to hide so to speak. If we do it will most likely be what we thought as one species being split into two along some currently unknown factor, similar to how chimps and bonobos were thought to be the same until fairly recently.
Extinct extremely high, we have discovered such a small fraction of a percentage of the number of species that have ever existed that any group is a candidate for future discovery.
Actually the last big cat discovered was only 2011 so it's remotely possible that another can be discovered.
Comparisons between the clouded leopards of mainland Asia and the Sunda Islands of Southeast Asia, which include Borneo, Java, Sumatra and Bali, revealed the Sunda clouded leopard was genetically distinct, making it the newest species of big cat known to science.
(Despite their name, clouded leopards are not actually a kind of leopard, but are completely separate from the genus that includes lions, tigers, leopards and jaguars.)