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The Jungle Cat (Felis chaus) is a medium-sized cat that can be found in southern Asia, from southern China all the way to the Nile Valley in Egypt. It is sometimes called the Jungle Lynx due to the tufts on its ears, long legs, and proportionally-short tail, but it is not part of the Lynx genus. In fact, the Jungle cat is the largest remaining species of the Felis genus.



The Jungle Cat, occupying such a wide range, tends to adhere to Bergmann's Rule in that the cats are largest in the northern parts of its range and are smaller and smaller the closer they are to the tropics. Jungle cats can grow up to 37 inches in length, with a 12-inch tail. The largest cats weigh up to 35 pounds, but on average they weigh only 18 pounds. The Jungle Cat is unusual because its claws on its fore and hind paws are of equal length - typically felids have claws that are longer on their forepaws.



Jungle Cats typically adopt abandoned burrows that other animals have made, or rest in tree holes, rock coves or dense vegetation. They are skilled jumpers, sometimes able to catch birds on the wing, and are quite fast - although they rarely pursue prey that has evaded their initial pounce. Their prey includes hares, rodents, reptiles, amphibians and even wild pigs.



Because the Jungle Cat has such a wide and varied range, there are nine recognized subspecies. In general, the Jungle Cat is considered Least Concern by the IUCN, but the decline in the populations of Felis chaus nilotica in Egypt and Felis chaus chaus in the Caucasus are extremely troubling.

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