19×24 colored pencil. Original unavailable.
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The Jaguarundi (Puma yaguarondi) is a medium-sized Mexican, Central and South American wild cat: average length 65 cm (30 inches) with 45 cm (20 in) of tail and a weight of about 6 kg (13.2 lbs). It has short legs and an appearance somewhat like an otter; the ears are short and rounded. The coat is unspotted, uniform in color, and varying from blackish to brownish gray (gray phase) or from foxy red to chestnut (red phase).
The two color phases were once thought to represent two distinct species; the gray one called Jaguarundi, and the red one called Eyra. However, these are the same species and both color phases may be found in the same litter. Its coat has no markings except for spots at birth. In some Spanish speaking countries, the Jaguarundi is also called Leoncillo, which means little lion.
This cat is closely related to the much larger and heavier Cougar as evident by its similar genetic structure and chromosome count; both species are in the genus Puma although it is sometimes classified under a separate genus, Herpailurus and until recently, both cats were classified under the genus Felis.
According to a 2006 genomic study of Felidae, an ancestor of today’s Leopardus, Lynx, Puma, Prionailurus, and Felis lineages migrated across the Bering land bridge into the Americas approximately 8 to 8.5 million years ago. The lineages subsequently diverged in that order.
Conservation This cat is not particularly sought after for its fur, but it is suffering decline due to loss of habitat.
The Jaguarundi has been sighted around the Guiana Space Centre in French Guiana. (information from Wikipedia)