After ending last week with an interesting Wild Fact on the newly discovered Montane Mouse, I thought we would start this week with the typical nemesis of any mouse…..a cat! Wait! What do you mean the Ring-Tailed Cat is not actually a furry feline? That’s right, the Ring-Tailed Cat is not really a cat. So if they are not part of the feline family, what kind of animal are they? Take a minute to guess, I will give you the answer soon. To help you figure out what family this animal belongs to, you may want to take a trip to a nice desert-like area of North America such as Arizona, California or even Texas to get a closer look.
What Am I?
Okay, so did you figure out what the Ring-Tailed Cat really is? Did you guess a lemur? Perhaps the canine family? While these would have been good guesses the real answer is obvious once you hear it. The Ring-Tailed Cat is actually a member of Procyonidae family! See, I told you it was obvious once you hear it. In case you were wondering, the Procyonidae family is also known as the “Raccoon” family. This makes a lot of sense when you look at the face of this adorable desert “cat”.
The Perfect Climber
Would you believe me if I told you that this desert animal has several adaptations that make them phenomenal climbers? It’s true! For starters, they have an incredibly long tail that provides them with amazing balance. Secondly, their ankle joint is capable of rotating more than 180 degrees, which makes them a very agile climber. So why in the world would a desert animal need to be a good climber in a desert? This is a great question.
A Real Cliffhanger
Although, their habitat may lack trees, it does have a lot of rocky cliffs and embankments that the Ring-Tailed Cat loves living in. The Ring-Tailed Cat may be one of the best rock climbers in the Animal Kingdom. For instance, these animals have been known to shimmy up crevices by placing their back against one wall with all four feet against the other as they climb at a 90 degree angle. If that doesn’t impress you, they have also been known to perform cartwheels using their long, balancing tail. I can’t even do a cartwheel so that amazes me.
Well, I hope you enjoyed today’s Wild Fact on the misleading Ring-Tailed Cat. Enjoy the rest of your day and I will see you tomorrow for another exciting animal fact.