Linsang

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Prionodon linsang, the banded linsang

The linsangs are four feliform species, two in Asia and two in Africa. The whole group was put in the Viverridae in a subfamily. The two pairs are:

The species of African linsangs are:

  • Poiana leightoni – Leighton's linsang
  • Poiana richardsonii – African linsang

The species of Asiatic linsangs are:

  • Prionodon linsang – Banded linsang
  • Prionodon pardicolor – Spotted linsang

DNA analysis shows:

  1. the African linsangs (Poiana) are true viverrids closely related to the genet.
  2. the Asiatic linsangs (Prionodon) are not, and may be the closest living relatives of the Felidae family.[1] Discovering this, the Asiatic linsangs are now put into a family of their own. They are not viverrids.

Therefore, the similarities between the two genera of linsangs must be convergent. All of them are cat-like in appearance. They are nocturnal, generally solitary tree dwellers. They are carnivorous, eating squirrels and other rodents, small birds, lizards and insects. Typical size is a little over 30 cm (1 foot), with a tail that more than doubles that length. Bodies are long, with short legs, giving a low appearance. All species have yellowish bodies with black markings (stripes, blotches and spots), though the distribution and nature of the markings varies between species.

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