Caturday quiz: name those felids!

January 14, 2012 • 1:47 am

by Matthew Cobb

Name those cats, top to bottom!

Image from Journal of Experimental Biology, courtesy of the Cat Ambassador Program, Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, photos by David Jenike, composite by Greg Hanson.

EDIT: Given it is now no longer Caturday anywhere on the planet, the answer is (highlight next line to reveal):

cheetah, ocelot, serval, domestic cat

Congrats to Russell Blackford who was the first person to unambiguously get it right. He wins absolutely nothing, but Ceiling Cat knows his own. A number of you got all four, but mixed up ocelot and serval.

You can read the original article ‘Interspecific scaling of the morphology and posture of limbs during the locomotion of cats (Felidae)’ by Lisa Day and Bruce Jayne here

47 thoughts on “Caturday quiz: name those felids!

  1. Hate to be a cat nerd but Acinonyx jubatus – Leptailurus serval – Leopardus pardalis (maybe?) – Felis silvestris (or possibly a wild looking F. catus?)

    1. A.k.a. cheetah, serval, ocelot, forest cat. I remember when all these were in Felis, a rather long time ago.
      Actually, as a bug nerd, I’ll admit I wasn’t sure if ocelot or margay.

  2. Beauty out of death

    I’ve followed your Z-letter archive for a couple of years so I think I remember the answers [more or less] ~ so can’t possibly comment. I appreciate your posts both here & there. It’s a pleasure to read the jottings of someone who knows & loves their subject

    Happy Caturday to you Matthew

  3. I’m assuming that the image is “Photoshopped”. I’m trying to see evidence to probe that. “Paul” and “George” seem to have a slightly different sun angle (compare the head shadows) to “John” and “Ringo”. Otherwise … I can’t see much give away at this resolution.
    (Other than the attribution for “composite” to “Greg Hanson”)

    1. Yes it is photoshopped. Getting all those felids in one would be like herding… No higher res version available, sadly.

  4. Cheetah – looks to me like the African variety, the Asiatic is close to extinction sadly; serval; ocelot; european wildcat (?)

  5. Baihu after moderate Photoshopping, Baihu after slght Photoshopping, Baihu after minimal Photoshopping, and Baihu carrying a few extra ounces.



  6. I’m going to go out on a limb here, just like a margay, and go against the crowd here.

    Kitty cat, possibly a wild variety.

    Third cat looks too small to be an ocelot.

    So, do I win the prize?

    1. hmm, i was torn between ocelot and margay, but think it may be the former because i think a margay’s head might look somewhat “roundier” from the side and the eyes would be bigger.

    1. Definitely not. Bobcats have naturally short (bobbed) tails. And the biggest one is almost certainly some type of cheetah (not the second one).

  7. Here’s a summary of the JEB cover article:

    The large range in size and similar shape of felids makes them well suited for isolating the effects of size on limb posture. Thus, L. M. Day and B. C. Jayne (pp. 642-654) compared the limb posture of nine different sized cat species including those in the composite photo (redacted, redacted, redacted and redacted). Unlike phylogenetically diverse samples of mammals, for which straighter limb posture correlates with increased size, felid limb posture and size have little significant correlation.

      1. Just a guess. I saw a serval recently at our local zoo and noticed how much it resembles a domestic housecat. Sure enough, they can crossbreed with housecats to produce the savannah. Considered getting one, but they are becoming stylish and expensive. Anyway, that’s what the two middle cats look like to me, but I realize there are a lot of cat species and subspecies in north Africa and southern Asia. Many possibilities.

  8. The question really should be is how did they line those cats up? Cat herding is a unique delicate skill that should never be looked over along with origami…presuming this pic isn’t ‘Shop’d.

  9. Cheetah
    Pampas cat
    Domestic tabby.

    I posted this response yesterday but WordPress seems to have eaten it. 🙁

  10. Cheetah, serval, ocelot, wild cat…I thought number three was a margay for a second because of the size, but on closer inspection this composite is nowhere near to scale.

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