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Re: Climbing Dromies

At 10:01 AM 14/12/1998 -0800, you wrote:
>Enough other people have mentioned leopards by now so I don't need to go
>on about them except to say that in the cat family some are climbers,
>and some are not. Cat claws didn't evolve for the purpose of climbing,
>but sometimes they are used that way. With the exception of Cheetahs
>which are pretty ground based, it isn't usually obvious from the
>skeletal details which ones like the trees.

Not quite correct.  The margay and the clouded leopard have special
modifications of the ankle joint permitting the hind foot to be rotated
backwards.  This allows them to hang head-down from a tree and to descend a
trunk head-first (unlike the domestic cat, for example).

Ronald I. Orenstein                           Phone: (905) 820-7886
International Wildlife Coalition              Fax/Modem: (905) 569-0116
1825 Shady Creek Court                 
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada L5L 3W2          mailto:ornstn@home.com