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Psdacinx

Mass extinction of large herbivore animals has caused disappearance of large predators eating them. After stabilization of situation and restoration of biological balance as the reply to evolution of herbivores large predators have started to appear – they were descendants of rather small forms which have survived during mass extinction. Pardinia is one of such predatory animals, the descendant of genette (Genetta genetta), widely spreaded in Holocene at the territory of Northern Africa and Southern Europe. Its close relative is the huge deadlynetta (Necrogenetta deima), living in North-African savannas. But if deadlynetta is the specialized sabertooth hunter for large prey, pardinia is graceful analogue of the cheetah chasing swift-footed herbivores. By constitution pardinia resembles fleet dog with long tail and rather short muzzle. Height of animal at a shoulder is about 80 cm, body length is up to 120 cm, tail lenght is about meter; back legs are little bit longer than front ones. Body of pardinia is covered with short wool, on edges of ears there is fringe of long soft hair. Wool is straw-coloured with scattered brown stains on back merging to longitudinal strips. On throat of males there is big white spot bordered by dark-brown strip. Head of pardinia is similar to cat’s one, but is more extended. Canines are well advanced, their ends are visible from closed mouth of animal; bases of canines are very wide. Chewing muscles are well advanced: animal kills catch by bite in backbone or in the basis of skull. Similarly to cheetah pardinia chases catch by fast throw. But as against cheetahs it also can chase lonely catch walking for a long time, yet will drive it up to exhaustion. Chasing prey, pardinia tries to fall catch down on the ground by impact of paws against side or shoulder, and then presses it by own weight against ground and bites in backbone. Pardinia is solitary predator. Each female has territory marking it with secret of musk glands. Male, as a rule, has no constant territory: he wanders on territories of several females, remaining for the pairing period at one of them. Pregnancy lasts 5 months. Shortly before cub birth female builds shelter in rich bushes or among stones where it gives rise to posterity: 4 - 6 cubs. Cubs are born blind, covered by dark one-colour wool. Later their colouring replaces to motley one, characteristic for adults. Cubs develop rather slowly: they start to leave shelter at monthly age, and study to hunt approximately from three-monthly age. About half-year they hunt together with mother, leaving her shortly before occurrence of new pack. Sexual maturity at young animals comes at the second year of life. Pardinia hunts mainly quickly running herbivore animals - hoofed mammals, kept in Southern Africa as relicts of Holocene fauna. Hunting usually occurs on dawn though the female having cubs can hunt even in hottest time of day. Pardinia creeps to herd hiding in bushes and grasses, stopping at slightest sign of alarm at herbivores. Having chosen prey animal tries to catch it by one throw – pardinia is not able to run fast at long distance. Usually only every 6-th or 7-th attack ends successfully. If number of large catch is not enough, pardinia willingly foods with small vertebrates – frogs, lizards and also birds. Dexterity of the pardinia is great: it can drop flying up birds in jump by long paws. Organism of pardinia as against to organism of deadlynetta related to it works literally “for deterioration” – during run plenty of forces is spent. Therefore life expectancy of this animal is not so great: in total up to 12 – 14 years.

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