Legendary ‘cat-fox’ could be a new subspecies

For generations, local shepherds on the Mediterranean island of Corsica have shared stories about the “ghjattu volpe,” or “cat-fox,” attacking the udders of sheep and goats, AFP reported (opens in new tab) in 2019. Scientists first documented their existence in 1929 and may soon be able to declare them a new subspecies after almost 100 years thanks to new genetics research. 

Corsican wildcats get their “cat-fox” nickname from their fox-like color and large tail. Despite what their nickname suggests, these animals are not cat-fox hybrids; they’re definitely all cat. Corsican wildcats belong to the genus Felis alongside other wildcats and domestic cats, but researchers are studying their genetics to figure out their exact placement in the group.

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