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Wild Cat Found Mimicking Monkey Calls; Predatory Trickery Documented for the First Time in Wild Felids in Americas

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In a fascinating example of vocal mimicry, researchers from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and UFAM (Federal University of Amazonas) have documented a wild cat species imitating the call of its intended victim: a small, squirrel-sized monkey known as a pied tamarin. This is the first recorded instance of a wild cat species in the Americas mimicking the calls of its prey.

The extraordinary behavior was recorded by researchers from the Wildlife Conservation Society and UFAM in the Amazonian forests of the Reserva Florestal Adolpho Ducke in Brazil. The observations confirmed what until now had been only anecdotal reports from Amazonian inhabitants of wild cat species -- including jaguars and pumas -- actually mimicking primates, agoutis, and other species in order to draw them within striking range.

The observations appear in the June issue of Neotropical Primates. The authors of the paper include: Fabiano de Oliveira Calleia of Projeto Sauim-de-Coleira/UFAM; Fabio Rohe of the Wildlife Conservation Society; and Marcelo Gordo of Projeto Sauim-de-Coleira/UFAM.

"Cats are known for their physical agility, but this vocal manipulation of prey species indicates a psychological cunning which merits further study," said WCS researcher Fabio Rohe.
... Continue reading

TAGGED: BEHAVIOR, BIOLOGY


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