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Pallas's Cat ... aren't they just beautiful (Read 1399 times)
mr cat
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Pallas's Cat ... aren't they just beautiful
11/10/11 at 11:05:03
 
Pallas's Cats
 
Pallas' Cat (Otocolobus manul), also known as the Manul, is a small wild cat of Central Asia. It is about the size of a House Cat, at 60 cm (24 in) long, not including its 25 cm (10 in) tail, and an average weight of 3.6 kg (8 lbs). Its fur is ochre in color with vertical bars, which are sometimes not visible due to the thick fur. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pallas%27s_cat
 
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Re: Pallas's Cat ... aren't they just beautiful
Reply #1 - 11/10/11 at 11:10:11
 
Pallas' Cat (Otocolobus manul)
 
 
Common Names      Order      Family      Genus      Species
Pallas Cat, Manul, Steppe Cat      Carnivora      Felidae      Otocolobus      manul
 
Length      70-96 cm (28-38")
Weight      3 - 4.5 kg (5.5 - 10 lbs)
Height      30-35 cm (12-14")
Range      Caspian Sea, Iran, Siberia and Tibet
Habitat      Steppes, cold deserts, rocky terrain up to 4,800 m
Reproduction      1 - 6 kittens born after 66 - 75 day gestation. Sexually mature around 12 months
Colouring      Variable. Light grey to yellowish and russet, white tips of fur giving a frosted appearance
 
pallas catPallasí cats were named after a German naturalist, Peter Pallas, who described much of the Russian fauna. Russians call it the manul, which is also the Mongolian name for these cats. They are also called the steppe cat and the rock wildcat.
 
These small cats have a stocky body with thick soft fur and an abundant dark, woolly underfur which is double the length of that on the rest of the body. The colour varies from a light grey to a yellowish buff and russet, with the white tips of the hair producing a frosted appearance. There are some faint stripes along the sides of the body (more visible on the summer coat), and the fur on the underside is darker and longer than that above. Their head is round and broad with scattered black spots on the forehead, and two distinct parallel black bars on each cheek. The large, owl-like eyes are yellow, and the pupils contract into small circles instead of the usual vertical slits. The ears are short, rounded, and set low on the sides of the head. They are buff on the backs. The legs are short and stout, and the tail is thickly furred with a broad terminal black band, and five to six narrow rings along it.
 
Pallasí cats look much heavier than they really are due to their stocky build and thick coat. They are well adapted to their habitat of steppes, cold deserts and rocky country in central Asia, having been observed at altitudes of 4,000 to 4,800 metres. The thick fur coat insulates them against the cold, and the well furred tail can be wrapped around the body like a warm muff. The well developed nictitating membrane (third eyelid) may afford protection against both the cold winds and the regular dust storms which arise in parts of their range. They are able to climb rocky crevices and cliff faces with ease. The flat head and low set ears are thought to be adaptations for stalking prey in open areas with relatively little cover. These cats feed on a variety of small mammals including pikas, voles, marmots and ground squirrels, as well as a number of different birds including larks, sandgrouse and ptarmigan. They hide away for much of the day in caves or hollows under stones, or may adopt the burrows of other creatures such as marmots or foxes.
 
pallas cat range mapMale Pallasí cats may have a home range of around four square kilometres, but essentially no work has been done on the ecology of this species. Their mating call is said to resemble a cross between the bark of a small dog and the hoot of an owl. The duration of oestrous in females is thought to be short, and sexual receptivity does not exceed 42 hours in captive studied females. Gestation has been measured between 66 and 75 days in captivity, and kittens have been born in late April and May in Siberia. The litter size is one to six, usually three or four. Kittens have a dark, woolly coat without the frosted appearance of the adults. The striping on the sides is more pronounced in kittens and fades as they grow. They moult their juvenile coat around two months of age, at which time they weigh 500 - 600 grams. They achieve adult size and weight around eight months of age. Pallasí cats have lived up to 12 years of age in captivity.
 
Early scientists erroneously suggested these cats were the ancestor of domestic Persian cats. They are said to have a fierce temperament in captivity, although some individuals raised from kittens can be quite affectionate.
 
The fur of Pallasí cat is luxuriant and valued on local fur markets. They have disappeared in recent years from much of the Caspian region and have been eliminated from the eastern - most part of their range. Pelts are sometimes sold in China and Russia, but these cats are supposedly protected because of the rodent killing they do around human habitations. Many of the furs remain within the local populace and go into the sewing of caps, dress collars and ladies fur coats. The fur is prized for its warmth and durability.
 
Poisoning to control pika populations has taken place on a large scale in parts of Russia and China. The best hope for Pallasí cat is that the inaccessibility and desolation of their habitat will help keep their numbers from being too decimated. Hunting is prohibited over most of their range, with no information available from Afghanistan, Georgia and Tajikistan. CITES has placed these little cats on Appendix II.
 
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mr cat
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Re: Pallas's Cat ... aren't they just beautiful
Reply #2 - 11/10/11 at 11:12:39
 
[youtube]<iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/trR04GBpl9E" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>[/youtube]
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Re: Pallas's Cat ... aren't they just beautiful
Reply #3 - 11/10/11 at 11:15:40
 



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Re: Pallas's Cat ... aren't they just beautiful
Reply #4 - 11/10/11 at 16:02:24
 
Have you ever wanted to take a trip through time to see what animals looked like millions of years ago? When it comes to cats there is little or no need.  This beautiful specimen is a Manul, otherwise known as Pallasís Cat.  About twelve million years ago it was one of the first two modern cats to evolve and it hasnít changed since. The other species, Martelliís Cat, is extinct so what you are looking at here is a unique window in to the past of modern cats.
 
Although the Manul is only the size of the domestic cat, reaching about 26 inches in length its appearance makes it appear somewhat larger.  It is stocky and has very lengthy, thick fur, which gives it, perhaps to human eyes, an unintentional appearance of feline rotundity.  Yet although it appears stout and somewhat ungainly it has a natural elegance and poise Ė exactly what you would expect from the genus Felis in other words.  Plus it can certainly look after itself in a fight.
 
The main reason for its survival throughout the ages has been its isolation. In the wild it lives on the Asian steppes at substantial heights Ė up to 13,000 feet.  Based in India, Pakistan, western China and Mongolia as well as Afghanistan and Turkemistan, it has even been discovered recently in the wilds of the Sayan region of Siberia. In these places it prefers rocky areas, semidesert and barren hillsides.  In other words places where we are less likely to live Ė but even having said that you will no doubt be able to hazard a guess which species is the Manulís greatest enemy.
 
Take a close look at the eyes of the Manul.  Do you see a difference between it and the domestic cat? Thatís right, the pupils of the Manul are round, not slit-like.  Proportionally too, the legs are smaller than cats we know and they canít run anywhere near as quickly.  As for the ears, well, when you actually can catch sight of them they are very low and much further apart than you would see in a domestic cat.
 
It also has a much shorter face than other cats, which makes its face look flattened.  Some people, when they see their first Manus mistakenly believe that it is a monkey because of its facial appearance and bulky looking frame.  It is easier to see why, from some angles.
 
The Manus has not been studied a great deal in the wild, where it is classified as near threatened.  This is because it is distributed very patchily throughout its territory, not to mention the fact it is still hunted despite protection orders made by the various governments who create human law in its range. Before it was legally protected tens of thousands of Manuls were hunted and killed each year, mostly for their fur.
 
It is thought that the cat hunts mostly at dawn and dusk where it will feed on small rodents and birds. Ambush and stalking are their favorite methods of conducting a hunt and although they tend to shelter in abandoned burrows in the day they have been seen basking in the sun. In other words, behaviorally they are much like the domesticated moggy that we know and love.
 
The Manul is a solitary creature and individuals do not tend to meet purposefully when it is outside the breeding season and will avoid the company of others of its kind where possible. When it is threatened it raises and quivers the upper lip, Elvis like, revealing a large canine tooth.
 
When breeding does happen the male has to get in quickly as oestrus usually only lasts just under two days. It usually births up to six kittens, very rarely a single one, and it is believed that the size of its litters reflect the high rate of mortality the infant cats can expect. Yet they are expected to be able to hunt at sixteen weeks and are very much on their own and independent by six months. Although their life expectancy in the wild is unknown in captivity they have lived to over eleven years.
 
Donít rush to your local pet store, however.  The Manul does not domesticate and even if it did they are incredibly hard to breed in captivity with many kittens dying.  This is thought to be because in the wild, due to its isolation, the catís immune system did not have a need to develop and so when they come in contact with us and other species, this under-developed immune system lets them down.
 






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