Scientists have discovered a new species of cat: has a mysterious feature
On the island of Corsica, scientists have discovered a new species of cat. The results of the genetic study were surprising - Corsican wild cats are not related to domestic or forest cats, but more like foxes.
At a time when the biodiversity of the planet is being destroyed, the identification of the new genetic species is extremely important for the world's fauna. Scientists believe that measures should be taken to conserve the Corsican cats, because they exist in a small area in limited numbers. Details are reported by the OFB.
The history of the Corsican cats
Locals call Corsican cats "ghjattu volpe" (fox). In the twentieth century, there were attempts at more or less accurate, but more often erroneous, descriptions of this animal species.
The French Office of Biodiversity (OFB) and the Laboratory of Biometry and Evolutionary Biology (CNRS - Claude Bernard University in Lyon) have published the latest results of a genetic study and comparison of Corsican cats and their continental "relatives". Scientists have identified a specific genetic feature.
Recent studies, which used a genomic approach and high-precision sequencing, have shown that Corsican cats are not European wild cats. They are somewhat similar to Sardinian cats, but are still a separate species.
Interestingly, domestic cats in the south of France are close in genetics to Corsican cats, while Sardinian cats are an intermediate species between Corsican and domestic species.
"These results suggest that the Corsican wildcat does not belong to F. s . silvestris ou catus," the study says.
According to local accounts, Corsican cats often attack lambs, and they also like to dine on goat and sheep's milk. For many years they were thought to be common feral cats, but now scientists are talking about the existence of a new species.
Further research will help analyze the genetic characteristics of Sardinian cats, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cats. This is the only way to understand population genetics and assess the risk of hybridization of Corsican cats with domestic cats.
Previously OBOZREVATEL told about the most dangerous breeds of cats that appeared as a result of crossing domestic cats and predators.
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