HOME

NEWS

CHARITIES

VOLUNTEER

ACTION CENTER

ADD CHARITY

CONTACT

SUPPORT

World Environment Community Health Animals Celebrity Submit A Site Find A Charity
Jungle Cat Mimics Monkey to Lure Prey—A First

National Geographic

2536 days ago   Article ID# 561447
Original URL

 

Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)

WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA (National Geographic) - For a plucky little forest cat, the key to survival might just be "monkey see, monkey do."

The margay, or tree ocelot, mimics monkey calls to draw in prey, the nonprofit Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) announced Thursday.

Scientists in the Amazon rain forest's Reserva Florestal Adolpho Ducke, near Manaus, Brazil, heard a margay imitating the call of a baby pied tamarin monkey in 2005.

It was the first—and so far, only—scientifically documented case of a cat imitating a prey species in the Americas, team member Fabio Rohe, a researcher for the New York-based nonprofit WCS, said in an email. Rohe added that he's unaware of any other predators in the world using vocal mimicry as a hunting tool.

Though the high-pitched squeal was a "poor imitation" of a baby, it was similar enough to attract curious adult tamarins feeding nearby, Rohe said.

But when the monkeys crept closer, they spotted the margay and escaped before the cat could attack.

Listed as near threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)—meaning it's likely to face a high risk of extinction in the near future—the margay is a spotted cat that grows to about 7 pounds (3.3 kilograms) and typically feeds on small mammals, birds, and reptiles.

The cat's chief threats are habitat destruction, the market for exotic pets and pelts, and angry farmers, known to shoot margays who raid poultry stocks, according to IUCN.

Monkey Mimicry Passed From Cat to Cat?

Despite the margay's lack of success that day, the observation suggests the cats use surprising "psychological cunning" to nab their dinner, Rohe said.

And the margay probably isn't the only sneaky cat in the jungle. Rohe and colleagues interviewed people living in the central Amazon who reported hearing other cat species—such as cougars and jaguars—tricking their prey through mimicry.

Many of the South America's prey species, such as macuco birds and agouti rodents make very sharp sounds that may be in the "potential repertoires" of cats, the researchers say.

What's more, those repertoires may run in the family. Margay moms, Rohe said, likely pass the imitation strategy on to their young. In "wild cats, this learning with [the] mother seems to be essential for its survival."

Copyright 2017 National Geographic   (Copyright Terms)
Updated 2536 days ago   Article ID# 561447

Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)     View Charity Profile    Visit Website

More Wildlife Conservation Society News

WCS spearheads conservation science for U.S. jaguar recovery plan

183 days ago From wcs.org 

BRONX, NEW YORK - ...

Good news for elephants for a change

224 days ago From huffingtonpost.com 

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - ...

World’s nations take a stand to save the helmeted hornbill from extinction

262 days ago From voices.nationalgeographic.com 

WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA - ...

Hawai‘i signs nation’s broadest wildlife trafficking ban into law

357 days ago From humanesociety.org 

WASHINTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA - ...

Poaching patrols raise hope for Thailand's tigers

438 days ago From news.sky.com 

ISLEWORTH, U K - ...

Go to page:   1    2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  Next >> 

<< Return To Animal News

Action Center

Warming temperatures threaten sea turtles

Action: Climate Change

The study by Dr Jacques-Olivier Laloë of the University’s College of Science and published in the Global Change Biology journ ...

Interpol says there really are dark web rhino horn traffickers

Action: Wildlife Conservation

The dark web is home to several lingering myths: so-called red rooms where visitors can watch gruesome murders; sites offerin ...

New highway brings deforestation to two Colombian national parks

Action: Stop Deforestation

Planned since the 1950s, the Marginal de la Selva is a $1 billion highway project that would create a paved land passage thro ...

Stop coal mining assault on this roadless forest

Action: Stop Pollution

President Trump has been clear since day one that he’s turning over the nation’s public lands and environment to King Coal an ...

Thousands of dolphins killed in fishing nets used in EU waters

Action: Save Our Oceans

New data from French scientists reveals that unprecedented numbers of common dolphins have died and stranded this year as a r ...

View All Actions >>

 

 

Charities

News

Follow Us

Support

Find A Charity

Action Center

World

Community

Facebook

Twitter Support

Contact

Volunteer

Add A Site

Environment

Animals

Google+

Privacy Policy

Copyright

 

 

Health

Celebrity

Terms of Service

Copyright © The Charity Vault All rights reserved.