Monday, 28 July 2008

Photos of the Day #18: Two Carnivores

Top photo:
Lion paw bones
Panthera leo (Linnaeus, 1758)
Felidae; Carnivora; Mammalia; Chordata
Booth Museum of Natural History, Brighton
July 2008

Bottom photo:
Two-spotted Palm Civet
Nandinia binotata Gray, 1830
Nandiniidae; Carnivora; Mammalia; Chordata
Manchester Museum
July 2008

A quick note about the "palm civet", also known as the Tree Civet or African Palm Civet: it is no longer considered to be related to the civets (Viverridae), like the Owston's civets or genets, binturongs and true palm civets (those are the guys who eat the coffee beans and very high-priced, undoubtedly smelly, coffee comes out of the other end). Instead, Nandinia binotata is considered an early split from the branch of the Carnivora which led to the cats, hyaenas, civets, mongooses and other minor carnivore families. The name "two-spotted" and the species epithet binotata both refer to the small silvery-white spots on either shoulder which can't be seen clearly in this specimen, or indeed in most photos I have seen. I suppose it needs a new name, since no parts of it are actually that accurate!

Next post will hopefully include a drawing of Confuciusornis sanctus and a photo of the fossil from Manchester Museum.

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