Since direct observation of a fossil animal's behavior isn't possible, paleontologists use comparison and contrast with living animals for guidance. Tracks can sometimes reveal further clues. Associated animals and plants found at a fossil site suggest predator/prey dynamics and dietary options. Tooth wear studies may indicate eating habits.
Modern cheetahs have unique social structure among cats: females are solitary and raise young, males form groups.
New reports of M. trumani fossils in the Grand Canyon may indicate different life style from cheetahs.
Most interpretations of this animal's gait compare it to the modern African cheetah (Turner & Anton 1997)
A new discovery of this extinct cheetah (M. trumani) in a cave within Arizona's Grand Canyon
Found in western U.S. habitats with now-extinct mountain goats (Oreamos harringtoni) and mountain sheep
Often found associated with jaguars and sabertooth cats (Smilodon) (Van Valkenburgh et al 1990)
Hodnett et al (2010)
Shaw & Cox (2006)
Turner & Anton (1997)
Van Valkenburgh et al (1990)