Friday, March 16, 2007

Neofelis Diardi

There's been a bit of news in the online press lately about a paper published late last year announcing the discovery that a long-known subspecies of clouded leopard is actually a distinct species of its own. The newly promoted species will have the scientific name "Neofelis diardi" and the common name "Bornean clouded leopard." I'd suggest "murky leopard" or "turbid leopard" as funnier alternatives, but I'm certain no one would listen to me.* This critter is distinguishable from the mainland clouded leopard by a darker pelt with different markings and parallel dorsal stripes as well as by its very different genes. As might be expected, Darren Naish has posted a good blog entry on the history of this animal's classification. I encourage you to check out both of the above links for information and for photos of this beautiful animal. And be sure to note the size of its canine teeth; apparently, all the clouded leopards have proportionately large canines.

* Nor should they.

1 comment:

  1. Yikes!! That's a heck of a set of chompers!