Word of the Week (188): MARGAY (probability 17729), by David Sutton

A MARGAY is a spotted South American tiger-cat; the name comes from the Tupi

We are probably all familiar with most of the members of the cat family, but a few of the smaller, obscurer kinds may have escaped notice. The EYRA is a South American wild cat, also known as the JAGUARUNDI or JAGUARONDI. The MANUL is a kind of Central Asian wild cat, taking its name from the Mongolian. The ROOIKAT is a kind of South African lynx; the SERVAL is a long-legged African wildcat with a yellowish coat and black spots. This takes its name from the Portuguese (lobo) cerval, literally, deerlike wolf, which is curious, as it doesn't look much like either a deer or a wolf to me.

It is worth noting that COUGAR can also be spelt COUGUAR and CHEETAH can be spelt CHETAH.

Let's finish with a rundown of old names for a leopard: PARD, PARDAL, PARDALE, PARDALIS and also LIBBARD, plus a quick revision of the the hybrids: LIGER, a cross between a lion and a tigress and TIGON (or TIGLON), a cross between a tiger and a lioness.


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