Asiatic Linsang: A close cousin of the Civet

Asiatic Linsang

Linsangs is an originally Javanese name applied to two species of tree-dwelling carnivorous mammals within the family Prionodontidae.  The Asiatic linsangs were thought to be more closely related to weasels and stoats, or the family Viverridae but DNA analysis confirms that they bear close resemblance to cats, family Felidae.

The african Linsangs are the ones mostly closely related to Viverridae. Thus giving us another instance of convergent evolution among animals that occupy similar ecological niches.

This animals is sometimes described as the most snake-like cat-like creature. It has a very flexible body and a very long tail, and thus allows it to move about the lower forest vegetation with ease. For camouflage, it has a beige body color with spots that are dark-brown. The body is usually 40 cms long and the tail is about the same size as well. The tail, unlike the body, is banded and also aids in camouflage.

Linsanges prey on small birds, insects,rats and lizards and live in the lower branches of trees. Their feet are small with sharp claws that can be retracted for stealth. These creatures are mostly solitary, only coming together to breed. Most litters consist of a couple of pups that leave their mother when weaned.

These creatures are not threatened except that the habitat destruction that is the bane of South-East Asia also affects them adversely.

This is a rare video that I found of the creature

 

 

About mammal 73 Articles
I blog about mammals and all the interesting and fun-filled facts about them will be welcome additions to this blog.

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