This episode was brought to you by Skillshare.
Pallas’s cats may look like cute, lazy house cats,
but don’t let that fool you,
they’ve made home to one of the most difficult places to live
in the world – the Himalayas.
动物逻辑由Danielle Dufault主持 插画
ANIMALOGIChosted and illustrated by Danielle Dufault
嗨 我是Danielle 而你正在收看动物逻辑
Hi, I’m Danielle, and you’re watching Animalogic.
Pallas’s cats, or manul,
are a species of small cat
found in the Eurasian steppes,
living everywhere from the Mongolian deserts,
to the Himalayas.
They are the only living members
of the Otocolobus genus,
and their closest living relatives are leopard cats
with their last common ancestor
living just under 6 million years ago.
A common question asked about Pallas’s cats is –
can I own one?
The answer is,
as always, no!
And while Pallas’s cats may resemble domestic cats,
their last common ancestor
lived 6.2 million years ago.
They get their name from the German naturalist
who first formally described them –
Peter Simon Pallas.
Though their scientific name Otocolobusmanul
has a much more interesting meaning.
Otocolobus means, ugly eared,
an assessment that I can’t say I entirety agree with.
Their so called “ugly ears”
do serve a purpose, though – hiding.
Unlike most other cats
which have big, pointed ears
Pallas’s cats’ ears are short and round.
This comes in handy when you spend most of your day
hiding from both predators and prey,
as pointy ears would be all too conspicuous.
Living in the steppes,
their coats are also designed to blend in.
In the winter, their fur is more gray
and in the summer, it becomes more of an orange brown.
Can you find the Pallas’s cat?
Oh, it’s right there.
Pallas’s cats have been called
the most expressive cats in the world.
And while part of that reputation may come from their snaggly teeth,
the main reason for their seemingly expressive faces
is another feature that is different
from other small cats – their pupils.
If you look closely,
you’ll notice that unlike other species of small cats,
Pallas’s cats don’t have vertical slits for pupils,
and instead, have round ones, just like us.
This gives them somewhat of a more human look
and is probably why people on the internet
call them their spirit animal.
I guess they kinda, sometimes,
do look like they also don’t like Mondays.
If anything, this makes them
the Garfield of wild cats.
But Pallas’s cats don’t have round pupils
so that reputable news sites
can put together a listicles about
The 14 times Pallas’s cats
threw more shades than Beyonce.
They have them for hunting.
Generally speaking, most cats with vertical pupils
are ambush hunters.
With vertical pupils, cats can control
the amount of light that enters their eye,
because they can expand their pupils 300 fold
compared to round pupils which can only expand about 15 fold.
Vertical pupils provide excellent vision along the y-axis
and very good depth perception –
two things key to ambush predators.
They also tend to be found on smaller animals.
Domestic cats have vertical pupils,
but lions and tigers don’t.
This is due to how light enters the vertical pupil.
When vertical pupils are closer to the ground,
there’s less blur in their vision,
and the sharper the predators’ vision
the more likely they are to nab dinner.
But, here’s where it gets weird,
cats with circular pupils are foragers,
meaning they chase their prey.
But Pallas’s cats are ambush hunters,
yet don’t have the vertical slit pupils found on their relatives.
We’re not entirely sure
why Pallas’s cats have round pupils,
but the leading theory is that,
since Pallas’s cats’ territory
is so much more varied than other small cats,
从沙漠 到平原 到高山
ranging from deserts, to plains, to mountains,
they need the better overall vision that round pupils provide
for finding prey at different elevations
and for keeping an eye on their predators, like eagles.
Pallas’s cats are diurnal predators,
meaning that they are active during the day.
When hunting, they feed primarily on rodents,
like gerbils and pikas,
with occasional small bird or young marmot thrown into the mix.
Their prey of choice though, is the pika.
They are the largest animal they can consistantly catch
and it’s much more efficient
to catch one large prey
than a couple small ones.
Pallas’s cats aren’t fantastic runners,
perhaps due to the difficult terrain they live in,
and are much better at pouncing on prey
as they exit their dens.
Pallas’s cats may have look like they are fat cats,
but it’s all fluff.
Despite appearances they are quite small,
with the largest weighing around 4.5 kilos,
about the weight of an average domestic cat.
Their poofy fur coat is to keep them warm
in the extreme temperatures that they live in,
and their fur is actually
the densest fur of any cat in the world.
Due to the extreme temperatures that they live in,
oestrus, or the period in which the female is fertile,
lasts a mind numbing 1 to 2 days a year.
Move over pandas,
we have a new worse at reproducing species entering the arena.
Pallas’s cats live in very low densities
with only 4 to 8 cats
per hundred square kilometers,
that would be like if you were here in Toronto,
there would only be about 25 to 50 people
in the entire city.
Ahhh… Would be nice!
Since their ranges are so huge
and since they are so solitary,
it makes it incredibly difficult for them to find a mate
in this limited time window.
If they do,
their gestation period is 10 to 11 weeks.
After which, mum would make a den,
lining it with fur, feathers, and leaves
to protect the kitties from the extreme temperatures.
The kittens weigh only a hundred grams when born,
and they are quite possibly the cutest things I’ve ever seen.
Pallas’s cats are very difficult to find,
let alone study in the wild.
Their territory is huge,
they’re very good at hiding,
and their numbers are small.
Yet despite this, poachers still manage to catch them
and to sell fur and guts for use and traditional medicine.
Pallas’s cats are near threatened,
and every year, life gets a little harder
as we develop into their habitat
and drive out their prey.
Something as docile as herding,
can be a big problem for Pallas’s cats.
As herders need dogs,
which kill a lot of Pallas’s cats and their prey.
It’s a hard problem that’s difficult to solve,
but the first step is getting the word out.
In case you didn’t know
who does all the illustrations in the background of every episode,
是我 白天 我是一名在皇家安大略博物馆的
I do. By day, I’m a scientific illustrator
at the Royal Ontario Museum.
So chances are, that if you stop by,
you’ll see some of my art work,
especially if you go and visit the dinosaurs.
If you’re interested in getting started drawing animals,
you should check out “Drawing Animals:
From Anatomy to Rendering”,
a course on Skillshare.
A course, taught by professional illustrator Jeffrey Jacobs,
guides you through the process of
drawing animals from the ground up.
You’ll learn all about animal anatomy
from muscles to skeletons,
and then apply that knowledge
to improve your illustrations.
The course teaches you about anatomical features
that are common in a lot of animals,
which will make it easier for you to draw any animal.
Skillshare is an online learning community
with over 20,000 courses
in everything, from illustration,
到大自然摄影 到动画 这一切对于
to natural photography, to animation,
all things super useful
when you’re running a YouTube channel about wildlife.
With Skillshare’s premium feature,
you’ll get unlimited access
to super high quality courses,
so that you can improve your skills and learn something new.
And the first thousand people to sign up with the link
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What animal should I check out next?
Please let me know in the comments,
and be sure to subscribe
for new episodes of Animalogic every other week.
Thanks for watching!