I am a layperson, retired from medical transcription after twenty-five years and enjoying a new chance to explore earth science thanks to the Internet and (finally) some free time. I have been blogging here for years, tweeting at Twitter.com/@bjdeming, have some eBooks out, and hope to make this science writing gig full-time in 2021. This recent writing update sums up my writing biography up to now: https://flighttowonder.com/2021/03/08/writing-update-20/
(By the way, in my personal life, I have stalkers and so must ask that you let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org if anyone claiming to be my family approaches you)
No, seriously. Have you ever really looked at one of these before?
The kitty doesn’t have to be Fluffy, although house cats are a lot easier to study at home than, say, mountain lions or tigers.
Believe it or not, apart from size and a few lifestyle-related anatomical details, you do have a little mountain lion/tiger there!
That’s because all members of family Felidae are built alike. (Turner and Anton)
What is a cat?
This information is from Kitchener et al., Wright and Walters, and some fun hours spent watching house cats — my own and friends’ cats.
The long feline body is much more supple than that of a gray wolf (Fido’s closest relative; I use wolves for comparison because dogs have been domesticated longer and in many cases don’t look much like their forebear now; outside the show ring, Fluffy still resembles its African wildcat ancestor in many ways).
Have you ever wondered why the spring season in both hemispheres feels as old as forever and as young as a newborn baby — at the same time?
Evolution goes back billions of years, but new possibilities open up whenever life awakens and reproduces itself.
On a related note, ever wonder about how cats evolved? Or how closely related house cats — the “lions in our living room” — really are to the big cats?
And what about those saber-toothed cats?
Earth’s apex predators have gone from T. Rex & Company to today’s lions, tigers, and other carnivorous mammals (including domestic cats, which are apex small predators in most human-dominated habitats).