Animals / Mammal Facts / Cats – Felidae, Ideal Predator Bodies / Geoffroy's Cat - Little Amazon Night Stalker

Geoffroy's Cat - Little Amazon Night Stalker


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Geoffroy's cat prefers stalking the dense rainforest although it can sometimes be seen in grasslands and savannahs. Living from lowland Amazon rainforests up to 11,500 ft (3,500 m) in the forests of the high Andes mountain ranges in South America (from Bolivia and central Brazil to Patagonia). Primarily living in these dense forests, it make sense that the cat is an expert climber. Oddly enough, it also enjoys a good swim and is a good swimmer, as it often lives close to marshes and swamps. The male cat is the one that takes care of the home range perimeter of their chosen territories which may include space for several females. The male will breed with most of the females in his protected range. Those males that are smaller and weaker won't be able to guard a territory for themselves, and unfortunately for them, they won't be able to provide a home to mate and reproduce with females.

 

 

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The cat is nocturnal, and does its night hunting in trees, on the ground and in water. Its prey are frogs and fish as well as lizards, birds and small mammals (rodents). It can stand on its hind legs to gaze out, scanning the horizon, or even hang upside down from branches while it reaches out to pull out hiding prey. It hunts alone in a range of up to nearly 5 square miles (12 km squared).

 

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Not any larger than a domestic cat measuring 21.5 in (54 cm) and weighing around 9 lbs (4 kg), Geoffroy's cat is small for a wild species. The tail measures about half the length of the rest of the body. The coat is covered in black spots for camouflage. Depending on the region the cat comes from, the fur can be brown-yellow or more grey along with the black spots and white. It becomes sexually mature at about 18 months, and litters of 1-4 cubs are usually born in the summers. It lives 15 years on average.

This cat gets its peculiar name from Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, a French scientist that worked on evolutionary theory and traveled to South America. He has four animals named after him: the cat, a spider monkey, a tamarin and a bat.

 

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