HDW ENTERPRISES &
Foothill Felines Bengals/Savannahs
(Photo courtesy of the World Wildlife Fund)
As recently as March of 2007, researchers have discovered that the Clouded Leopards on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra are very different from other Clouded Leopards; different enough, in fact, to be classified as their own species. According to WWF spokespeople: "Researchers at the US National Cancer Institute say the differences between the Borneo and mainland clouded leopard were found to be comparable to the differences between other large cat species such as lion, tiger, leopard, jaguar and snow leopard. They believe the Borneo population likely diverged from the mainland population some 1.4 million years ago."
"Genetic research results clearly indicate that the clouded leopards of Borneo should be considered a separate species,” said Dr Stephen O'Brien, Head of the Laboratory of Genomic Diversity, US National Cancer Institute. “DNA tests highlighted around 40 differences between the two species.” The results of the genetic study are supported by separate research on geographical variation in the clouded leopard, based mainly on fur patterns and coloration of skins held in museums and collections.
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