The flat-headed cat, scientific name Prionailurus planiceps is a small wild cat native to the Thai-Malay Peninsula, Borneo, and Sumatra.
It’s an Endangered species, as a result of the wild inhabitants in all probability includes fewer than 2,500 mature people, with small subpopulations of not more than 250 flat-headed cat adults.
The inhabitants inhabit the foremost wetlands, that are being destroyed and transformed. For these causes, it’s listed on the IUCN Crimson Record since 2008.
Flat-headed cat, (Felis planiceps), an extraordinarily uncommon Asian cat discovered within the Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, and Borneo. One of many smallest members of the cat household, Felidae, the grownup is from 40 to 60 centimeters (16 to 24 inches) lengthy without the 15–20-cm tail and weighs from 1.5 to 2.5 kilograms (3.3 to 5.5 kilos).
The coat of the Flat-headed cat is reddish above and white with crimson spots under; there are white markings across the eyes. It’s the sole felid recognized to incorporate any substantial quantity of vegetation in its eating regimen, with a choice for fruit and, when obtainable, candy potatoes and comparable meals.
Little else is understood about this cat, which is reported to be nocturnal and to hunt fish and frogs alongside rivers.
It was initially positioned within the genus Felis, however, it is now thought of as one of many 5 species in Prionailurus.
Flat-headed cats are very uncommon in captivity, with fewer than 10 people, all stored in Malaysian and Thai zoos
Flat-headed cat Traits
The flat-headed cat is distinguished directly by the acute despair of the cranium, which extends alongside the nostril to the extremity of the muzzle, the perimeters of that are laterally distended. The overall behavior of the body is slender, and the extremities are delicate and lengthened.
The pinnacle itself is extra lengthened and cylindrical than within the home cat. The gap between the eyes and the ears is relatively nice.
The cylindrical kind and lateral contraction of the top are contrasted by an uncommon size of the tooth. The canine tooth is almost so long as in a person of double its measurement.
The thick fur is reddish-brown on the prime of the top, darkish roan brown on the physique, and mottled white on the underbelly.
The face is lighter in coloration than the physique, and the muzzle and chin are white. Two distinguished buff whitish streaks run on both facets of the nostril between the eyes. The ears are rounded.
The eyes are unusually far ahead and shut collectively, in contrast with different cats, giving the felid improved stereoscopic imagination and prescient.
The tooth is tailored for gripping onto slippery prey, and the jaws are comparatively highly effective.
These options assist the flat-headed cat to catch and retain aquatic prey, to which it’s not less than as effectively tailored because of the fishing cat. Legs are pretty brief.
Claws are retractable, however, the protecting sheaths are so shriveled that about two-thirds of the claws are left protruding.
The anterior higher premolars are bigger and sharper relative to different cats. The interdigital webs on its paws assist the cat to achieve higher traction in muddy environments and water and are much more pronounced on this cat than these on
Reproduction and Offspring: After a gestation of roughly 56 days, females produce a litter of 1-Four kittens.
In captivity, a Flat-headed cat has lived as much as 14 years.
It has a head-and-body size of 41 to 50 cm (16 to 20 in) and a brief tail of 13 to 15 cm (5.1 to 5.9 in). It weighs 1.5 to 2.5 kg (3.3 to 5.5 lb).
Measurement and Look: One of the vital distinctive and strange members of the cat household, the Flat Headed Cat is ideally tailored for a lifetime of fish-eating and water looking.
It has a protracted sloping snout and the highest of the cranium is flattened (therefore the title), and it has unusually small ears. Its eyes are giant and shut set which permits for optimum binocular imaginative and prescient.
Its molars are bigger and sharper than different members of the felid household and are designed to be environment friendly at holding on to slippery prey.
Just like the Fishing Cat and the Cheetah, the Flat Headed Cat doesn’t have fully retractile claws. Whereas they are often seen always, they don’t rub in opposition to the bottom when strolling as do the Cheetahs.
Its ft are much more fully webbed than the Fishing Cat’s, and the pads are lengthy and slim just like the Bornean Bay Cats.
Its coat is lengthy, delicate and thick, and reddish-brown tinged with grey, and the highest of the top is extra reddish, and so they have a very brief tail. Adults weigh between 4-6 kilos.
Flat-headed cat Distribution and habitat
No analysis has been on this species within the wild, however, experiences of sightings point out it prefers swampy areas, oxbow lakes, and riverine forests. It has additionally been seen looking like rodents in oil palm plantations.
Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Singapore, and Brunei.
The flat-headed cat’s distribution is restricted to lowland tropical rainforests in excessive southern Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, and Borneo in Sabah, Sarawak, Brunei Darussalam, and Kalimantan.
It primarily happens in freshwater habitats close to coastal and lowland areas. Greater than 70% of data had been collected lower than Three km (1.9 mi) away from water.
In Peninsular Malaysia, flat-headed cats had been recorded within the Pasoh Forest Reserve in 2013.
Because the Pasoh Forest Reserve comprises no main rivers or lakes and is mostly lined by hill dipterocarp forest, this detection offers new proof of the species’ potential habitat vary.
The reserve ranks as a low likelihood of incidence in a beforehand revealed species distribution mannequin.
Pasoh’s surrounding panorama is dominated by plantations that have been established because of the 1970s.
The detection, occurring < 1.5 km (0.93 mi) from oil palm plantations, means that the flat-headed cat is extra tolerant of modifications in its surrounding atmosphere than beforehand assumed.
In Kalimantan, flat-headed cats had been recorded in a blended swamp forest and tall inside the forest at altitudes under 20 m (66 ft) within the neighborhood of Sabangau Nationwide Park.
Flat-headed cat Outlook and Diet
Based mostly on the evaluation of the abdomen contents of deceased animals, it’s decided that the primary eating regimen of those cats is fish, frogs, and shrimp.
They’re principally nocturnal and are regularly seen looking alongside riverbanks. Captive Flat Headed cats take readily to water and present no hesitation at fully submerging their heads in the hunt for prey or toys.
Flat-headed cat Ecology and conduct
Flat-headed cats recorded in Kalimantan had been foremost lively by evening. They’re presumably solitary and doubtless to keep their residence ranges by scent marking.
In captivity, each female and males spray urine by strolling ahead in a crouching place, leaving a path on the bottom.
Anecdotal historic accounts report that they’re nocturnal, however, a grownup captive feminine was crepuscular and most lively between 8:00 and 11:30 and between 18:00 and 22:00 hours.
The abdomen contents of a grownup shot on a Malaysian riverbank consisted solely of fish. They’ve been noticed to scrub objects, raccoon-style.
Stay fish are readily taken, with full submergence of the top, and the fish had been often carried not less than 2 m away, suggesting a feeding technique to keep away from letting aquatic prey escape again into the water.
Captive specimens present a lot larger curiosity in potential prey within the water than on dry land, suggesting a robust choice for riverine looking for their pure habitat.
Their morphological specializations counsel that their eating regimen is generally composed of fish, however, they’re reported to hunt for frogs and are thought to catch crustaceans. Additionally, they catch rats and chickens.
Vocalizations of a flat-headed cat kitten resembled these of a home cat. The vocal repertoire of adults has not been analyzed fully, however they purr and provide different short-ranged vocalizations.
Their gestation interval lasts about 56 days. Of three litters recorded in captivity, one consisted of two kittens, the opposite two had been singletons. Two captive people have lived for 14 years.
Flat-headed cat Threat
The flat-headed cat is primarily threatened by wetland and lowland forest destruction and degradation.
Causes of this destruction embrace human settlement, forest transformation to plantations, draining for agriculture, air pollution, and extreme looking, wood-cutting, and fishing.
As well as, the clearance of coastal mangroves over the previous decade has been fast in tropical Asia.
The depletion of fish shares from overfishing is prevalent in lots of Asian wetland environments and is prone to be a major menace. Enlargement of oil palm plantations is at present seen as essentially the most pressing menace.
It is usually threatened by trapping, snaring, and poisoning. Flat-headed cats have been captured in traps got down to shield home fowl.
Though flat-headed cats will not be recognized to be a particular goal for poachers in Southeast Asia, side-catch poaching in small snares may pose an extra menace for the species.
In fragmented landscapes, motorized vehicle collisions and direct competitors with home cats may pose extra critical threats.
Flat-headed cat Conservation
The flat-headed cat is included in CITES Appendix I. It’s absolutely protected by nationwide laws over its vary, with looking and commerce prohibited in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand.
Common Name: Flat Headed Cat
Phylum: Chordata (Vertebrata)
Genus: Felinae (Prionailurus)
Misc.: In captivity, it was discovered that these cats possess a “raccoon-like” quality and will wash objects in the water
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