The margay is a critter from the feline family and whom resides in Mexico, Central, and South America (East of the Andes mountains); primarily in the Amazon, Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil, and Belize. The margay enjoys life in rainforests, evergreen forests, and deciduous forests. However, they can also be found near cocoa, and coffee plantations. Due to habitat loss, pollution, disease, hunting, and invasive species this feline is listed as Near Threatened by the IUCN.
First the Stats…
Scientific name: Leopardus wiedii
Weight: Up to 8 lbs.
Length: Up to 2 feet, plus an 18 inch tail
Lifespan: Up to 18 years
Now on to the Facts!
1.) These cats are nocturnal (active at night).
2.) They have large eyes that are capable of excellent night vision.
3.) Being arboreal (adapted to life in trees), they are easily able to leap from branch to branch. They are also able to hang upside down from their hind legs, where they then drop on top of prey. Surprise!
5.) Margays are solitary creatures, like most cats.
But wait, there’s more on the margay!
6.) Territories extend to approximately 26 square miles!
7.) Due to their arboreal habits, they are sometimes referred to as the tree ocelot.
Did you know…?
To make things easier to scale trees, margays have double jointed feet that can rotate up to 180°.
8.) Breeding season lasts all year long in tropical regions and seasonally in temperate regions.
9.) Pregnancy lasts 76 – 85 days and yields 1 – 2 kittens.
10.) Females give birth biannually and the mortality rate is high at 50%!
Now a Short Margay Video!
Also, check out the Critter Science YouTube channel. Videos added frequently!
Want to suggest a critter for me to write about? Let me know here.