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The Sand Cat
Transcript of The Sand Cat
Classification Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata (Vertebrata) Class: Mammalia Order: Carnivora Family: Felidae Genus: Felinae (Felis) Species: Margarita (Felis Margarita)
Behavior Sand cats live alone outside of the mating season. They communicate using scent and claw marks on objects in their range, and by urine spraying. They do not leave their feces in exposed locations as many other felines do. They make sounds similar to house cats, but also make loud, high-pitched barking sounds, especially when seeking a mate. Hearing plays an important role in communication: sand cats make a short bark with mating activity. Habitat Sand cats are found primarily in both sandy and stony desert, and have a wide distribution through the deserts of northern Africa and southwest and central Asia. They prefer flat or undulating terrain with sparse vegetation, avoiding bare sand dunes, where there is relatively little food. They can survive in temperatures ranging from 5 C (23 F) to 52 C (126 F), retreating into burrows during extreme conditions. Diet A sand cat's diet contains mostly rodents, such as mice and rats. They also eat snakes, lizards, birds, and insects. They get almost all of their water from the insides of their prey, so they can go months without drinking. Food Web Threats/ Limtiting Factors Habitat degradation is the major threat to the sand cat. Ecosystems are being rapidly degraded by human settlement and activity, especially livestock grazing. They also may be killed in traps laid out by people targeting foxes and jackals or in retaliation for killing their chickens. There are occasional reports of animals shot in south-east Arabia. Other localized threats include the introduction of feral and domestic dogs and cats, creating direct competition and through predation and disease transmission. Reproduction Estrus in sand cats lasts from five to six days, and is accompanied by calling and increased scent marking. An average litter of three kittens is born after 59 to 66 days, typically around April or May, although, in some areas, sand cats may give birth to two litters per year. The kittens weigh 39 to 80 grams (1.4 to 2.8 oz.) at birth, with spotted pale yellow or reddish fur. They grow relatively rapidly, reaching three quarters of the adult size within five months of birth. Sand cats are fully independent by the end of their first year, and reach sexual maturity not long after. Niche The sand cat is a secondary consumer that reduces the population of smaller rodents and reptiles in it's ecosystem. Interesting
Facts Positive/ Negative
Human Impacts Positive Humans are trying to protect the sand cat
and trying to make other people adopt some so it can have a home. Negative If humans continue to expand their land to make homes, the sand cats' homes will be destroyed and they will have to split up. when they split up they will not be able to reproduce as much as they would have if they did not split up. The sand cat has highly specialized feet and ears, perfectly designed for life in the desert.
Its feet are so furry, and the cat is so light-weight, that it leaves no tracks in the sand.
The cat's ears are shaped much like the bat-eared fox's---they stand erectly atop the cat's head, acting like radar dishes, and readily listen for any potential prey, scurrying across the desert sands.
An average sand cat is a little smaller than a pet cat. It is about a foot and a half to two feet in length and weighs between three and seven pounds. Thank you everyone for listening! SAND CAT Description BODY
-The Sand Cat is only slightly larger than the black-footed cat (the smallest African cat) weighing up to 3kg, about the size of a very small domestic cat.
-The small body is stocky with short legs and a relatively long tail.
-There are mats of dense fur, up to two cm thick, on the pads of the feet. These help protect against both the extreme desert heat and cold temperatures, and also help with walking on sand. COAT
-The light brown coat has greyish fur on the back with some faint markings and plain pale fur below.
-There is striping on the limbs and usually two dark bars on the forelimbs.
-The long tail has a few dark rings towards the end and a black tip. FACE
-The Sand Cat has a wide face with thick white fur around the mouth and chin.
-The large triangular ears are set low on the side of the head and have thick white hairs inside. The back of the ears are brown on the base and have a black tip.
-There are faint diagonal red lines from the outer and inner corners of the eyes towards the edge of the face.