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Prionailurus viverrinus.jpg

The fishing cat (Prionailurus viverrinus) is another feline that contradicts the belief that cats dislike water, frequently entering the water to prey on fish, as its common name alludes. However, it has often been incorrectly credited with physical adaptations to these habits. While webbed feet have previously been noted as a characteristic of the fishing cat, the partial membrane between the toes is in fact no more developed than in other wild or domestic cats. The fishing cat has a long stocky body and relatively short legs, a short thick tail, a broad head and elongated muzzle. The pelt is olive-grey with black bars running along the neck and face, dark brown spots in rows on the body, and a series of incomplete rings circle the tail. Females are markedly smaller than males. Surprisingly there is no evidence that the membrane between the fishing cat's toes is specifically adapted to swimming. The fishing cat is not limited to water based prey and will also take snakes, birds and larger animals such as goats. Illegal poaching presents a large threat to the fishing cat.

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