Corsican 'cat-fox' revealed as unique species
The mysterious Corsican cats possess unique genetic strain to the wild cats
The mysterious striped "cat-fox" familiar mostly to Corsican shepherds and a source of fascination for scientists is, in fact, a species unique to the French Mediterranean island, according to the French Office for Biodiversity (OFB).
It was confirmed that new genetic analysis "revealed a unique genetic strain to the wild cats" found in the remote forest undergrowth of northern Corsica.
The OFB stated in a statement that genetic sampling clearly distinguishes ring-tailed Corsican cat-foxes from mainland forest felines and domestic cats.
While resembling house cats in some ways, the cat-fox earned its name from its length – measuring 90 centimetres (35 inches) from head to tail – and its distinct black-tipped, ringed tail. Other distinguishing features include the stripes on the front legs, "very dark" hind legs, and a russet stomach.