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African Golden Cat

African Golden Cat

The African Golden Cat (Profelis aurata) is a medium-sized wild cat distributed over the rainforests of West and Central Africa. It is about 80 cm (31.5 inches) long, plus 30 cm (about a foot) tail. The African Golden Cat has turned out to be a close relative of both the Caracal and the Serval. However, the current classification places it as the only member of the genus Profelis.

Physical attributes

The color of the fur is variable. Typically, the African Golden Cat is cinnamon or reddish brown, but there are also black or grey color variants. The fur is sometimes spotted, while other individuals have plain fur.

The body length usually varies in the range 61-100 cm (24-40 inches), the tail length varies in the range 16-46 cm (6.5-18 inches), and the shoulder height is about 38-55 cm (about 1-2 feet). Male specimens weight in the range 11-14 kg (24-31 lbs) while the only one female specimen that was weighted had a weight of 6.2 kg (13.7 lbs). It resembles the Caracal, but with shorter ears.

The African Golden Cat lives about 15 years in captivity.

Behavior

The African Golden Cat is able to climb, but it primarily hunts on the ground. The prey includes rodents, birds and monkeys. It also hunts duiker and even the Giant Forest Hog. Due to its hidden living style, there is not much known about this cat.

Subspecies

  • Profelis aurata aurata
  • Profelis aurata cottoni

The African Golden Cat is similar to the Asian Golden Cat, but studies indicate that the reason is convergent evolution.

References

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