Saturday, January 24, 2015

Carnivora (Part 1: Feliformia)

If I am really honest, in spite of my difficulty settling on just a few favorite animals (and the source of all of these breakdowns and vast lists of animal coolness), the Carnivores probably are my favorite Order in all of Animalia. So you might find my all-time favorite animals on this or the next Carnivore list. Here are my favorite of the “cat-like” carnivores:

15. Asian Palm Civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus

The only non-cat on this list, I like it for two reasons: it has one of the best scientific names ever, and it does something amazing to a coffee bean when it passes it through its digestive tract. Kopi Luwak!

"Asian Palm Civet Over A Tree" by Praveenp - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

14. Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus)

These cats are strikingly beautiful, and one of the more amazing feats of engineering in creation.

Filip Lachowski [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons 

13. Pallas’s Cat (Otocolobus manul)

These Asian cats look like the little-old-wise-man version of the cat world.

"Manul2" by Karin st at the German language Wikipedia. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

12. Domestic Cat (Felis catus)

This common (and often hated) little animal is the closest I can get to friendship with a wild animal.

Picture at the top is my own.


11. Serval (Leptailurus serval)

Theses cats have one of the more unique looks in cat-dom. I can’t decide if it is good or silly.

"Serval portrait" by Profberger at en.wikipedia. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

10. Lion (Panthera leo)

After the Leopard, these may be my least favorite of the big cats, but they are so imposing! However, they are also the most over-hyped kings in nature.

"Panthera leo stretching (Etosha, 2012)" by Yathin S Krishnappa - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

9. Asian Golden Cat (Pardofelis Temminckii)

One of the prettiest animals going…

"Asian Golden cat" by Karen Stout - originally posted to Flickr as Asian Golden cat. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

8. Clouded Leopard (Neofelis nebulosi)

…until you meet this guy. God sure has a great esthetic sense.

"Clouded leopard" by Vearl Brown - Clouded Leopard II. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

7. Caracal (Caracal caracal)

I like the ears, and the easy to remember scientific name.

"Caracal001" by € Van 3000 from belgium belgikske belgiquistan - United Tribes ov Europe - Caracal. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

6. Cougar (Puma concolor)

The closest I have ever come to a big cat was this guy, and I never saw him. However, I retraced an hour-and-a-half hike in about half that time by myself along a river early one morning with his tracks all along the path that hadn’t been there the night before!

"Cougar closeup" by Art G. - originally posted to Flickr as Those Eyes. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

5. Eurasian Lynx (Lynx lynx)

Is there a cooler looking animal out there? (In the “Joe Cool” sense of the word.)

"Lynx lynx2" by mpiet (http://www.mindbox.at/gallery/) - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 de via Wikimedia Commons

4. Jaguar (Panthera onca)

This is the largest of the American cats, and it also marks the spot on my list where any of the following cats could be my number one, depending on what day you ask me.

"Standing jaguar" by USFWS - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Digital Library System. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

3. Ocelot (Leopardus pardalis)

I have always wanted to have one of these guys as a pet, and they used to be kept as such.

"Ocelot" by Tom Smylie - US Fish & Wildlife Service, Image Archive. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

2. Tiger (Panthera tigris)

The biggest cat and one of the most beautiful terrifying creatures. I especially like this color variant.

"Golden tiger 1 - Buffalo Zoo" by Dave Pape - Own work. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

1. Snow Leopard (Panthera uncia)

I just love everything about these fascinating animals. They live in an extreme environment, they are beautiful, they have the best tails in the animal kingdom, and they probably know the truth about the Yeti.

"Uncia uncia" by Bernard Landgraf - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

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