- African linsang
This article is about the genus of linsangs. For the species, see African Linsang.
African linsangs Scientific classification Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Mammalia Order: Carnivora Family: Viverridae Subfamily: Viverrinae Genus: Poiana
- Poiana leightoni
- Poiana richardsonii
The African linsangs also known as Oyans are two species classified in the mammalian subfamily Viverrinae, in the family Viverridae. There is one genus, Poiana.
Both linsang genera (Poiana and the Asian Prionodon) formerly were placed in the subfamily Viverrinae (of Viverridae), along with several other genera, but recent research suggests that their actual relationships may be somewhat different. The linsangs are remarkable for their morphological resemblance to cats, family Felidae, which is greater than in the other viverrids. As the relationship between linsangs and cats was thought to be rather distant (the two groups belonging to different families within the superfamily Feliformia), this was considered an example of convergent evolution. However, DNA analysis indicates that while the African linsangs (Poiana) are true viverrids closely related to the genets, the Asiatic linsangs (Prionodon) are not and may instead be the closest living relatives of the Felidae family. The similarities between Asiatic linsangs and cats are thus more likely to be due to common ancestry, while the similarities between the two genera of linsangs must be convergent.
The name linsang is from Javanese linsang or wlinsang, which used to be wrongly translated as "otter" in English dictionaries. Linsangs are nocturnal, generally solitary tree dwellers. They are carnivorous, eating squirrels and other rodents, small birds, lizards and insects. Typical size is a little over 30cm (1 foot), with a tail that more than doubles that length. Bodies are long, with short legs, giving a low appearance. All species have yellowish bodies with black markings (stripes, blotches and spots), though the distribution and nature of the markings varies between species. it is a very nocturnal creature it hunts at night feeding on insects, small birds and small mammals.
The species of African linsangs are:
- Poiana leightoni - Leighton's Linsang
- Poiana richardsonii - African Linsang
- ^ Wozencraft, W. Christopher (16 November 2005). "Order Carnivora (pp. 532-628)". In Wilson, Don E., and Reeder, DeeAnn M., eds. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2 vols. (2142 pp.). ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494. http://www.bucknell.edu/msw3/browse.asp?id=14000412.
- ^ Don E. Wilson , Russell A. Mittermeier (editors): Handbook of the Mammals of the World. Lynx Editions, Barcelona, 2009. ISBN 978-84-96553-49-1
- ^ http://www.iucn.org/themes/ssc/sgs/mvpsg/pdf/Biblio/Gaubert_Veron_2003.pdf
- Mammals of Africa
- Carnivorans of Africa
- Carnivora stubs
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