Friday, October 28, 2011

Jaguarundi

Puma yagouaroundi
The Jaguarundi is a small, strange looking feline with an elongated body and short legs. One of their alternate common names is "Otter Cat," and it's not much of a stretch to see why. They are also sometimes confused with Tayras!

Jaguarundis have a range that spans from Texas all the way to Argentina, and are most commonly found in open areas. They are solitary cats, and are primarily diurnal, though they sometimes hunt through dawn and dusk as well. Jaguarundis spend most of their time on the ground, though they are able to both climb and swim quite well.

Small mammals, birds, and fish make up the Jaguarundi's diet. They typically hunt by stalking and pouncing, and mothers teach their cubs how to hunt during their first year of life.

Finally, can you guess who the closest relative to the Jaguarundi is? It's not any of the other small cats, nor is it the Jaguar. Despite their massive size difference, Cougars and Jaguarundis are the only two living species in their genus!

IUCN Status : Least Concern
Location : Central and South America
Size : Body Length 30in (77cm), Weight up to 20lbs (9kg)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Mammalia -- Order : Carnivora
Family : Felidae -- Genus : Puma -- Species : P. yagouaroundi

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