Felidae

Felidae is a family of mammals in the order Carnivora, colloquially referred to as cats. A member of this family is also called a felid.[3][4][5][6] The term "cat" refers both to felids in general and specifically to the domestic cat (Felis catus).[7]

Reginald Innes Pocock divided the extant Felidae into three subfamilies: the Pantherinae, the Felinae and the Acinonychinae, differing from each other by the ossification of the hyoid apparatus and by the cutaneous sheaths which protect their claws.[8] This concept has been revised following developments in molecular biology and techniques for analysis of morphological data. Today, the living Felidae are divided in two subfamilies, with the Pantherinae including seven Panthera and two Neofelis species. The Felinae include all the non-pantherine cats with 10 genera and 34 species.[9]

The first cats emerged during the Oligocene, about 25 million years ago, with the appearance of Proailurus and Pseudaelurus. The latter species complex was ancestral to two main lines of felids: the cats in the extant subfamilies and a third major group of extinct cats of the subfamily Machairodontinae. The machairodonts included the saber-toothed cats such as the Smilodon. The "false sabre toothed cats", the Barbourofelidae and Nimravidae, are not true cats, but are closely related and together with Felidae and other cat-like carnivores (hyaenas, viverrids and mongooses) make up the feliform carnivores.The characteristic features of cats have evolved to support a carnivorous lifestyle, with adaptations for ambush or stalking and short pursuit hunting.[7] They have slender muscular bodies, strong flexible forelimbs and retractable claws for holding prey, dental and cranial adaptations for a strong bite, and often have characteristic striped or spotted coat patterns for camouflage.

Felidae[1]
Temporal range:
OligocenePresent, 25–0 Ma
The Felidae
Clockwise from top left: tiger (Panthera tigris), Canadian lynx (Lynx canadensis), fishing cat (Prionailurus viverrinus), wildcat (Felis silvestris), ocelot (Leopardus pardalis), Asian golden cat (Catopuma temminckii), serval (Leptailurus serval) and cougar (Puma concolor).
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Suborder: Feliformia
Family: Felidae
Fischer von Waldheim, 1817
Type genus
Felis
Subfamilies

Pantherinae
Felinae
Machairodontinae
Proailurinae[2]

Felidae range
Felidae ranges

Characteristics

All members of the cat family have the following characteristics in common:

  • They are digitigrade, have five toes on their forefeet and four on their hind feet. Their curved claws are protractile and attached to the terminal bones of the toe with ligaments and tendons. The claws are guarded by cutaneous sheaths, except in the Acinonyx.[10]
  • They actively protract the claws by contracting muscles in the toe,[11] and they passively retract them. The dewclaws are expanded but do not protract.[12]
  • They have 30 teeth with a dental formula of 3.1.3.13.1.2.1. The upper third premolar and lower molar are adapted as carnassial teeth, suited to tearing and cutting flesh.[13] The canine teeth are large, reaching exceptional size in the extinct saber-toothed species. The lower carnassial is smaller than the upper carnassial and has a crown with two compressed blade-like pointed cusps.[11]
  • Their nose projects slightly beyond the lower jaw.[10]
  • They have well developed and highly sensitive whiskers above the eyes, on the cheeks, on the muzzle, but not below the chin.[10] Whiskers help to navigate in the dark and to capture and hold prey.[12]
  • Their skull is foreshortened with a rounded profile and large orbits.[12]
  • Their tongue is covered with horny papillae, which rasp meat from prey and aid in grooming.[12]
  • Their eyes are relatively large, situated to provide binocular vision. Their night vision is especially good due to the presence of a tapetum lucidum, which reflects light back inside the eyeball, and gives felid eyes their distinctive shine. As a result, the eyes of felids are about six times more light sensitive than those of humans, and many species are at least partially nocturnal. The retina of felids also contains a relatively high proportion of rod cells, adapted for distinguishing moving objects in conditions of dim light, which are complemented by the presence of cone cells for sensing colour during the day.[11]
  • Their external ears are large, and especially sensitive to high-frequency sounds in the smaller cat species. This sensitivity allows them to locate small rodent prey.[11]
  • They have lithe and flexible bodies with muscular limbs.[11]
  • The plantar pads of both fore and hind feet form compact three-lobed cushions.[13]
  • The penis is subconical and boneless.[10] Relative to body size, they have shorter bacula than canids.[14]

The colour, length and density of their fur are highly variable. Fur colour varies from brown to golden, and fur pattern from distinctive small spots, stripes, to small blotches and rosettes. Those living in cold environments have thick fur with long hair, like the snow leopard and the Pallas's cat.[12] Those living in tropical and hot climate zones have short fur. The only cat species lacking significant markings are the lion, cougar, caracal, jungle cat and jaguarundi. Several species exhibit melanism with all-black individuals.[11]

In the great majority of species, the tail is between a third and a half of the body length, although with some exceptions, like the Lynx species and margay.[11] Cat species vary greatly in body and skull sizes, and weights:

  • The largest cat species is the tiger, with a head-to-body length of up to 390 cm (150 in), a weight range of at least 65 to 325 kg (143 to 717 lb), and a skull length ranging from 316 to 413 mm (12.4 to 16.3 in).[11][15] Although the maximum skull length of a lion is slightly greater at 419 mm (16.5 in), it is generally smaller in head-to-body length than the former.[16]
  • The smallest cat species are the rusty-spotted cat and the black-footed cat. The former is 35 to 48 cm (14 to 19 in) in length and weighs 0.9 to 1.6 kg (2.0 to 3.5 lb).[11] The latter has a head-to-body length of 36.7 to 43.3 cm (14.4 to 17.0 in) and a maximum recorded weight of 2.45 kg (5.4 lb).[17][18]

Senses

Felids also have a highly developed sense of smell, although not to the degree seen in canids; this is further supplemented by the presence of a vomeronasal organ in the roof of the mouth, allowing the animal to "taste" the air. The use of this organ is associated with the Flehmen response, in which the upper lip is curled upwards. Most felids are unable to taste sweetness due to a mutated gene in their taste buds.

Most felids are able to land on their feet after a fall due to the cat righting reflex.

Vocalisations

All felids share a broadly similar set of vocalisations, but with some variation between species. In particular, the pitch of calls varies, with larger species producing deeper sounds.

All felids are able to spit, hiss, growl, snarl, and mew. The first four sounds are all used in an aggressive context. The spitting sound is a sudden burst, typically used when making threats, especially towards other species. The hiss is a prolonged, atonal sound used in close range to other members of the species, when the animal is uncertain whether to attack or retreat.

The mewing sound may be used either as a close-contact call, typically between a mother and kittens, or as a louder, longer distance call, primarily during the mating season. The acoustic properties of the mew vary somewhat between different felid species; extreme examples include the whistling sound made by cougars and the mew-grunt of lions and tigers.

Domestic cat purring and meowing.

Most felids seem to be able to purr, vibrating the muscles in their larynx to produce a distinctive buzzing sound. In the wild, purring is used while a mother is caring for kittens. Precisely which species of felids are able to purr is a matter of debate, but the sound has been recorded in most of the smaller species, as well as being common for the cheetah and cougar, and may also be found in other big cats.

Other common felid vocalisations include the gurgle, wah-wah, prusten, and roar. The first two sounds are found only among the Felinae (small cats). Gurgling is a quiet sound used during meetings between friendly individuals, as well as during courtship and when nursing kittens. The wah-wah is a short, deep-sounding call used in close contact, and is not found in all species (it is, for example, absent in the domestic cat).

In contrast, only Panthera species can prusten and roar. Prusten is a short, soft, snorting sound reported in tigers, jaguars, snow leopards, and clouded leopards; it is used during contact between friendly individuals. The roar is an especially loud call with a distinctive pattern that depends on the species. The ability to roar comes from an elongated and specially adapted larynx and hyoid apparatus.[19] When air passes through the larynx on the way from the lungs, the cartilage walls of the larynx vibrate, producing sound. Only lions, leopards, tigers, and jaguars are truly able to roar, although the loudest mews of snow leopards have a similar, if less structured, sound.[11]

Classification

Traditionally, five subfamilies have been distinguished within the Felidae based on phenotypical features: the Pantherinae, the Felinae, the Acinonychinae[8], and the extinct Machairodontinae and Proailurinae.[2]

Extant species

Molecular phylogenetic analysis indicates that living felids fall into eight lineages (clades).[20][21] The lineages 5 to 8 are more related to each other than to any of the lineages 1 to 4, so form a clade within the Felinae.[22]

The following is the complete list of genera within the Felidae, grouped according to the traditional phenotypical classification with the corresponding eight genotypical lineages indicated.[22][9]

Subfamily Pantherinae
Genus Species IUCN Red List status and distribution
Panthera [Lineage 1] Tiger (P. tigris) (Linnaeus, 1758)[23]

Panthera tigris tigris

EN[24]

Tiger map

Lion (P. leo) (Linnaeus, 1758)[25]

Lion waiting in Namibia

VU[26]

Lion distribution

Jaguar (P. onca) (Linnaeus, 1758)[27]

Standing jaguar

NT[28]

Panthera onca distribution

Leopard (P. pardus) (Linnaeus, 1758)[29]

Leopard (Panthera pardus)

VU[30]

Leopard distribution

Snow leopard (P. uncia) (Schreber, 1775)[31]

Schneeleopard Koeln

VU[32]

Snow leopard range

Neofelis [Lineage 1] Clouded leopard (N. nebulosa) (Griffith, 1821)[33]

Neofelis nebulosa

VU[34]

Clouded-leopard distribution

Sunda clouded leopard (N. diardi) (Cuvier, 1823)[35]

Borneo clouded leopard

VU[36]

Sunda-Clouded-leopard distribution

Subfamily Felinae
Genus Species IUCN Red List status and distribution
Catopuma [Lineage 2] Asian golden cat (Catopuma temminckii) (Vigors & Horsfield, 1827)[37]

Asian golden cat at Edingburgh Zoo

NT[38]

AsianGoldenCat distribution

Bay cat (Catopuma badia) (Gray, 1874)[39]

Bay cat 1 Jim Sanderson-cropped

EN[40]

Bay cat distribution map

Pardofelis [Lineage 2] Marbled cat (P. marmorata) (Martin, 1836)[41]

Marbled cat borneo

NT[42]

MarbledCat distribution

Caracal [Lineage 3] Caracal (C. caracal) (Schreber, 1776)[43]

Caracl (01), Paris, décembre 2013

LC[44]

Caracal distribution

African golden cat (C. aurata) (Temminck, 1827)[45]

FelisAurataKeulemans

VU[46]

AfricanGoldenCat distribution

Leptailurus [Lineage 3] Serval (L. serval) (Schreber, 1775)[47]

Leptailurus serval -Serengeti National Park, Tanzania-8

LC[48]

Serval distribution

Leopardus [Lineage 4] Ocelot (L. pardalis) (Linnaeus, 1758)[49]

Ocelot (Jaguatirica) Zoo Itatiba

LC[50]

Ocelot area

Oncilla (L. tigrinus) (Schreber, 1775)[51]

Leopardus tigrinus - Parc des Félins

VU[52]

Oncilla area

Pampas cat (L. colocola) (Molina, 1782)[53]

Leopardus pajeros 20101006

NT[54]

Leopardus colocolo range map

Kodkod (L. guigna) (Molina, 1782)[53]

Leopardus guigna.jpeg

VU[55]

Oncifelis guigna dis

Margay (L. wiedii) (Schinz, 1821)[56]

Margaykat Leopardus wiedii

NT[57]

Margay area

Geoffroy's cat (L. geoffroyi) (d'Orbigny & Gervais, 1844)[58]

Salzkatze

LC[59]

Leopardus geoffroyi range map

Andean mountain cat (L. jacobitus) (Cornalia, 1865)[60]

Andean cat 1 Jim Sanderson

EN[61]

AndeanCat distribution

Southern tigrina (L. guttulus) (Hensel, 1872)[62] VU[63]

Leopardus guttulus range map

Lynx [Lineage 5] Eurasian lynx (L. lynx) (Linnaeus, 1758)[64]

Lynx Nationalpark Bayerischer Wald 01

LC[65]

Eurasian Lynx area

Bobcat (L. rufus) Schreber, 1777[66]

Bobcat2

LC[67]

Bobcat Lynx rufus distribution map

Canada lynx (L. canadensis) Kerr, 1792[68]

Lynx-canadensis

LC[69]

Canada Lynx area

Iberian lynx (L. pardinus) (Temminck, 1827)[70]

Linces19

EN[71]

Mapa distribuicao lynx pardinus defasado

Acinonyx [Lineage 6] Cheetah (A. jubatus) Schreber, 1775)[72]

Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) female 2

VU[73]

Cheetah range - 2

Puma [Lineage 6] Cougar (P. concolor) Linnaeus, 1771[74]

Mountain Lion in Glacier National Park

LC[75]

Cougar range map 2010

Jaguarundi (Herpailurus yagouaroundi) (Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 1803)[76]

Puma yagouaroundi

LC[77]

Jaguarundi area

Otocolobus [Lineage 7] Pallas's cat (O. manul) (Pallas, 1776)[78]

Manoel

NT[79]

Manul distribution

Prionailurus [Lineage 7] Leopard cat (P. bengalensis) (Kerr, 1792)[80]

Close-up of a Leopard Cat in Sundarban

LC[81]

LeopardCat distribution

Sunda leopard cat (P. javanensis) (Desmarest, 1816)[82]

Blacan Indonesia

SundaLeopardCat distribution

Flat-headed cat (P. planiceps) (Vigors & Horsfield, 1827)[37]

Flat-headed cat 1 Jim Sanderson

VU[83]

Plionailurus planiceps former distribution

Fishing cat (P. viverrinus) (Bennett, 1833)

Fishing Cat (120780371).jpeg

VU[84]

FishingCat distribution

Rusty-spotted cat (P. rubiginosus) (Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 1834)[85]

Rusty spotted cat 1

NT[86]

Prionailurus rubiginosus range map

Felis [Lineage 8] Domestic cat (F. catus) Linnaeus, 1758[87]

Jammlich crop

European wildcat (F. silvestris) Schreber, 1777[88]

European Wildcat Nationalpark Bayerischer Wald 03

LC[89]

EuropeanWildcat distribution

Jungle cat (F. chaus) Schreber, 1777[90]

Jungle Cat Felis chaus by Dr. Raju Kasambe DSCN7957 (3)

LC[91]

Distribution of Jungle Cat

African wildcat (F. lybica) Forster, 1780[92]

Parc des Felins Chat de Gordoni 28082013 2

AfricanWildcat distribution

Black-footed cat (F. nigripes) Burchell, 1824[93]

Blackfooted2

VU[94]

Black-footedCat distribution

Sand cat (F. margarita) Loche, 1858[95]

Persian sand CAT

LC[96]

SandCat distribution

Chinese mountain cat (F. bieti) Milne-Edwards, 1892[97]

Chinese Mountain Cat (Felis Bieti) in XiNing Wild Zoo

VU[98]

ChineseMountainCat distribution

Fossil genera

Panthera leo atrox Sergiodlarosa
The American lion was one of the abundant Pleistocene megafauna, a wide variety of very large mammals that became extinct about 10,000 years ago.[99]

The list follows McKenna and Bell's Classification of Mammals for prehistoric genera. The list differs from McKenna and Bell as follows: Sivapanthera is included in the Felinae, as Acinonychinae is no longer recognised as distinct subfamily; Viretailurus is considered a synonym of Puma; Ischyrosmilus is considered a synonym of the genus Homotherium;[100] and several newly recognised genera, including Miracinonyx, Lokotunjailurus and Xenosmilus, have been added.

Fossil felids

Possibly the oldest known true felid (Proailurus) lived in the late Oligocene and early Miocene epochs. During the Miocene, it gave way to Pseudaelurus. Pseudaelurus is believed to be the latest common ancestor of the two extant subfamilies and the extinct subfamily, Machairodontinae. This group, better known as the saber-tooth cats, became extinct in the Late Pleistocene era. The group includes the genera Smilodon, Machairodus and Homotherium. The Metailurini were originally classified as a distinct tribe within Machairodontinae, though they count as members of the Felinae in recent times.[105][106] Most extinct cat-like animals, once regarded as members of the Felidae, later turned out to be members of related, but distinct, families: the "false sabretooths" Nimravidae and Barbourofelidae. As a result, sabretooth "cats" seem to belong to four different lineages. The total number of fossil felids known to science is low compared to other carnivoran families, such as dogs and bears. Felidae radiated quite recently and most of the extant species are relatively young.

Evolution

Feliform Timeline
Feliform evolutionary timeline

Results of mitochondrial analysis indicates that all the Felidae descended from a common ancestor. Cats originated in Asia and spread across continents by crossing land bridges. Testing of mitochondrial and nuclear DNA revealed that the ancient cats evolved into eight main lineages that diverged in the course of at least 10 migrations (in both directions) from continent to continent via the Bering land bridge and the Isthmus of Panama, with the genus Panthera being the oldest and the genus Felis being the youngest. About 60% of the modern cat species are estimated to have developed within the last million years.[22]

The Felidae's closest relatives are thought to be the Asiatic linsangs.[107] Together with the viverrids, hyenas, mongooses, and Malagasy carnivores, they form the suborder Feliformia.[108]

Most cat species share a genetic anomaly that prevents them from tasting sweetness.[109] This is believed to be because their diet consists so strictly of meat (which contains no concentrated sugar) and therefore the taste of sugar signals nothing important for the felid brain and confers no evolutionary advantages. While some individual felids may be able to taste sugar, this ability is not characteristic of any felid species as a whole.

Most cat species have a haploid number of 18 or 19. New World cats (those in Central and South America) have a haploid number of 18, possibly due to the combination of two smaller chromosomes into a larger one.[110]

Domestic cats may either have a long or short tail. At one point, biologists had to consider whether the short tail also found in the lynx was the ancestral or derived trait. Without looking at the fossil record, researchers were able to look at the character states found in their outgroups. Because all animals belonging to Felidae's sister taxa, Viverridae, have long tails, scientists could infer that this character state represents the ancestral trait.[108]

Some domestic cats display a rosette pattern on their coats. This character state, however, is not related to the rosettes found on big cats. Domestic cats and big cats underwent convergent evolution for this trait. The most common ancestor to all cats had a flecked coat. Lynxes display this character state. The jaguarundi lost this character state secondarily. The most common recent ancestor of snow leopards, tigers, jaguars, lions, and leopards developed a coat with rosette patterns from the flecked patterns. Tigers and lions, however, do not display rosettes as adults. They both have lost this ancestral character state over time. Adult tigers actually display elongated rosettes that now appear as stripes. Adult lions seem to lack any distinctive markings altogether. Both juvenile tigers and lions, however, display partial rosettes. This ancestral character state appears only during these early stages, supporting the notion that ontogeny reflects phylogeny. The rosette patterns found on snow leopards, jaguars, and leopards all have a common origin.[111]

Fossil occurrences indicate that the Felidae arrived in North America about 10 million years later than the Canidae, and about 20 million years later than the Ursidae and the Nimravidae.[112]

Phylogeny

The phylogenetic relationships of extant felids are shown in the following cladogram, based on the molecular phylogenetic analysis of Johnson et al. (2006).[22] The lineages, genera and species are as used in that study.

Felidae
Felidae
Panthera lineage
Pantherinae
Neofelis

Neofelis nebulosa (clouded leopard)

Neofelis diardi (Sunda clouded leopard)

Panthera

Panthera uncia (snow leopard)

Panthera tigris (tiger)

Panthera onca (jaguar)

Panthera pardus (leopard)

Panthera leo (lion)

Felinae
Bay cat lineage
Pardofelis

Pardofelis marmorata (marbled cat)

Catopuma

Catopuma badia (bay cat)

Catopuma temminckii (Asian golden cat)

Caracal lineage
Leptailurus

Leptailurus serval (serval)

Caracal

Caracal caracal (caracal)

Caracal aurata (African golden cat)

Ocelot lineage
Leopardus

Leopardus pardalis (ocelot)

Leopardus wiedii (margay)

Leopardus jacobita (Andean mountain cat)

Leopardus colocolo (Pampas cat)

Leopardus geoffroyi (Geoffroy's cat)

Leopardus guigna (kodkod)

Leopardus tigrinus (oncilla or tigrina)

Lynx lineage
Lynx

Lynx rufus (bobcat)

Lynx canadensis (Canadian lynx)

Lynx lynx (Eurasian lynx)

Lynx pardinus (Iberian lynx)

Puma lineage
Acinonyx

Acinonyx jubatus (cheetah)

Puma

Puma concolor (cougar)

Herpailurus

Herpailurus yagouaroundi (jaguarundi)

Leopard cat lineage
Otocolobus

Otocolobus manul (Pallas's cat)

Prionailurus

Prionailurus rubiginosus (rusty-spotted cat)

Prionailurus bengalensis (leopard cat)

Prionailurus viverrinus (fishing cat)

Prionailurus planiceps (flat-headed cat)

Felis
 

Felis chaus (jungle cat)

Felis nigripes (black-footed cat)

Felis margarita (sand cat)

Felis bieti (Chinese mountain cat)

Felis lybica (African wildcat)

Felis silvestris (European wildcat)

Felis catus (domestic cat)

Domestic cat lineage    

Habitat and ecology

Cat species are native to every continent except Australasia and Antarctica. Some are adapted to desert environments, some to wetlands, some to high altitude mountainous terrain. Those cat species living in forests are generally agile climbers. All cat species are obligate carnivores and require meat. Apart from the lion, wild cats are generally solitary and secretive. Feral domestic cats form colonies. Cheetah males are known to live and hunt in groups. Activity pattern of cat species ranges from nocturnal to crepuscular and diurnal, depending on their preferred prey species.[11]

See also

References

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General references

External links

African golden cat

The African golden cat (Caracal aurata) is a wild cat endemic to the rainforests of West and Central Africa. It is threatened due to deforestation and bushmeat hunting and listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.It is a close relative of both the caracal and the serval. Previously, it was placed in the genus Profelis.Its body size ranges from 61 to 101 cm (24 to 40 in) with a 16 to 46 cm (6.3 to 18.1 in) long tail.

Asiatic linsang

The Asiatic linsang (Prionodon) is a genus comprising two species native to Southeast Asia: the banded linsang (Prionodon linsang) and the spotted linsang (Prionodon pardicolor). Prionodon is considered a sister taxon of the Felidae.

Big cat

The term "big cat" is typically used to refer to any of the five living members of the genus Panthera, namely tiger, lion, jaguar, leopard, and snow leopard.

Except the snow leopard, these species are able to roar.

A more liberal and expansive definition of the term includes species outside of Panthera including the cougar, clouded leopard, Sunda clouded leopard and cheetah, although these added species also do not roar.Despite enormous differences in size, various cat species are quite similar in both structure and behaviour, with the exception of the cheetah, which significantly stands out from the other big and small cats. All cats are carnivores and efficient apex predators. Their range includes the Americas, Africa, and Asia.

Caracal (genus)

Caracal is a genus of the subfamily Felinae in the family Felidae. Previously, it was considered to be a monotypic genus, consisting of only the type species: Caracal caracal, commonly called caracal.

Genetic analysis has shown that caracal, African golden cat and serval are genetically closely related and diverged from a common ancestor about 5.4 million years ago. Therefore, it has been suggested to subordinate all of them to the genus Caracal. This taxonomic classification is used in the IUCN Red List for the African golden cat. It is used as a synonym for the serval.

Dewclaw

A dewclaw is a digit – vestigial in some animals – on the foot of many mammals, birds, and reptiles (including some extinct orders, like certain theropods). It commonly grows higher on the leg than the rest of the foot, such that in digitigrade or unguligrade species it does not make contact with the ground when the animal is standing. The name refers to the dewclaw's alleged tendency to brush dew away from the grass. On dogs and cats the dewclaws are on the inside of the front legs, positioned analogously to a human thumb. Although many animals have dewclaws, other similar species do not, such as horses, giraffes and the African wild dog.

Euplerinae

Euplerinae, more commonly known as malagasy civets, is a subfamily of carnivorans that includes four species restricted to Madagascar. Together with the subfamily Galidiinae, which also only occurs on Madagascar, it forms the family Eupleridae. Members of this subfamily, which include the fossa (Cryptoprocta ferox), falanoucs (Eupleres goudotii and Eupleres major) and Malagasy civet (Fossa fossana), were placed in families like Felidae and Viverridae before genetic data indicated their consanguinity with other Madagascar carnivorans. Within the subfamily, the falanouc and Malagasy civet are more closely related to each other than to the fossa.

Felidae (film)

Felidae is a 1994 German adult animated neo-noir/crime thriller film directed by Michael Schaack, written by Martin Kluger, Stefaan Schieder and Akif Pirinçci based on the 1989 novel Felidae, produced by Trickompany, and starring Ulrich Tukur, Mario Adorf and Klaus Maria Brandauer. The story centers on domestic house cat Francis and the grisly feline murders taking place in his new neighborhood.

Felinae

The Felinae is a subfamily of the family Felidae that comprises the small cats that have a bony hyoid, because of which they are able to purr but not roar.Other authors proposed an alternative definition for this subfamily: as comprising only the living conical-toothed cat genera with two tribes, the Felini and Pantherini; thus excluding all fossil cat species.

Leopard

The leopard (Panthera pardus) is one of the five extant species in the genus Panthera, a member of the Felidae. The leopard occurs in a wide range in sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Asia. The leopard is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List because leopard populations are threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation, and are declining in large parts of the global range. In Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuwait, Syria, Libya, Tunisia and most likely in Morocco, leopard populations have already been extirpated.

Contemporary records suggest that the leopard occurs in only 25% of its historical global range.

Leopards are hunted illegally, and their body parts are smuggled in the wildlife trade for medicinal practices and decoration.Compared to other wild cats, the leopard has relatively short legs and a long body with a large skull. It is similar in appearance to the jaguar, but generally has a smaller, lighter physique. Its fur is marked with rosettes similar to those of the jaguar, but the leopard's rosettes are generally smaller, more densely packed and without central spots. Both leopards and jaguars that are melanistic are known as black panthers. The leopard is distinguished by its well-camouflaged fur, opportunistic hunting behaviour, broad diet, and strength (which it uses to move heavy carcasses into trees), as well as its ability to adapt to various habitats ranging from rainforest to steppe, including arid and montane areas, and its ability to run at speeds of up to 58 kilometres per hour (36 mph).Fossil parts dating to the Late Pleistocene were excavated in Europe and Japan.

Leopardus

Leopardus is a genus of spotted small cats mostly native to Middle and South America, with a very small range extending into the southern United States. The genus is considered the oldest branch of a lineage of small cats that crossed into the Americas, with the genera Lynx and Puma being later branches of the same group. The largest species in Leopardus is the ocelot (L. pardalis); most of the other species resemble domestic cats in size, with the kodkod (L. guigna) being the smallest cat in the Americas. The margay (L. wiedii) is more highly adapted to arboreal life than any other cat in the Americas.Despite the name, the leopard is a member of genus Panthera, not Leopardus.

Metailurini

Metailurini is an extinct taxonomic tribe of large saber-toothed cats that lived in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America from the Miocene to the Pleistocene.The best known Metalurini genera are Dinofelis and Metailurus. Metailurini had canines longer than neofelids, but smaller than true saber toothed cats. The teeth were also are more conical than flat, so called "scimitar-toothed", having broad and mildly elongated upper canines. Like most extinct cats, the majority of species in Metailurini are known primarily from fragments. However, the systematic position and taxonomy of these creatures is now accepted as being true members of Felidae and descended from Proailurus and Pseudaelurus. Within Felidae, they had been traditionally considered to belong in Machairodontinae, albeit some have in the past proposed a relationship to Pantherinae, all phylogenetic analyses support the former classification but the monophyly of the taxon itself might not be supported.

Panthera

Panthera is a genus within the Felidae family that was named and first described by the German naturalist Lorenz Oken in 1816. The British taxonomist Pocock revised the classification of this genus in 1916 as comprising the species lion, tiger, jaguar, and leopard on the basis of cranial features. Results of genetic analysis indicate that the snow leopard also belongs to the Panthera, a classification that was accepted by IUCN Red List assessors in 2008.The tiger, lion, leopard, and jaguar are the only felines with the anatomical structure that enables them to roar. The primary reason for this was formerly assumed to be the incomplete ossification of the hyoid bone. However, new studies show the ability to roar is due to other morphological features, especially of the larynx. The snow leopard does not roar. Although it has an incomplete ossification of the hyoid bone, it lacks the special morphology of the larynx.

Pantherinae

Pantherinae is a subfamily within the family Felidae, which was named and first described by Reginald Innes Pocock in 1917.

Pardofelis

Pardofelis is a genus of the cat family Felidae. This genus is defined as including one species native to Southeast Asia: the marbled cat. Two other species, formerly classified to this genus, now belong to the genus Catopuma.

The word pardofelis is composed of the Latin words pardus pard, and felis cat in allusion to the spots of the type species, the marbled cat.

Penile spines

Many mammalian species have developed keratinized penile spines along the glans and/or shaft, which may be involved in sexual selection. These spines have been described as being simple, single-pointed structures (macaques) or complex with two or three points per spine (strepsirrhines). Penile spine morphology may be related to mating system.

Poiana (genus)

The African linsangs also known as oyans are two species classified in the mammalian subfamily Viverrinae, in the family Viverridae. There is one genus, Poiana.

Both linsang genera (Poiana and the Asian Prionodon) were formerly placed in the subfamily Viverrinae (of Viverridae), along with several other genera, but recent research suggests that their actual relationships may be somewhat different. The linsangs are remarkable for their morphological resemblance to cats, family Felidae, which is greater than in the other viverrids. As the relationship between linsangs and cats was thought to be rather distant (the two groups belonging to different families within the superfamily Feliformia), this was considered an example of convergent evolution. However, DNA analysis indicates that while the African linsangs (Poiana) are true viverrids closely related to the genets, the Asiatic linsangs (Prionodon) are not and may instead be the closest living relatives of the family Felidae. The similarities between Asiatic linsangs and cats are thus more likely to be due to common ancestry, while the similarities between the two genera of linsangs must be convergent.

The name linsang is from Javanese linsang or wlinsang, which used to be wrongly translated as "otter" in English dictionaries. Linsangs are nocturnal, generally solitary tree dwellers. They are carnivorous, eating squirrels and other rodents, small birds, lizards and insects. Typical size is a little over 30 cm (1 foot), with a tail that more than doubles that length. Bodies are long, with short legs, giving a low appearance. Both species have yellowish bodies with black markings (stripes, blotches and spots), though the distribution and nature of the markings varies between the two species.

The species of African linsangs are:

Poiana leightoni - West African oyan

Poiana richardsonii - Central African oyan

Puma (genus)

Puma is a genus in the family Felidae that contains the cougar (also known as the puma, among other names), and may also include several poorly known Old World fossil representatives (for example, Puma pardoides, or Owen's panther, a large, cougar-like cat of Eurasia's Pliocene). In addition to these potential Old World fossils, a few New World fossil representatives are possible, such as Puma pumoides and the two proposed species of the so-called "American cheetah".

Saber-toothed cat

A saber-toothed cat (alternatively spelled sabre-toothed cat) is any member of various extinct groups of predatory mammals that were characterized by long, curved saber-shaped canine teeth. The large maxillary canine teeth extended from the mouth even when it was closed. The saber-toothed cats were found worldwide from the Eocene epoch to the end of the Pleistocene epoch (42 million years ago (mya) – 11,000 years ago), existing for about 42 million years.One of the best-known genera is Smilodon, species of which, especially S. fatalis, are popularly, but incorrectly referred as a "saber-toothed tiger," a genus within the subfamily Machairodontinae of the carnivoran family Felidae. Extant members of Felidae include cats of the subfamilies Felinae and Pantherinae.

However, usage of the word cat is in some cases a misnomer, as many species referred to as saber-toothed "cats" are not closely related to modern cats of Felidae: instead, many are members of other feliform carnivoran families, such as Barbourofelidae and Nimravidae; the oxyaenid "creodont" genera Machaeroides and Apataelurus; and two lineages of metatherian mammals, the thylacosmilids of Sparassodonta, and deltatheroideans, which are more closely related to marsupials than to the placental mammals of the other orders mentioned. In this regard, saber-toothed cats can be viewed as examples of convergent evolution. This convergence is remarkable due not only to the development of elongated canines, but also a suite of other characteristics, such as a wide gape and bulky forelimbs, that is so consistent that it has been termed the "saber-tooth suite."Of the feliform lineages, the family Nimravidae is the oldest, entering the landscape around 42 mya and becoming extinct by 7.2 mya. Barbourofelidae entered around 16.9 mya and were extinct by 9 mya. These two would have shared some habitats.

Tiger attacks in the Sundarbans

Tiger attacks in the Sundarbans, in India and Bangladesh are estimated to kill from 0-50 (mean of 22.7 between 1947 and 1983) people per year. The Sundarbans is home to over 100 Bengal tigers, one of the largest single populations of tigers in one area. Before modern times, Sundarbans were said to "regularly kill fifty or sixty people a year".These tigers are a little smaller and slimmer than those elsewhere in India but remain extremely powerful and are infamous for destroying small wooden boats. They are not the only tigers who live close to humans; in Bandhavgarh, villages encircle the tiger reserves, and yet attacks on people are rare. Although attacks were stalled temporarily in 2004 with new precautions, recently attacks have been on the rise. This is particularly due to the devastation on the Bangladeshi side of the swamp caused by Cyclone Sidr which has deprived tigers of traditional food sources (due to the natural upheaval) and has pushed them over towards the more populated Indian side of the swamp.

Extant Carnivora species

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