Caturday Felids

November 19, 2011 • 6:18 am

by Greg Mayer

Alert reader Dominic has sent me a link to EarthSky, which features camera trap photos of five species of cats from the island of Sumatra. The  photos, taken by WWF-Indonesia, are further discussed at the WWF site. Here’s one of my favorites, a marbled cat, who seems to have noticed the camera, and isn’t entirely pleased:

Sumatran marbled cat

This clouded leopard, doesn’t just look unpleased, it’s taking action:

Sumatran clouded leopard

The pictures were taken in an area threatened with deforestation, and WWF is urging that the area be protected. Interestingly, of 404 cat photos, 226 were of  tigers; the rarest, at 4, was the marbled cat. We’ve had occasion previously to note here at WEIT the great use being made of camera traps for the study of rare and hard-to-see cats. The other species photographed are the tiger, Asiatic golden cat, and leopard cat (species account links are from the IUCN Cat Specialist Group). Bravo to WWF-Indonesia!

Caturday felid

August 8, 2009 • 7:51 am

by Greg Mayer

Having been thinking about the taxonomic distribution and adaptive significance (if any) of spots and stripes, I recalled that my cat, Peyton (see here and here), had some pattern elements quite reminiscent of tigers (beyond being a tiger tabby– the “tiger” stripes of tabby cats are not very like the stripes of tigers).  So I went to the Racine Zoo to look at the tiger.

The particular pattern element that seemed tiger-like was the striping on the inside of her legs, which is not well seen on the tiger here. I was more intrigued by the fact that along the back, some of the stripes of the tiger form rosette-like ovals (rosettes are found in leopards, jaguars, and young lions), which can be seen in this photo (blurred by the glass keeping me and the tiger separated).

Siberian tiger at Racine Zoo; note oval markings