Among the inhabitants of the Mediterranean islandCorsica was spread a legend about a predatory cat that hunts chickens at night and steals sheep and goat milk. For the first time, scientists became interested in the stories of local residents in 2008, and after a while, they did find signs of the existence of a mysterious animal. It turned out that a cat previously unknown to science is very rare, is predominantly nocturnal and possesses extreme caution, and that is why it almost does not come across people's eyes.
The first signs of the existence of the legendary catwere found in 2012, when researchers installed incense sticks in the forests of the island to attract the attention of the animal and collect its DNA. The cat easily fell into the trap, and left on a stick bundles of fur, ideal for her genetic identification. The analysis showed that the unknown creature is very similar to the African steppe cat, but later it showed significant differences.
About the features of new cats became known in 2016year, when researchers finally managed to catch 12 individuals of a supposedly new species and install chips on them to track their location. The locals called the cat the difficult-to-pronounce name ghjattuvolpe, which can be translated as a fox cat. At the same time, she has no common biological features with foxes - there are simply stripes on her tail, and the tip is painted black.
While the body length of ordinary domestic catsfrom the head to the tip of the tail is about 75 centimeters, the body length of the new representative of the species reaches 90 centimeters. He also has a very dense coat of wool that effectively protects against fleas and ticks. Of course, in order to survive in the wild, cats acquired strong muscles and large, strong fangs. In the video below you can see that the cat has a different eye color - this feature was found only in one individual and, most likely, was due to injury.
Researchers believe that the above catsappeared on the islands about 6,500 years ago and may be of Middle Eastern origin. There is some probability that scientists have not really discovered a new species, but are dealing with a hybrid of two different types of wild cats. One of the progenitors of the hybrid can be cats living on the nearby island of Sardinia.
Erroneous discoveries of scientists
Previously, scientists have already made similar mistakes. For example, in 2018, the alleged hybrid of a wolf and a dog was discovered in Montana. DNA analysis and other studies quickly dispelled this assumption - the animal being examined was just an elderly wolf.
The discovery of new types of animals is quite frequentthe phenomenon, though most often the researchers can only find their remains - most of the animal species have already become extinct. One of these species is the predator Simbakubwa kutokaafrika - this huge cat lived in Africa about 22 million years ago and was larger than polar bears.
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