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Scientists Discovered A New Cat-Fox Species Which Was Previously Believed To Be A Myth
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Scientists Discovered A New Cat-Fox Species Which Was Previously Believed To Be A Myth

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For centuries, stories recounted by shepherds living in Corsica about meter-long cats with long sharp teeth that would attack ewes and goats at night were dismissed as a myth. However, in 2008 one such cat was accidentally caught in a chicken coop which encouraged scientists to extend their research of the new cat species.

Image credits: AFP

The researchers from the National Office for Hunting and Wildlife (ONCFS) recently captured the animal dubbed as the cat-fox themselves and are confident that this is the creature that was previously believed to be a myth.

Image credits: AFP

Known as cat-fox in English or as the ghjattu volpe in Corsican and the chat renard in French, this cat may look similar to domestic cats but is quite different in some ways. While the domestic cats are 46cm (18inches) in length on average, the discovered cat-fox measures 90cm (35inches) from head to tail.

Image credits: AFP

The cat-fox also has much longer canine teeth, short whiskers, and wide ears. Another important distinguishable feature is their tail with four rings and a black tip.

Image credits: AFP

Chief environmental technician of the National Hunting and Wildlife Office, Pierre Bendetti couldn’t hide his excitement over the find of the animal. “It’s a wonderful discovery,” he told AFP. After all, he got to hold the fox-cat which is believed to be a brand new cat species.

Image credits: AFP

“We believe that it’s a wild natural species which was known but not scientifically identified because it’s an extremely inconspicuous animal with nocturnal habits,” Pierre Benedetti added.

Image credits: AFP

The animal was captured using nonviolent methods, along with other 12 cat-foxes since 2016. It is estimated that 16 of them inhabit Corsica.

Image credits: AFP

“The cat-fox is part of our shepherd mythology. From generation to generation, they told stories of how the forest cats would attack the udders of their ewes and goats,” says another ONCFS agent, Antone Cecchini.

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Image credits: AFP

The researchers hope that within a couple of years, the cat-fox will be officially recognized and protected.

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Andželika

Andželika

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markymarkandthefunkybunch avatar
Marky Mark And The Funky Bunch
Community Member
5 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

What rotten luck. Cat-Fox's big coming out and he picks the same week the Crow-Gorilla story broke. Upstaged. Cat-Fox - you should have listened to your agent and waited till later in the summer to make your appearance.

kanna172014 avatar
Bored Moogle
Community Member
5 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It doesn't look any bigger than a regular cat. I'm pretty sure that's what it is. They're pulling our legs.

earringnut avatar
earringnut
Community Member
5 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

That was my actual first reaction, then I remembered that rabbits aren't related to guinea pigs despite looking like they are.

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amuletswimfabrics avatar
R.s. Potter
Community Member
5 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Just looks like a tabby to me. I could find at least one just like it at our local SPCA.

cassiewilliams avatar
Cassie
Community Member
5 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The article says it's nearly double the size of a house cat, but it sure doesn't look so big in the pictures. Adorable tail, though.

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markymarkandthefunkybunch avatar
Marky Mark And The Funky Bunch
Community Member
5 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

What rotten luck. Cat-Fox's big coming out and he picks the same week the Crow-Gorilla story broke. Upstaged. Cat-Fox - you should have listened to your agent and waited till later in the summer to make your appearance.

kanna172014 avatar
Bored Moogle
Community Member
5 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It doesn't look any bigger than a regular cat. I'm pretty sure that's what it is. They're pulling our legs.

earringnut avatar
earringnut
Community Member
5 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

That was my actual first reaction, then I remembered that rabbits aren't related to guinea pigs despite looking like they are.

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amuletswimfabrics avatar
R.s. Potter
Community Member
5 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Just looks like a tabby to me. I could find at least one just like it at our local SPCA.

cassiewilliams avatar
Cassie
Community Member
5 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The article says it's nearly double the size of a house cat, but it sure doesn't look so big in the pictures. Adorable tail, though.

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