That’s good camouflage!
This unplanned break in the tropical-cat series happens because tomorrow’s canid — new to me — occupies a typical CAT niche in the high country.
There are no cats up in the mountains of Africa where this dog lives, but there are in South America and Tibet.
Andean mountain cat
True, the Andes are partly in the tropics, but Leopardus jacobita — a member of the ocelot lineage — isn’t built for heat and high humidity.
It can live surprisingly close to people, though, as this camera-trap video uploaded last year shows:
The story behind this video.
Most of the sightings are from wilder places:
By the way, those are rodents, not rabbits (and a favorite menu item for the Andean cat) — the similar look is from convergent evolution.
In fact, it’s only recently that camera traps have begun photodocumenting this elusive, mysterious feline:
- Cat Specialist Group page
- Andean Cat Alliance
- Chilean court halts mining project out of concern for Andean cat: Story.
Chinese mountain cat
This is a short section.
Unfortunately, images and video of this resident of a remote part of the Tibet Plateau are rare.
The boffins are still working on its classification, but right now they suspect that it is most closely related to wildcats (Felis silvestris) and formally call it either F. bieti or F. silvestris bieti.
Four years ago, conservationists were delighted with this footage of a family group:
This little cat’s favorite rodent could never be taken for a rabbit.
Meanwhile, in Mongolia, another kind of little cat stalks rodents on a high plateau.
Featured image: chaleatp via Wikimedia, CC BY-SA 4.0