Wild Cats of the World
Publication Date: August 2002
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Did you know that European royalty once used cheetahs to hunt deer, or that caracals can capture birds by leaping six and a half feet straight up into the air from a standing start? Have you ever wondered whether domestic cats really do land on their feet when they fall, or how Canada lynx can stalk their prey in the winter without falling through the deep snow?
Wild Cats of the World is a treasure trove of answers to questions like these, and many others, for anyone who's interested in learning more about the world's felids, including the ones with whom we share our homes. Mel and Fiona Sunquist have spent more than a decade gathering information about cats from every available source, many of them quite difficult to find, including scientific papers, descriptions of hunts, archeological findings, observations by naturalists and travelers, reports from government agencies, and newsletters from a wide variety of organizations. Weaving information from these sources together with their own experiences observing wild cats around the world, the Sunquists have created the most comprehensive reference on felids available. Each of their accounts of the 36 species of cat contains a description of the cat, including human interactions with it, as well as detailed data on its distribution, ecology and behavior, status in the wild, and efforts to conserve it. Numerous photographs, including more than 40 in full color, illustrate these accounts.
Ranging from the two-pound black-footed cat to the five-hundred-pound tiger, and from the African serval with its satellite-dish ears to the web-footed fishing cat of Asia, Wild Cats of the World will fascinate and educate felid fans of any stripe (or spot).
Mel Sunquist is an associate professor in the Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation at the University of Florida, Gainesville.
Fiona Sunquist is a science writer, photographer, and for fifteen years was a roving editor for International Wildlife Magazine. Together they are the authors of Florida: The Ecotravellers' Wildlife Guide and Tiger Moon, the latter published by the University of Chicago Press.