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Primorye Week: Amur Tiger (Panthera tigris)
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Before we leave Primorye at the end of our weekish-long visit, we must pay tribute to the tiger, the animal that inspired the book that inspired this week’s theme. Early in The Tiger, John Vaillant says, “If Russia is what we think it is, then tigers should not be possible there. After all, how could a creature so closely associated with stealth and grace...

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Primorye Week: Leopard (Panthera pardus)
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Number 0394 Today, we visit the smallest of the big cats at home in Primorye, a fascinatingly diverse region of far eastern Russia that you can read a bit more about in last Monday’s post on the musk deer. In that post, I quoted John Valliant’s The Tiger in saying that only in Primorye, and nowhere else in the world, “can a wolverine, brown...

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Japan Benefit: イリオモテヤマネコ (Iriomote Cat) (Prionailurus iriomotensis)
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All week, my daughter Coco and I are selling our drawings of Japanese mammals to raise funds for Japan! If you buy one of them, whether matted or unmatted, your entire purchase price will go to help those affected by the earthquake and tsunami: half to the American Red Cross, half to Animal Refuge Kansai, a Japanese animal shelter taking in homeless pets. Please...

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Oncilla (Leopardus tigrinus)
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Number 0359 Today marks two straight weeks of mammals! How do you like them apples? Also, if you look to the right at today’s mammal’s number, you will see that sometime next week, if we continue on this track, we will complete a year’s worth of “daily” mammals! And it will have taken us less than four years… Moving right along, my mom requested...

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Greater Slow Loris (Nycticebus coucang)
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Number 0357 Now, this is an interesting little primate. The greater slow loris (there are a few other kinds of lorises, as well) lives in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand. It’s nocturnal and its eyes don’t move—it has to turn its head to look around. It’s very solitary, crawling around in the trees, eating sap and fruit and snails and eggs. Inside each of...

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World Cup: South Korea’s Leopard Cat (Prionailurus bengalensis)
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Number 0316 Having dispensed with the countries of Group A, let’s start looking at the World Cup’s Group B with South Korea and its leopard cat. The leopard cat is a small wild cat—generally not much bigger than a housecat—that’s widespread throughout Asia. The subspecies in Korea, Prionailurus bengalensis euptailurus, is one of the bigger subspecies, and actually looks pretty different from most of...

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Colocolo (Leopardus colocolo)
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Number 0308 There are far more cat species than I realized. My Princeton Encyclopedia of Mammals lists 29 small cats, plus seven big cats. The domestic cat is a subspecies of one of the wildcat, Felis silvestris. Or it might be its own species, F. catus. The neat thing about taxonomy is that it has room for differing opinions, and it’s always changing. Today’s...

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Iberian Lynx (Lynx pardinus)
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Number 0270 The Iberian lynx is the most endangered cat species in the world. In fact, it’s in imminent danger of being the first cat to become extinct since the saber-toothed tiger. While the cats once lived in both Spain and Portugal, there’s no sign of them in Portugal anymore, and they’re confined to only two small regions in Spain now. Fewer than 150...

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Darwin Days: Lion (Panthera leo)
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Number 0238 It’s quite fashionable to equate the theory of evolution with Charles Darwin himself. Science magazines and books sell with covers blaring “Darwin Was Wrong,” “Was Darwin Wrong?,” and “What Darwin Got Wrong.” Meanwhile, intelligent-design and creationism proponents attack “Darwinism,” and the New York Times publishes “Darwinism Must Die So That Evolution May Live” and “Let’s Get Rid of Darwinism.” By creating an...

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Serval (Felis serval)
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  Number 0215 Hello, mammals! Meet the serval, a smallish African wild cat. But not all of it is smallish; in fact, proportionally, the serval has the longest legs and the biggest ears of all the cats. (You can’t see the legs here, obviously, but check out the full-body photographs on ARKive. Servals look like they’re wearing the wrong heads.) They remind me of...

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Chinese Mountain Cat (Felis bieti)
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Number 0195 The Chinese mountain cat is also called the Chinese desert cat, but it’s not really known to live in the desert. It prefers to roam around mountain meadows, where it eats rodents like pikas and voles and mole-rats, along with the occasional pheasant for variety’s sake. It seems to use its ears when it hunts, listening for the sound of mole-rats burrowing...

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Mountain Lion (Felis concolor)
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  Number 0179 I want to tell you about these amazing old books I recently acquired. A couple of weeks ago, my mom and I went to our local “indoor flea market.” I happened across this old hardbound green book called Wonders of Animal Life, volume four. It’s one of those great old 1920s or 1930s books with the copperplate photo captions and tinted...

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Mammalthon 2: Tiger (Panthera tigris)
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If you’re still sticking around, thanks for sticking around! I have a lot of mammals left to draw, and I will try to draw them all this week. We raised more than $1,000 for the Wildlife Center, which is very exciting and will help them a lot. Here’s a tiger for my cousin...

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Mammalthon 2: Snow Leopard (Uncia uncia)
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Number 0148 Here’s the first of several mammals requested by my dad for this second 24-Hour Mammal Marathon. A nice start, this furry and beautiful animal, don’t you think? Snow leopards live in the mountains of central Asia and are very endangered. They’re hunted for their coats, used in traditional Asian medicines, and killed when they prey on livestock. Then there’s the ubiquitous habitat...

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Mammals of New Mexico Week: Jaguar (Panthera onca)
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The 24-Hour Mammalthon slots are filling up! Reserve yours now—the Mammalthon is this Saturday! Look over to the right to find out more. Number 0144 We’re looking at New Mexico’s mammals to get ready for this weekend’s mammalthon, which benefits The Wildlife Center in northern New Mexico, a wonderful wildlife hospital. Today, let’s talk about a mammal The Wildlife Center has not yet treated....

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Sand Cat (Felis margarita)
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Number 0109 Apologies for the delay in getting this cat up. I was on a business trip this week and wasn’t able to post. The sand cat is a mysterious, solitary, nocturnal creature that lives in the Sahara, on the Arabian peninsula, and in central Asia. They are quite well adapted to their desert homes, with large outer ears to protect from blowing sand,...

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Back Orders: Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus)
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Number 0100 My brother-in-law Stephen is a runner. I think that’s why he requested a cheetah. In a sprinting contest, though, Stephen would stand no chance: the fastest human sprinters hit about 20 miles per hour, while the cheetah goes at about 65–70. The cheetah, however, cannot go nearly as fast as the peregrine falcon, which is the fastest animal on earth. Diving in...

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Pallas Cat (Felis manul)
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Number 0063 I ran across an intense pair of big yellow eyes in a mammal field guide and introduced myself to the Pallas cat, also known as the manul. Pallas cats are really no bigger than domesticated house cats. They live in the steppes of central Asia, especially in Mongolia, and have long silver-yellow fur and funny little ears. They haven’t been studied to...

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Jaguarundi (Felis yagouaroundi)
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Number 0012 This one is for my dad. This beautiful cat lives in South and Central America, as well as south Texas, and perhaps other parts of the southern and southwestern US. The jaguarundi is just one of the animal species that could be harmed by the government’s proposed fence along the US/Mexico...

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