- Flat-headed Cat
name = Flat-headed CatMSW3 Wozencraft | pages = 543]
status = VU
trend = down
status_system = iucn3.1
status_ref = IUCN2006|assessors=Cat Specialist Group|year=2002|id=18148|title=Prionailurus planiceps|downloaded=11 May 2006 Database entry includes justification for why this species is vulnerable]
phylum = Chordata
classis = Mammalia
genus = "
species = "P. planiceps"
binomial = "Prionailurus planiceps"
binomial_authority = (Vigors & Horsfield, 1827)
synonyms = "Felis planiceps"
The Flat-headed Cat ("Prionailurus planiceps") is a small wild cat from forested areas, mainly near water, in
Peninsular Thailand, Malaysia(both East and West), Brunei, and Indonesia( Kalimantanand Sumatra). It is considered vulnerableby IUCNdue to habitat lossand pollution. It is very rare in captivity, with only two individuals - both in zoos in Malaysia - recorded by ISIS in early 2008.International Species Information System. [http://app.isis.org/abstracts/Abs76110.asp#6.0 Captive "Prionailurus planiceps."] Accessed 2008-04-04] Like most other small cats, it has often been placed in the genus" Felis".Nowak, R. (editor) 1999. "Walker's Mammals of the World." 6th edition. ISBN 0-8018-5789-9]
It has a head-and-body length of 41-50 cm (16-20 in), and a short tail of 13-15 cm (5-6 in). It weighs 1.5-2.5 kg (3.5-5.5 lbs).Francis, C. 2001. "A Photographic Guide to Mammals of South-east Asia including Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Java, Sumatra, Bali and Borneo." ISBN 85974 507 5] The thick fur is generally dark reddish-brown tinged grey, with a more reddish head and whitish underparts. Except for the relatively faint facial streaks, it is rather unpatterned. The legs are fairly short, and the ears are short and round. The shape of the head is atypical for a cat; the skull is fairly long, while the skull roof, as suggested by both its common and
scientific name, is rather flat.IUCN Cat Specialist Group. 1996. [http://www.catsg.org/catsgportal/cat-website/catfolk/plani-01.htm "Flat-headed Cat. Prionailurus planiceps."] Accessed 2008-04-04]
Behavior and habitat
It occurs in both secondary and
primary forest,Payne, J., and C. Francis, 1998. "A Field Guide to the Mammals of Borneo." 3d reprint. ISBN 967-99947-1-6] and most records are from near water. It mostly hunts for frogs, fishand crustaceans, but will also catch rats and chickens. It has relatively long premolars, and is one of the few cats that is unable to retract its claws (the others being the cheetah, fishing cat, and the Iriomote cat). These adaptions combined with its behavior have resulted in comparisons with semi-aquatic mustelids, and it is known for readily entering water. Overall, however, little is known about its wild behavior, but a gestation periodof about 56 days, and a litter size of 1-2 kittens have been reported in captivity.ARKive: [http://www.arkive.org/species/GES/mammals/Prionailurus_planiceps/ Flat-headed cat (Prionailurus planiceps)] . Accessed 2008-04-04] Captive individuals have lived for 14+ years. It is generally considered a nocturnal animal, but observations of captives suggests it is crepuscular.
The Flat-headed Cat is considered vulnerable by IUCN and listed on appendix 1 by
CITES. The total population is believed to be less than 10.000 adults, with no single sub-population containing more than 1.000 adults. While habitat loss and water pollutionare serious threats, sightings from oil palmplantations suggests it is less specialized than generally believed. The Flat-headed Cat is fully protected throughout its natural range, except in Brunei, where this species lacks legal protection. Sightings are generally very rare.
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