Animals / Mammal Facts / Cats – Felidae, Ideal Predator Bodies

Cats – Felidae, Ideal Predator Bodies


caracal

Caracal - South Africa

Estimates vary by source but there are approximately 40 species in the cat family (Felidae). There has been considerable disagreement as to the organization of the cat family, living and extinct, but genetic study is now allowing scientists to more firmly define which species are mostly closely related.

 

 

african golden felis aurata

African golden cat - Felis aurata

 

Of all predators, cats are probably the most efficient killers. Coloring, size and fur patterning vary within the family, but all species from the smallest to the largest are basically similar in appearance and proportions to the domestic cat and the ideal predatory body design.

 

pallas cat

Pallas' Cat

 

Cat bodies are muscular and flexible and the head is typically shortened and rounded, with large forward-directed eyes. Limbs can be proportionally short or long but in all species except the cheetah there are long, sharp, completely retractile claws on the feet for the grasping of prey, however, the attack practically always involves a bite from powerful jaws, which are armed with well-developed dagger-like canines. Shearing cheek teeth are used for slicing through flesh.

 

Felis jacobita

Andean mountain cat - Felis jacobita

 

This successful family is distributed almost worldwide in the wild and of course fat lazy domestic cats have it easy everywhere in the world.

Sadly the danger for them is that they have very pretty fur and man can’t resist hunting them, with some species in danger of extinction.

 

Flat headed  felis planiceps

Flat-headed cat - Felis planiceps

 

felis wiedi margay

Margay - Felis wiedi

 

felis chaus

Jungle cat - Felis chaus

 

 

 

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