Meet the Margay

Photo credit: Please check out the link to donate
Photo credit: Please check out the link to donate

Shut the front door.

Seriously this cat is incredible and adorable. The margay (Leopardus wiedii) is a bit like a mini ocelot. They are native to the Americas and there is even a record of one found in Texas over 100 years ago!

These cats are nocturnal and live primary in the rainforests from Argentina all the way to Mexico. They are absolutely striking and unfortunately this has made the margay a target for fur poachers resulting in their IUCN status as near threatened.

Most amazingly, the margay can rotate its ankle 180 degrees to climb trees upside down. margayThe picture to the right cannot do the ankle rotation move justice (watch the video 1:23!). They can climb down trees head first and may even nap upside down. Margays can hang from a branch upside down by a single paw. The video below is absolutely gorgeous and worth the time to watch (full screen).

A Margay and Her Kittens from Phil Slosberg on Vimeo.

Video Credit: Phil Slosberg, a talented wildlife photographer in Costa Rica

“Meet the…” is a collaboration between The Finch & Pea and Nature Afield to bring Nature’s amazing creatures into your home.


Author: Heidi Kay Smith

Biology PhD student on the cusp of finishing and moving on to a postdoc in the behavioral ecology of amphibians. I blog to share my thoughts, ideas, and general feelings of awe of the natural world.

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