Writing Update

You might have noticed, in recent posts, some references to a change in location for our cats. Yes, starting next week, we’re heading to South America.

Why there instead of Africa?

Because many small members of the cat family decided to concentrate near the Equator, both in Asia and South America, while most feline drama queens — lions, tigers, and pumas, for instance — have a wider distribution.

And this brings us to the writing update. As soon as we’ve covered some of these Latin American small wild cats, we’ll head to Africa one last time to look at the most remarkable member of family Felidae.

I’m saving cheetahs for last both here and in the upcoming book (which should be finished and available in print and digital form on Amazon just before the holidays!) because it’s only possible to appreciate their uniqueness after meeting the rest of the cat family.

Scientists are still trying to figure out how and why cheetahs evolved as they did.

For now, though, there are two more drama queens to cover — one in the Old World (coming this Friday) and one in the New World that we’ll check out next week.

Leopard, by Jimmy Edmonds, CC BY-SA 2.0

Believe it or not, while the science isn’t 100% settled yet, current molecular studies suggest that leopards actually are more closely related to lions than to their New World doppelganger:

Jaguar, by Andre Douque, CC BY-ND 2.0

How to tell them apart in images?

Try looking at the rosettes — if these circles/squares of dark spots are empty, it’s probably a leopard. If there are spots inside, you’re most likely looking at a jaguar.

As always, thank you so much for your interest and encouragement!

Featured image: Charles Barilleaux, CC BY 2.0

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