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Pallas' Cat Otocolobus manul (Pallas, 1776)
Near Threatened
This species takes its alternative name from Peter Simon Pallas, a German naturalist who contributed significantly to the scientific exploration of the Russian Empire. The manul has fur which is proportionally longer and more dense than all the other species of cats. Slightly larger than a domestic cat, it has a relatively massive body and short, stout legs. The head is short and broad, with very short, bluntly rounded ears. Set low and wide apart they protrude only slightly from the surrounding fur. These characteristics are indicative of adaptations to the cold. The eyes are large and set forward in the head, reminiscent of an owl. They have probably evolved like this for hunting by sight. The coat colour is light grey which may vary to yellowish buff and russet. In the adult animals the tips of the hairs are white giving a frosted appearance. Two dark streaks run obliquely across each cheek. Lips, chin and throat are white. Traces of transverse stripes may be present on the back and limbs, and the dark tipped tail is encircled by four rings. Long classified in the genus Felis, it is believed that Pallas's cat is closely related to F. silvestris. Despite this it has been allocated a unique generic status (Otocolobus) in the recent, controversial, review of Felid taxonomy (C. Wozencraft, A Taxonomy of the Felidae. Cat News 18, 1993, p.24). There are particular cranial features which are reminiscent of the lynxes, which led to this. In addition, unlike most other small or Felis cats, the pupils of Pallas's cat are round.

Principal Dimensions
Overall Males Females
Head and body lengths (cm) - - -
Height at shoulder (cm) - - -
Tail lengths (cm) - - -
Weight (kg) - - -
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