No such thing as Nipponese wildcat or Honshu dhole



Prionailurus bengalensis euptilurus photo © Pontafon



Prionailurus bengalensis iriomotensis photo © 




One of the greatest mysteries of mammalian biogeography is the absence of any species of wild felid from most of the Japanese archipelago, the main islands of which are large enough to have supported several other carnivores including small subspecies of the wolf. For that matter, it is also a puzzle why it was the wolf that succeeded in Japan rather than the dhole, which is the smaller species and more suited to these mountainous islands.


Robin and the Honey Badger, 22 March 2016



Prionailurus bengalensis euptilurus photo © N. N. Kondakov