One way to speciation is hybridization, although it is very rare in nature. In human epoch it was known hybrid species, genera, and even plants. Among the animals occasionally met hybrid species of fish, lizards and salamanders. But in Neocene fauna of Europe appeared of hybrid species of large animals - a representative of the cat family, the royal cat.
This view - one of the "footprints" of man in the biosphere, which appeared as a result of cross-breeding of feral domestic cats (Felis catus) with several species of wild cats the Jungle cat (F. chaus), the Wild cat(F. silvestris) and African wild cat (F. lybica) . As a result, a new predator, combining stealth and force wild cats with the lack of fear of man. This cat is quickly supplanted the original wild species and anthropogenic landscapes populated. After the disappearance of the human the hybrid cat successfully took advantage of the wide dispersal of the former, and has adapted to this wild and independent life. This new kind of cats became the ancestor of the royal cat.
Eurasian royal cat partly repeated the fate of the American cougar that the Holocene was the largest of the small cats. Regardless of the genus (or subgenus) Panthera cat, royal cat has become a relatively large predators: the size of a leopard, and weighing up to 70 kg. It is the ecological analogue of the North American Balam in Tryokhrechye. The proportions of the royal cat like most cats, but her ears are relatively large, and the tail is long with striped tip.
royal cat is golden yellow-brown, with a lighter belly. On the sides of the animal visible pattern of pale vertical stripes, particularly well perceptible in kittens. But the head of adult cats striped pattern retains throughout life. Such coloring allows the cat to follow the prey, raising his head above the grass, without the risk of being seen. The tail of the royal cat has several dark transverse bands on the end. At a meeting with relatives this cat raises it vertically so that it is visible from a greater distance: so you can send a signal kinsman, avoiding direct contact.
The favorite prey of this animal - harelope, birds (from small to large), various steppe rodents. Like most cats, the royal cat catches prey from ambush. Often it monitors the behavior of birds of prey (eagles ravens), and uses the results of their hunt.
This cat - a solitary animal. The female one grows 3 - 4 cubs, arranging the lair in the bushes, and sometimes even in a hole large local rodent - mole rat Goliath. The fur of kittens covered more pronounced stripes than the adult animal. During the year, usually two broods, and during, the poor prey - only one. Young cat becomes fully mature at three years of age, males somewhat earlier than females.