Thursday, February 10, 2011
Borneo Clouded Leopard Classified as New Species
New research reveals the existence of two completely separate species of clouded leopards. In a study comparing differences in clouded leopard coat patterns and coloration throughout the cat's range, researchers concluded that individuals found on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra are markedly different from animals found on the Southeast Asian mainland. These observations have been supported by genetic testing that determined the two populations of clouded leopards are so distinct as to warrant classifying them as different species. Researchers estimate that the two species diverged approximately 1.5 million years ago due to geographical isolation.