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Cretan Wildcat

Cretan Wildcat, by STIGMES, the magazine of Crete"

Cretan Wildcat[1]

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Felidae
Genus: Felis
Species: F. silvestris
Subspecies: F. s. cretensis
Trinomial name
Felis silvestris cretensis
Haltenorth, 1953

The Cretan Wildcat (Felis silvestris cretensis; Greek φουρόκατος) is a Wildcat subspecies that inhabits the Greek island of Crete. It was long thought to have gone extinct, but in 1996 a specimen was captured by an expedition from the University of Perugia.

Origin of the Cretan Wildcat

The Cretan Wildcat is more closely related to the African Wildcat than to its European cousins. Since cats are weak swimmers, scientists now examine two hypotheses:

* The animal existed on Crete prior to the separation of Crete from the neighboring mainland.
* The animal was brought to Crete for domestication by the first settlers, but later it ran wild again[2].

References

  1. ^ Wozencraft, W. C. (16 November 2005). in Wilson, D. E., and Reeder, D. M. (eds): Mammal Species of the World, 3rd edition, Johns Hopkins University Press, 536-537. ISBN 0-801-88221-4. 
  2. ^ An article about the Cretan wildcat by "STIGMES, the magazine of Crete"




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