Morphological and morphometrical features of Sardinian wild cat (Felis silvestris lybica var. sarda)
AbstractWildcats (Felis silvestris) spread over Europe ranging from Spanish to Eastern woodlands. In Northern Africa, the wildcat belongs to a different subspecies (Felis silvestris libyca) which diffused in Sardinia giving rise to a novel taxon there (Felis silvestris libyca sarda). The morphological features of the Sardinian wildcat taxon are not well-know yet. In our work its morphological and morphometrical features have been studied on 19 stuffed models. Numerous morphometrical parameters were taken, and the distribution of spots and stripes of the coat was studied. A low variability in the morphometrical parameters was detected, confirming that the Sardinian wildcat can be considered a well-defined taxon. Since one of the most severe problems in the safeguard of pure Sardian wildcats in their crossbreeding with domestic cats, the comprehensive knowledge of the anatomical features of these animals could be useful in making a distinction between these two taxa.
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Copyright (c) 2013 A. Mura, S. Gadau, M. Zedda
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