Anti-Caturday: Living Fossil

Red Panda by Robin Ducker
Red Panda by Robin Ducker

If you’ve never seen a Red Panda, they’re only slightly bigger than a cat (Felis Catus, not the other kind), sporting a huge, bushy tail, little chocolate eyes, cute little noses and so on. It’s also, name be damned, not very closely related to the Panda at all. It is a caniform which means that it’s more closely related to dogs than to cats, just like bears, but that’s about the extent of it. It’s part of the Musteloid superfamily, in a completely separate family from the rest of the Musteloids that branched off a long, long time ago. This is why it’s thought of as a living fossil.

They’re an odd mixture of characteristics. They communicate by tweeting/twittering (insert obvious Twitter joke here) almost like birds, they clean themselves like cats, and they sleep like foxes, only up a tree like monkeys. But they all add up to a cuteness that is hard to resist.


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