The Borneo Smoke Jaguar is grayer and darker than other Smoke Jaguars. Photo: Alain Compost, WWF Canon
Read aloud American researchers have discovered a new species of predatory cat on the Southeast Asian island of Borneo: the big cat, the Borneo cloud-leopard, shows marked differences in coat patterns and genetic traits compared to her relative on the Asian mainland, Stephen O'Brien of the American Cancer Research Center in Frederick has found, So far, researchers have assigned one of the two species to the Smoke Jaguars, although the differences in the fur structure are clearly visible to the naked eye. The researchers investigated the genetic variability of various animal species in Southeast Asia. In the DNA analysis, they found 40 major genetic differences between the genetic information of the mainland cloud-moose and the Borneo cloud-moose. By comparison, there are 56 such deviations between a lion and a leopard. From the genetic information, the researchers conclude that both species had separated about 1.4 million years ago.

Only with this discovery, the researchers also gave importance to the differences in the coat of both species. The Smoke Jaguar on Borneo is grayer and darker than its mainland relative. Also, the cloud-like pattern is different: the Borneo cloud leper has smaller and more dotted markings. In addition, a double stripe runs over the back. Its range extends with 5, 000 to 11, 000 animals on Borneo and 3, 000 to 7, 000 copies on the island of Sumatra. The big cats eat monkeys, deer, birds and lizards. The Smoke Jaguars have the longest fangs among the big cats, which are up to 4.5 inches long.

New Scientist, online serviceNotice of WWF ddp / Martin Schäfer


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