Margay Facts

Margay Facts
Margay is a mammal that belongs to family of cats. This animal can be found in Mexico, Central and South America (near the Amazon, and in Argentina, Uruguay, Belize and Brazil). Margay prefers life in rainforests, deciduous and evergreen forests, but it can be also spotted near the coffee and cocoa plantations. Margay is shy animal that avoid people and exact number of remaining animals in the wild is unknown. Scientists believe that margay should be listed as vulnerable because of the accelerated habitat loss and extensive hunting. It is estimated that more than 14 000 margays is killed each year because of the fur.
Interesting Margay Facts:
Margay is a small cat that usually weighs between 9 and 20 pounds and reaches between 18.2 and 31 inches in length. Males and females look alike.
Margay has very long tail that is used for balancing. It can be 20 inches long, which equals the length of the 70% of the body.
Margay's fur can be grayish to cinnamon in color. It is covered with black-ringed rosettes.
Margay has large eyes adapted to night vision, because margay is nocturnal (active at night) animal.
Margay's diet consists of small mammals such as squirrels, opossums, small monkeys, sloths, porcupines, tree frogs, lizards and birds. It consumes fruit rarely.
Margay is adapted for arboreal (life in the trees) life style. It can easily leap from one branch to another. Also, margay is able to hang from the branch by holding it with only one paw.
Unlike other cats, margay is able to move down the tree, with its head going before feet (like squirrels). This is possible because it has flexible ankles of the front feet that can be rotated for 180 degrees.
Because it spends most of its time in the treetops, margay is also known as "tree ocelot".
Margays are solitary creatures. Their territory may range from 15 to 43 square kilometers.
Margays that live in tropical region can mate throughout the whole year. Those that live in temperate climate will mate seasonally.
Pregnancy in females lasts between 76 and 84 days and it ends with one or two kittens. Mother keeps the babies hidden in a den made in the hollow tree or in the underground burrow.
Spots on their fur are present from the moment of birth. Young margays open their eyes two weeks after birth.
Kittens leave the den for the first time when they reach the age of five weeks. They will continue suckling for three more weeks. After that period, they are ready to eat meat just like adult animals.
Margays reproduce slowly. Female gives birth every two years, litter size is small and mortality of babies is very high (50%).
Margay can survive less than 10 years in the wild and up to 20 years in captivity.

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