World's smallest species of wildcat could fit in the palm of your hand


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/01/12/worlds-smallest-species-of-w.html


#2

Smol kitteh is smol. Also, I hope people leave these little critters alone. We got enough cats already. :C


#3

Who’s a precious little murder beast. Kitties are the bestest.


#4

More cats please.
Its good for our collective souls.


#5

Is there an explanation why it’s cute as heck, in addition to being tiny? (Biologically speaking?)

I mean… there is no reason why should it have a kitten’s face on top, no? Or is it some neotenic artifact of its evolutionary development from a previously larger cat?


#6

The internet says that it has a head and body length “HB Length: 35-48 cm (13-19″)” so you’d need a mighty big palm…


#7

Could be simply a function of the eyes working better at that size rather than being further miniaturized. As it is the smallest cat in the world, it’s probably reasonable to assume, as you say, that its ancestors were larger. That being the case, the hormonal mechanism that makes them stay small may be similar to the one that comes with domesticity, where the animal is overall smaller and exhibits more juvenile characteristics. I’d be curious to know if these have the levels of aggression, strong teeth, and bone density associated with wild cats, or if they’re actually morphologically similar to house cats.


#8

The 19th century naturalist, T.C. Jerdon, had a Rusty-spotted Cat as a pet, and it would hunt tree squirrels in the rafters of his house. When introduced to young gazelle, the cat immediately seized it by the nape of the neck, and had to be pulled off before it would let go.

THAT’S ADORABLE


#9

Thank you.


#10

82292c3ef8aa905d34d9c847265e2fbb--foghorn-leghorn-quotes-vintage-cartoons


#11

i got your world’s smallest wildcat right here


#12

How cute.

And not too dissimilar-looking from the ferocious little kitten we adopted right before Xmas.

Maybe they’re distantly related and that explains her feisty little 'tude…


#13

Is it wrong that I so desparately want someone to create a bengal/savanah type cross breed?


#14

a lot nicer looking than these tough customers https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jaguarundi

they look like the proposed common ancestors of both dogs and cats, the miacids


#15

I recall being scolded by one, elequently and at length, at Exmoor Zoo a couple of years ago. It was small, but not palm-of-the-hand smol.


#16

Yup. Wild animals, even incredibly cute ones, are not suitable pets. But I’m all for anything that mobilizes adoption of rescues.

Yay! Congrats.

8


#17

Thanks. Remember the kitten from the Warner Bros cartoon with the huge dog?

If it was a tiny tabby instead of a tuxedo, that’s totally our little demon.


#18

Yeah, rather than asking “why is it cute?” it’s more apt to ask “why do we regard it as cute?”

The rusty-spotted cat probably has big eyes because it is nocturnal. We probably regard big-eyed animals as “cute” because human babies have big eyes (our heads and eyes don’t grow nearly as much as the rest of our bodies) compared to human adults, and evolution has tricked us into caring for babies by wiring us up to regard them as cute. Other big-eyed animals being regarded as cute get the collateral benefit.


#19

beat me to it


#20

Oh, I LOVE that one heheheh! :heart_eyes_cat: